Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie this week announced a $1.9 million grant for Farmsafe under the $3.5 million National Farm Safety Education Fund.
Farmsafe is an initiative of Farmsafe Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to make Australian farms safer places to live and work on. Their mission is to improve the wellbeing and productivity of Australian agriculture through enhanced health and safety awareness and practices.
The announcement comes following an election promise from the Federal Government to invest in awareness and education to help prevent farm accidents, such as quad bike rollovers.
Minister McKenzie said the Government is committed to promoting and supporting on-farm safety awareness in the agriculture sector.
“We need to protect our farmers, farm workers and their families from risks when operating machinery and farm vehicles. Farming can be a tough business but it doesn’t need to be a dangerous one,” said Ms McKenzie.
Every Australian has the right to a safe workplace—and we know that the better the work environment the more productive it is.Senator Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture
“That’s why our government is backing Farmsafe Australia’s efforts to enhance the well-being and productivity of agriculture through improved health and safety awareness and practices.”
Farmsafe Chair Charles Armstrong welcomed the news, expressing his concern over the fact that agriculture was one of Australia’s most dangerous industries with multiple on-site hazards.
“It is absolutely vital that farmers and families have the resources and information they need to make sound safety decisions on farm,” said Mr Armstrong.
“The investment will enable Farmsafe Australia to expand and modernise its range of practical and impactful tools to improve safety.
“In particular, we are looking forward to improving our web-based products, including the development of an app that makes it possible to access farm safety information and resources quickly and easily from smart phones and tablets.”
The agriculture industry is one of seven groups identified as national priority in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-22. The majority of on-farm fatalities are related to the operation of farm machinery and vehicles including tractors and quad bikes.
More information on Farmsafe can be accessed via their website.