NSW doubles quad-bike safety rebates
The safety rebate for farmers to transition from ATVs to side-by-side UTVs has been doubled by New South Wales’ SafeWork initiative.
The rebate has been increased from $500 to $1000 for a single quad-bike and also allows farmers to purchase two vehicles under the scheme.
Victoria has a similar incentive for farmers through its WorkSafe program, which gives farmers $1200 for transitioning from an ATV to a UTV.
"Every fatality has an immeasurable effect on families, friends and communities, and this government is wholeheartedly committed to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by quad bikes in the workplace," NSW innovation and better regulation minister Matt Kean says.
Polaris Australia, who currently makes a large range of rollover-protected ATVs and UTVs, has welcomed the changes made by the NSW government.
"The safety rebate programs in New South Wales and Victoria have been hugely successful," Polaris Australia managing director Peter Alexander says.
"The rebates are one of the key reasons we saw the national side x side market grow by 48 per cent in 2016, with the two states offering rebates – New South Wales and Victoria – outstripping the national side-by-side market growth with 75 per cent and 57 per cent growth respectively.
"If the side-by-side market continues to grow at a rapid rate – which certainly appears likely, given the year-to-date 2017 side-by-side market is already almost 40 per cent up on the corresponding period last year – then ATV sales could be practically non-existent within five years," Alexander adds.
"The proactive steps taken by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria are absolutely key contributing factors to the market growth and we commend them for taking these steps.
"The regulators have invested heavily in assisting farmers to exit ATVs and adopt existing safety technology offered on side-by-side products."
Polaris currently offers 23 models with Rollover Protection Structures (ROPS), including the single-seat ACE that, the company says, provides many of the safety features of a Polaris Ranger UTV but with compact dimensions similar to an ATV.
"We strongly urge safety-conscious farmers to utilise the rebates offered by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria to transition onto a product with engineered rollover protection such as a side-by-side or ACE product, rather than fitting ludicrous and unproven ‘crush protection’ contraptions to their ATVs," Alexander adds.
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