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New quad bike rebates: VFF

FARMERS are being called on to tap into the www.bequadsafe.com.au website to claim up to $1200 in rebates on quad bike operator protection devices (OPDs), side-by-side (SSV) and other alternate vehicles.

The Victorian Farmers Federation has teamed up with WorkSafe Victoria to deliver the $6 million Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme, which is expected to deliver rebates to more than 5000 farmers over the next two years.

“Farmers should get in early and take this opportunity to protect their families, workers and of course themselves from the risks of using quad bikes,” VFF vice-president Brett Hosking said.

“It’s an undeniable fact that quad bikes are one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment on our farms, and we should all be doing what we can to make them safer or replace them with another vehicle.”

Under the Scheme rebates will be available on purchases made on and after September 1, with farmers able to lodge applications to claim the rebate from October 1.

“While the VFF has been tasked to administer this scheme it’s open to all farmers,” Mr Hosking said.

“Rebates of up to $600 can be claimed on the two eligible OPDs – the Quadbar ™ and the ATV Lifeguard – as well as a $1200 rebate on alternate vehicles.”

While there’s been some debate on the issue, Mr Hosking said the VFF and WorkSafe had settled on defining an alternate vehicle as: 

An agricultural side-by-side vehicle (SSV) or small utility vehicle, which differs from a quad bike in a number of ways. They typically can accommodate two-six occupants, have roll-over protection, have seat belts and a cargo box at the rear of the vehicle. 

To be eligible for the rebate an alternate vehicle must be designed for use in agriculture, and at point of sale have rollover protection and a fitted seatbelt.  Importantly sport vehicles and small commercial vehicles, such as utes are excluded.

“There’s obviously a bit of cross-over here, but we’re not going to be handing out rebates on vehicles that are obviously designed for sport not farming,” Mr Hosking said. “And you can’t claim the rebate on purchasing second-hand vehicles.” 

All rebates will be available from 1 October 2016 for a period of two years or until the funds are exhausted – whichever occurs first. Rebates will also be allocated on a first-in first-served basis to eligible applicants with complete applications.

Mr Hosking said the rebate had been restricted two types of OPD, as they had been designed and manufactured in accordance with approved engineering standards and independently tested to be eligible for the rebate.

“While many farmers are pretty damned good welders, I’m sorry to say you can’t just bend up a bit of bar, bolt it on the bike and claim a $600 rebate,” Mr Hosking said.

“I’m sure that as time goes on other OPD manufacturers might come along, but for now it’s just the Quadbar and ATV Lifeguard.”

The VFF is still in the process of recruiting administrative staff and building the secure site and application forms for the scheme.

In the meantime details on farmer eligibility for the scheme can be found at www.bequadsafe.com.au

Mr Hosking said farm safety wasn’t just about rebates and quad bikes it’s about being aware of the risks you face every day on the farm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is the Victorian Government introducing a quad bike safety rebate scheme?

The Victorian Government is encouraging farmers to take part in a $6 million rebate scheme for approved safety solutions to help reduce quad bike deaths in Victoria.

Q. What are the approved safety solutions I can get a rebate for?

Eligible farmers can apply for a rebate of either:

  • $1200 for the purchase of an alternate vehicle such as a side-by-side vehicle (SSV) or a small utility vehicle (SUV). The alternate vehicle must be designed for use in agriculture and at point of sale have rollover protection and a fitted seatbelt. Sport vehicles and small commercial vehicles, such as utes, are excluded.
  • Up to $600 for the purchase of up to two operator protection devices (OPD). The OPD must have been designed and manufactured in accordance with approved engineering standards and independently tested to be eligible for the rebate. There are currently two OPD devices that meet this criteria and are eligible for the rebate. They are the Quadbar ™ and the ATV Lifeguard.

Rebates are available for safety solutions purchased on or after 1 September 2016.

Q. Who is eligible to apply for a rebate?

The rebate is available to farmers that:

  • live and operate a business in Victoria

  • have no more than 19 full-time employees

  • own a quad bike for work purposes

  • have farming as their main source of income. 

Farmers who are owner-operators with no employees are eligible to apply.

Q. How is farmer defined?

A farmer is a primary producer, as defined by the Australian Tax Office.

According to the ATO a primary producer is an individual, partnership, trust or company operating a primary production business. This rebate applies to primary producers who operate a business of animal or plant cultivation.

Animal and plant cultivation includes:

  • maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase

  • manufacturing dairy produce from raw material that you produced

  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts (including seeds, spores, bulbs and similar things) in any physical environment

The rebate does not cover the forestry and fisheries sectors.

Q. When can the rebates be claimed?

The rebates will be available to claim from 1 October 2016 for safety solutions purchased on or after 1 September 2016.

