National Farmers' Federation

Another life lost, others seriously injured, yet the Government continues to fail to act on quad bike safety

On Sunday, 25 August a cattle farmer from near Forbes, NSW, flipped his ATV while feeding livestock. He became trapped, crushed, and was dead by the time his partner found him.
On Friday 23 August, a teenage girl at Three Moons in North Queensland was crushed when her quad bike overturned. She was able to call emergency services for help. She was fortunate to escape alive but sustained serious chest and spinal injuries.
On Saturday 24 August four people, including two children, were hospitalised as a result of a quad bike accident on a property near Mackay, North Queensland. And just this past weekend, paramedics rushed a man to Innisfail Hospital with suspected spinal injuries after a quad bike accident.
“What will it take to enact change? How many lives need to be lost? How many people need to suffer life-altering injuries before the Government will act to make quad bikes safer,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
Already this year, eight people have lost their lives in quad bike-related accidents, five since the ACCC tabled its March report.
“That should be enough to prompt action, yet alone the incidents of serious and debilitating injuries.
“Despite these horrifying stories, quad bike manufacturers and their paid lobbyists continue to frustrate the case for change.
“But this is not a complicated issue. People are dying, at a rate of about once a month. People are being seriously injured, at about 2 people per day.”
In March, the ACCC recommended to Government to mandate the fitting of operator protection devices (OPDs) on all new quad bikes within two years. Earlier this month, the Victoria Coroner supported the recommendation.
The Government has indicated that it will make a decision — following the close of the third round of consultation in June — within the coming months.
“They could and should make the change now,” Ms Simson said.
“Why won’t the Government stand up to the manufacturers in recognition of the people who have died, so their deaths were not in vein?
“The Assistant Treasurer only needs to sign a document for the safety standard to come into effect,” Ms
Simson said.
“We are at a complete loss as to why this hasn’t happened yet.”

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