News

Funding boost for farm safety

By Country News

Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie has announced a $1.9 million grant for Farmsafe Australia under the National Farm Safety Education Fund.

“We need to help our farmers, farm workers and their families protect themselves from risks when operating machinery, farm vehicles and the like,” Senator McKenzie said.

The grant delivers on an election commitment to invest in education campaigns and prevent farm accidents.

“Every Australian has the right to a safe workplace — and we know that the better the work environment the more productive it is,” Senator McKenzie said.

“Farmsafe Australia is a highly-respected, established network with enormous national reach through their community farm safety activities and easy-to-access website.

“This funding will support Farmsafe Australia to provide farm businesses and families with practical and impactful tools and support to make farms safer — be it local activities, conferences, online or delivered to the palm of their hands via a mobile application.”

The decision was applauded by National Farmers’ Federation chief executive officer Tony Mahar, who said the funding would prevent the loss of lives from injuries sustained on the farm.

“The operation of machinery, exposure to chemicals and working with animals all carry a large degree of risk,” Mr Mahar said.

“When coupled with isolation and often limited access to reliable mobile phone services the consequences can be disastrous.”

Senator McKenzie said the Victorian Government had already shown farm safety was a priority by announcing a mandatory standard for quad bikes.

“We’ve also introduced laws to protect our farmers, fishers and foresters, their families and their workers from the real and present threat of activists invading in masses, damaging property and stealing animals,” she said.

“The Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 criminalises the action of publishing material, via a carriage service, with the intention to incite farm trespass, damage and destruction.

“Australians expect the farmers who feed and clothe us — and many millions around the world — should not be harassed, or worse, as they go about their work.

“We look forward to seeing the work of Farmsafe Australia.”

For more information about Farmsafe Australia, visit: farmsafe.org.au