VICTORIAN farmers are rushing to take up the $1,200 quad bike safety rebate, with a flurry of interest in the program escalating to see more than 50 applications lodged since applications opened on Grand Final Day.
The Victorian Farmers Federation, which is administering the State Government’s $6 million Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme, received 51 applications in the four days from Saturday to Tuesday.
“It’s very encouraging to see such a high uptake of the rebate offer so far, especially on Grand Final weekend when you’d think a lot of Victorians would have their minds more on the football,” VFF Vice President Brett Hosking said.
“But it goes to show that even in the middle of football fever farmers are still conscious of their safety.”
The VFF has established a dedicated phone line to process applications for farmers purchasing operator protection devices (OPDs) for their quad bikes or buying a safer alternative vehicle.
“The phone has been running off the hook with people interested in taking up the rebate and we’d love to see that momentum keep building,” Mr Hosking said.
“We’ve had a great start with plenty of interest, and we hope to continue rolling out the scheme until as many farmers as possible have taken the offer.”
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 these criteria and are eligible for the rebate. They are the Quadbar and the ATV Lifeguard.
The scheme is expected to deliver rebates to more than 5000 farmers over the next two years, but farmers are still encouraged to make early applications.
“It’s vital that farmers protect themselves, their families and their employees from the risks of using quad bikes,” Mr Hosking said.
Any farmer who has purchased an approved OPD or alternative vehicle from September 1 is eligible for the rebate.
Further details on farmer eligibility for the scheme can be found at www.bequadsafe.com.au or by calling the VFF on 1300 945 030 for an application.