Infantile reaction from quad manufacturers

Chair of FarmSafe hits back and Honda and Yamaha


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The ACCC report into quad bike safety recommends the fitting of operator protection devices, often referred to as crush protection devices.

The ACCC report into quad bike safety recommends the fitting of operator protection devices, often referred to as crush protection devices.

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Chair of FarmSafe hits back and Honda and Yamaha

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Chair of FarmSafe and the National Farmers Federation Workforce Committee, Charles Armstrong has come out swinging following the recent announcement Yamaha and Honda will stop selling quad bikes in Australia if the Federal government accepts the ACCC's recommendations to introduce a quad bike safety standard.

Mr Armstrong said the companies are relying on misinformation, such as self-commissioned American computer modelling, dismissing the consensus developed by a range of professional bodies who do not hold a commercial interest in the matter.

He said not only were the recommendations by the ACCC were developed after more than 18 months of consultation and analysis, they also included independent studies by Australian academics based on practical testing and research along with the opinions of peak health professionals and the industry bodies who are mindful of increased costs but recognise the risk is unacceptable.

Read more: Honda threatens to pull out of Australia

"This is an astonishingly infantile reaction from otherwise respected multinational companies," Mr Armstrong said.

"And yet it's reminiscent of the motor vehicle industry's responses to other safety measures such as the introduction of, the ANCAP safety ratings and requirement to install tractor roll-over cages.

"Each of these has proven, well beyond any rational argument, to be indispensable safety advances. Any suggestion to the contrary would be inconceivable today. So it's easy to forget that when government was considering these initiatives, the manufactures fought aggressively to the defeat them."

Mr Armstrong was unconcerned that the threatened pull-out would adversely affect farmers.

"It might be churlish to welcome Honda's and Yamaha's threat on the basis that, assuming they follow-through on it, farms will be safer without the danger that their products currently pose. But if it means fewer deaths and crippling injuries, then it's hard to feel troubled," he said.

"Of course, it will leave a hole in the market. But that will be filled by other vehicles and manufactures who embrace safety and are as horrified as the NFF at the frequent reports of death, and serious injury relating to quad bike use.

"Last month alone two Australian families lost a child to quad bike accidents. If this move saves just one life, then it will be worth it."

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