I recently went into my local motorcycle dealer ________ to purchase a new ATV.
To my surprise and disappointment, the dealer informed me that he had sold out of _____________ (BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha) ATVs, and would not be able to order any more in the future.
Apparently the major ATV manufacturers are withdrawing their product from Australia as they don’t agree with the new ACCC standard, as the science and real world experience shows that fitting a roll over device (OPD) on the back won’t make their vehicles safer.
I have ridden ATVs on my farm extensively over the years, and due to their versatile nature they are used in most work situations. I cannot simply shift to another type of vehicle as some suggest, and due to the poor quality of other less recognised brands, I refuse to buy an inferior product.
The ATV is a lightweight and nimble vehicle that is able to negotiate most types of terrains, is relatively cheap to purchase and run, and is used for most tasks on my farm. ATVs have improved my productivity and this vehicle is indispensable! A Side by Side vehicle, a motorcycle or a horse are simply not suitable or appropriate alternatives for my property.
There may be some farmers who choose to fit an OPD to their ATV, that’s up to them. It should be a choice for farmers to determine if they want to fit such a device. We have successfully managed risks on our property through training and PPE and don’t believe it necessary to fit an OPD.
The lack of the respected ATV brands in Australia is a situation most farmers will not tolerate. The fact that the NFF put forward the proposal for OPDs infuriates farmers as we were not consulted on this issue and have been left high and dry without arguably the most cost effective and versatile vehicle on the farm.
I would like you to take my concerns to your members in Canberra, particularly the ones who represent rural Australia, and see if you can talk some common sense to the minister responsible for changing this poorly considered position.