Legislative Council Thursday 8 August, 2019
Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
With regard to the state Government's Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme, now available to Tasmanian farmers: given that two quad bike manufacturers, Honda and Yamaha, have threatened to pull out of the market if operator protection devices are made compulsory and a number of quad bike operators in my electorate have also expressed concern regarding this approach, particularly the design of the OPDs promoted -
(1) Will the Government also consider changes to licensing requirements for quad bike riders, who at the moment, require only a car licence to ride a quad bike?
(2) Will the Government consider introducing more targeted rider education and training?
Mr President, I thank the member for Murchison for her question.
(1) The 2019-20 Budget included a $700 000 package of measures to improve quad bike safety, including a 12-month $500 000 rebate scheme for fitting of approved rollover or crash protection devices for farmers' quad bikes from 1 July 2019. This allows farmers to receive a rebate of up to 50 per cent off the purchase price to a maximum of $500 per device and $1000 for each eligible farm workplace for an approved rollover or crushprotection device.
The device must have been designed and manufactured in accordance with approved engineering standards and independently tested to be eligible for the rebate. Currently two devices meet these criteria are
eligible for the rebate; they are the Quadbar™ and the ATV Lifeguard. Any changes to quad bike licensing requirements needs careful consideration and the Government is currently considering its position.
(2) Quad bike training is currently offered through TasTAFE at each of its campuses. TasTAFE may also run the quad bike course on farms, depending on numbers. This course provides the skills and knowledge required to safely operate quad bikes. It is suitable for beginners through to more experienced riders.
All training is underpinned by workplace health and safely principles and legislative requirements. Participants learn about prestart checks and basic maintenance; how to turn, swerve and make an emergency stop;
safe operation on a range of terrains; obstacles; how to use four-wheel-drive low-range and differential locks in differing conditions; and loading and securing practices for transporting.
In addition, the Government announced in the 2019-20 Budget a public awareness and education program. This campaign will be rolled out in the latter part of 2019 and will focus on increasing awareness within the community of the dangers associated with quad-bike use. The campaign will include television commercials, website material, social media, radio, press and flyers. The target audiences are rural employers and workers, riders of quad bikes and families of riders of quad bikes.
Further free farm safety sessions for farmers, their workers and anyone else who operates a quad bike were launched in Campbell Town on 8 July 2019. Sessions were also held in Smithton, Scottsdale, Huonville and Richmond in July 2019. The interactive sessions are a joint initiative of WorkSafe Tasmania, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and Safe Farming Tasmania. These sessions will be continuing throughout October during WorkSafe Month.
Presenters will include crush protection device manufacturers, who will explain their products and provide tips on installation and maintenance. TasTAFE teachers will also provide practical advice on how to operate these vehicles safely and highlight the importance of proper training.