Media Release

Senior politicians question how will forcing global manufacturers out of
Australia support on-farm safety and why were alternative policy
solutions to legislation never proposed or trialled for quad bikes?

On the back of recent comments from farm safety advocates, that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) strategy to force global manufacturers to fit Operator Protection Devices (OPDs) to all new quad bikes sold in Australia, “…is seemingly not having much effect on behaviour change…” and has led senior political leaders to seek urgent briefings, questioning why alternative solutions to legislation were never proposed.
Save the Quad Bike in Australia founder Craig Hartley, “You can drive a proverbial policy truck through this legislation (legislative instrument). Global manufacturer are leaving Australia and the ACCC ‘self-certified’ on regulatory impact, advising the Minister they had addressed all economic and social ramifications and yet hadn’t.”

In terms of background the ACCC advised the Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar to pass the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 on 10 October 2019, which mandates the fitting of Operator Protection Devices (OPDs) to all new quad bikes sold in Australia. It was never debatted in Parliament and the action was against internationally peer reviewed science that proves in many instances, OPDs make the vehicle more dangerous.

Mr Hartley continued, “Who knows how many dealerships will close as a result of this legislation. We’ve estimated up to 228 dealers and 800 million dollars of revenue lost to regional Australia. Jobs are also clearly at risk, as quad bikes make up between 40-60% of rural dealers income.

“Even though the legislative instrument is couched to address safety it actually does not apply to the 500,000 plus quad bikes already in the system; so you really need to question the ACCCs‘ motives for mandatory legislation and why were alternative policy solutions not proposed, let-alone trialled, before taking such a draconian stance.

“We briefed senior politicians – at their request – last week and they are all asking why alternative solutions were never entertained. Why was a national training and education campaign not devised first, given that a large percentage of fatalities are young children riding powerful quad bikes – against manufacturers recommendations.

“Why were farm groups not asked to work with manufacturers on devising a nationally recognised licensing program given that States already implement the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) and rec-registration for non-registered bikes?

“Instead we’ve arrogantly pushed globally recognised and respected manufacturers out of the country, whilst arguing we can address safety issues on our own. As a result we are likely to force hundreds of dealers out of business and lose hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, in rural and regional Australia. It’s dumb thinking, it’s counter intuative and policy makers – now that they understand the issue – are not happy and want answers,” ended Mr Hartley.


Craig Hartley – 0428 621 211
Save the Quad Bike in Australia (STQBIA) is a campaign sitting under the national umbrella of the Australian MotorcylistsAssociaion Inc (ATV Division).

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