NSW Farmers’ Association is urging farmers to ignore rumours quad bikes would soon not be available in NSW.
It follows announcements by some manufacturers they were withdrawing from the local market as Australian safety regulations take effect.
President of NSW Farmers, James Jackson, said a number of quad bike manufacturers have indicated to the ACCC their continuing commitment to supply quad bikes to the Australian market.
“We commend these manufacturers who are dedicated to advance their quad bike design for safety improvement and encourage them to publicly announce their position sooner rather than later," Mr Jackson said.
"It is regrettable that brands like Honda and Yahama have said they will stop offering quad bikes to the Australian market, limiting some farmers’ access to their preferred brand, however supply will meet demand."
Quad bikes are the leading cause of death on farm in NSW and following a number of horror fatal accidents, the ACCC concluded a consumer Safety Standard should be introduced applying to all new quad bikes. The first phase of the new safety measures will begin in October.
“Quad bikes play an important role for many farmers as the “workhorse” on farm to perform a number of tasks. It is also fact that quad bikes can turn dangerous quickly if they are not appropriately used,” Mr Jackson said.
“That’s why the Association has invested years of advocacy, working with regulators and other stakeholders to improve awareness of the limitations of quad bikes and the available safety solutions to minimise risks of injuries and fatalities, while at the same time ensuring farmers could continue to utilise quad bikes on farms with minimal legislative intervention.
“Some manufacturers announced they will pull out of the Australian market because of the new safety requirements, however, we’re confident Australia will follow in the same direction as Israel.”
Operator Protection Devices have been mandatory in Israel since the early 1990s, yet Israel still enjoys a competitive market for safe, compliant quad bikes.
“NSW Farmers wants to assure the farming community in NSW that quad bikes will continue on being available beyond October 2021. They aren’t going anywhere. But hopefully what will change is we’ll see fewer serious injuries and deaths,” Mr Jackson concluded.