Q. Can I use the rebate for purchases made prior to 1 September, 2016? 

No. You can only apply for a rebate for approved safety solutions purchased on or after 1 September 2016.

Q. Can I claim the alternate vehicle rebate if I don’t own a quad bike?

No. You must own a quad bike for work purposes to be eligible for the alternate vehicle rebate.

Q. How can I apply?

You will be able to apply online, by email or by post.  Further details will be available soon on the WorkSafe and VFF websites. You will need to include proof of purchase with your application (e.g. tax invoices and receipts). Your proof of purchase must include the business name, address, ABN number, payment date, description and cost of the safety solution for which the rebate is being claimed.

Q. How long will the rebate scheme be available?

Rebates will be available from 1 October 2016 for a period of two years or until the funds are exhausted – whichever occurs first. Rebates will be allocated on a first in first served basis to eligible applicants with complete applications.

Q. What if my application is declined? 

You will be advised in writing if your application does not fully comply with the eligibility criteria. You will have an opportunity to address any further requirements within 21 days of this notification.  

Q. What is a rollover protection device and how can it help?

A rollover protection device – also known as an operator protective device (OPD) or a crush protection device (CPD) - is an engineered attachment that is fitted to a quad bike. It is designed to help protect riders from crush-related injuries in the event of a rollover.

The maximum rebate amount for this device is $600. The total rebate available is $1200 for two devices.

Q. Can the rebate cover the cost of the OPD being fitted?

No. The rebate of up to $600 is available for the purchase of the OPD. Installation is not included.

Q. Would the rebate be available if a new OPD becomes available?

A rebate would be available for a new OPD if it can be demonstrated that the product has been suitably designed and manufactured according to appropriate engineering principles and that the product has been independently tested.

Q. Can I claim the rebate on an OPD I make myself?

No. The rebate is only available for OPDs that have been designed and manufactured in accordance with approved engineering standards. Any new design will need to be signed off by a competent and suitably qualified person, such as an engineer and independently tested.

A person seeking to build their own OPD takes on the responsibility of the designer and manufacturer, and both have duties under the Occupational Health and Safety legislation. It would be preferable (and probably cheaper) to buy an approved product already on the market.

Q. Will fitting an OPD void my warranty or affect my insurance?

A rollover protection device is an accessory for a quad bike that needs to be fitted in accordance with its manufacturer’s instructions. Australian consumer law applies to the purchase of quads and OPDs so if you buy something that isn’t right, you have consumer rights.

The VFF is unaware of any concerns in relation to warranties or insurance. However, farmers should seek advice from the appropriate insurer and manufacturer. If a manufacturer of dealer states the fitting of an OPD voids the quad bike’s warranty, then please request they put that claim in writing.

Q. What is a side-by-side vehicle or a small utility vehicle?

An agricultural side-by-side vehicle (SSV) or small utility vehicle differs from a quad bike in a number of ways. They typically can accommodate two-six occupants, have roll-over protection, have seat belts and a cargo box at the rear of the vehicle. 

To be eligible for the rebate an alternate vehicle must be designed for use in agriculture, and at point of sale have rollover protection and a fitted seatbelt.  Sport vehicles and small commercial vehicles, such as utes, are excluded.

The rebate amount for purchasing an SSV or SUV in workplaces is $1200. 

Q. Can I claim the rebate on a second-hand SSV or SUV?

No. You cannot claim a rebate on the purchase of a second- hand SSV or SUV.  However, a supplier’s demonstrator model is classified as a new vehicle for the purposes of the rebate.

Q. Am I able to apply for the rebate more than once? 

No. You can only apply for a rebate once.

Q. Can a business apply for more than one rebate if the business supports several families?

No. Eligible applicants can only apply for a rebate once.

Q. What is not covered by the rebate?

Rebates will not cover:

  • the design or manufacturing of new items including items that you have designed and manufactured to your specifications,

  • owner-built items,

  • purchase of raw materials,

  • purchase of second-hand items,

  • service repairs or maintenance.

Rebate solutions do not cover products or equipment for domestic, recreational or social activities.

Q. Do I have to be a member of VFF or United DairyFarmers of Victoria to apply for the rebate?

No. Membership of an association or commodity group is not an eligibility requirement.

Q. Where can I find further information?

As further details are finalised, information will appear at worksafe.vic.gov.au or on the VFF website bequadsafe.com.au

Q. Where can I find more information and resources on safe use of quad bikes in rural workplaces?

WorkSafe Victoria is partnering with a number of organisations within the VFF and farming community to help keep farmers safe on their quad bikes. This includes promoting important safety messages associated with ageing riders, children under the age of 16, vehicle selection and the carriage of passengers.

You can find more about quad bike safety on the WorkSafe Victoria website http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/your-industry/farming

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