Drones will join the Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program (QBSI Program) as part of an extra $2.8 million dollars in farm safety funding from the NSW State Government.
The QBSI program now includes a rebate for one drone per eligible business plus an extra $1.25 million to continue the quad bike safety rebates program for the next two years.
NSW Farmers raised the idea of including the purchase of new drones in the QBSI program last year after hosting a series of drone training sessions for farmers, which identified the safety benefits of this flying farm management tool.
NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson said, “While it is not a common farm tool as yet, farmers who have experienced using a drone at our training sessions are quickly drawn to it.
Many can see significant potential for drones to replace other tools and vehicles on farm for certain tasks such as checking on fences, dams and stock, silo inspections, weed control and sheep mustering.”
The QBSI program continues to offer two rebates worth up to $1,000 each to replace an existing quad bike with a side by side (SxS), or have it fitted with Operator Protective Device (OPD), as well as a free helmet.
The QBSI program also includes free regional quad bike trainings.
“This highly successful program is progressively changing attitudes and behaviours towards quad bike use, generating significant safety investment on farm and gradually driving down quad bike related injury and fatality rates,” Mr Jackson said.
NSW Farmers will continue to press for the introduction of a safety rating scheme of quad bikes and SSVs to help farmers make better informed decisions at the point of purchase.
Farmers in NSW can apply for the existing quad bike rebates, that now include the $500 drone rebate from 1 March 2019, on the NSW Farmers’ website.
NSW Farmers is administering the quad bike safety rebates program on behalf of SafeWork NSW. For more information go to www.nswfarmers.org.au or view www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call direct on tel: 13 10 50.