NSW Nationals Member for Upper Hunter has encouraged farmers to embrace new technologies in order to do their work safer and better.

New funding announced for drone rebates as part of the 2019-20 NSW Budget, part of an extra $2.8 million dollars in funding that will also extend the popular Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program, was aimed at improving safety for those who live and work on the land.

“On farm safety is extremely important to the agricultural industry and sadly, something that often gets forgotten,” Mr Johnsen said. “We’re serious about helping farmers make better choices when it comes to on farm safety, which is why this significant funding extension is such a critical investment.”

The camera-equipped drone technology is helping farmers carry out a range of activities without the risk of injury or death as a result of a quad bike accident.

Tragically there have been seven quad bike related fatalities in NSW since 2017, including two children under the age of 16.

“The good news is we are making a difference with this program – fatalities and incidents are trending downwards,” Mr Johnsen said. “Since SafeWork’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program was introduced, more than 3000 farmers have accessed it, and about 250 training events have been held around NSW.”

The program offers a rebate of up to $500 to purchase drone technology and two rebates worth up to $1,000 each to replace an existing quad bike, or have it fitted with safety equipment like roll bars, as well as a free helmet and training. Each farming ABN is eligible for up to $2000 in rebates.

Farmers can apply for the Quad Bike Safety rebates on the SafeWork website, or by calling 13 10 50.