Deaths call for quad summit

On the back of recent quad bike accidents, including the death of a six-year-old girl at Pilliga this month, the NSW Labor party is calling for more action.

Labor has questioned the current government’s commitment to address the wide-ranging issues that are contributing to the tragic deaths of people, including children, from quad bike accidents across NSW.

Labor said doubling the helmet rebate for farmers does not go far enough to prevent tragic quad bike deaths.

More than 109 people have died nationwide in the last six years as a result of quad bike accidents.

The NSW Government recently announced the doubling of helmet subsidies for farmers, along with a smaller subsidy for helmets for other riders.

Labor fears that the government’s response was inadequate, given that recent deaths involved young children.

NSW Labor renewed its call for an urgent summit – bringing together stakeholders to try to prevent unacceptable tragedies occurring on NSW properties on an all too regular basis.

“Labor welcomes any additional funding to try to prevent these tragic deaths,” NSW Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch said.

“Yet the government’s response has not addressed the deaths of young children as we have seen over recent months.

“The government needs to bring together farmers, manufacturers, medical professionals and safety experts at a summit to work out ways to stop these tragic deaths.”

Farmers can now apply for a $1000 rebate for the purchase of a side-by-side vehicle, $500 for the retrofitting of safety equipment to an existing quad bike, and $90 for the purchase of an approved helmet.

NSW Farmers President Derek Schoen said farmers can now also apply for the rebate twice if they have more than one quad bike or wish to purchase two side-by side vehicles.

“This is good news for the Safework’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program and for the farming community. The rebate increase will assist the Program to achieve its goal of reducing the unacceptable rates of death and serious injury as a result of quad bike use,” Mr Schoen said. 

The NSW Department of Primary Industries is hosting quad bike handling courses across the region, including Tamworth (March 29) and Gunnedah (April 11). More information is on the DPI website.