Small to Medium Enterprise Australia (SMEA) today called on the Federal Government to convene an industry summit to address the Quad Bike Safety issue.
“The forthcoming second attempt by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to address safety hazards posed by quad bikes is an indication in itself that the government needs to work with all parties to get safety measures right,” said SMEA Chief Executive Officer, Dean Logan.
“Australia is going against the rest the world on this issue with Quadbars and against highly regarded real-world research on US, UK and Australia information.“
“This research highlights that occupant protection devices (OPDs) are not the answer to safety, nor is the misguided attempt to introduce them by Victorian and NSW governments to subside their introduction. Subsidies are a false safety measure to all riders.”
Many believe the ACCC Deputy Commission has tainted the second round by already expressing his preference publicly for the first ACCC recommendation on the introduction of Quadbars. This has met with objections from farmers, peak rider groups, clubs, small and medium sized dealers and thousands of riders because it is contrary to real-world research findings.
Mr Logan continued, “What is crucial here is that policy makers address the ramifications of mandatory legislation on small and medium businesses. On one hand the Federal Government, to their credit, is supporting SMEs with some wonderful forward thinking policy, whilst delivering tax concessions for hard-working Australians, and yet is now being asked by the Canberra farm lobby to force SME dealers to comply with yet more legislative burden that will no doubt decrease economic activity, increase unemployment and close businesses throughout rural and regional Australia.
“How many more rules do SMEs need to stomach?
“Frankly, the Canberra farm lobby’s solution is a draconian policy position - call it a blunt instrument. The answer resides with progressive policy thinking and reform that gives consumers, farmers and ALL riders for that matter, the freedom to choose - in conjunction with dealers - the level and type of safety measures they require, based on uniform design standards, training, education, intended use, skill, and experience. Funnily enough a position adopted by almost every other major jurisdiction internationally.
“SMEs across manufacturing, dealerships, clubs, peak rider groups want to work with the ACCC and the NFF to find meaningful solutions. The fact that the Canberra farm lobby refuses to sit down at the table, speaks volumes.
“Small country and regional towns are struggling with growth, debt and crippling unemployment. Our / industries’ solution delivers world-class safety outcomes whilst supporting economic growth, advanced training, education and increased employment. We respect the process and the measured position the Federal Government is adopting primarily because this issue demands that we do not rush to conclusions. It is therefore time to sit down and explore all the policy options, with a well designed and independently chaired summit,” concluded Mr.Logan.
Dean Logan (CEO SMEA) - 0403 195 798
Small to Medium Enterprise Australia (SMEA) Pty Ltd