NSW/VIC Safety Rebates on Side x Side driving growth
On the back of SafeWork NSW announcing a doubling of its safety rebates for farmers to transition from an ATV to side x side vehicle last week, market leader Polaris has hailed the safety rebates offered in New South Wales and Victoria as “monumentally successful” and a key driver in the staggering growth of the side x side market.
“The safety rebate programs in New South Wales and Victoria have been hugely successful,” said Polaris Australia Managing Director, Peter Alexander. “The rebates are one of the key reasons we saw the national side x side market grow by 48 percent in 2016, with the two states offering rebates – New South Wales and Victoria – outstripping the national side x side market growth with 75 percent and 57 percent growth respectively.”
“If the side x side market continues to grow at a rapid rate – which certainly appears likely, given the year-to-date 2017 side x side market is already almost 40 percent up on the corresponding period last year – then ATV sales could be practically non-existent within five years.”
“The proactive steps taken by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria are absolutely key contributing factors to the market growth and we commend them for taking these steps. The regulators have invested heavily in assisting farmers to exit ATVs and adopt existing safety technology offered on side x side products along with the unique Polaris ACE.”
Matt Keen, NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, last week announced an increase in the rebate available for farmers to transition from an ATV to a vehicle with an integrated Roll-Over Protection Structure (ROPS) such as a Polaris Ranger side x side and the unique single-seat Polaris ACE.
The rebate in New South Wales has not only been increased from $500 to $1,000 for a single vehicle, the program has been further extended to allow for two vehicles to be eligible under this scheme, essentially providing a $2,000 rebate for the purchase of two vehicles. In Victoria, the very successful WorkSafe Victoria program continues where farmers can qualify for a $1,200 rebate to transition from an ATV to a side x side or ACE product.
Polaris offers engineered rollover protection in the form of its 23 models with Rollover Protection Structures, including the unique single-seat Polaris ACE that provides many of the safety features of a Polaris Ranger side x side vehicle but with the compact dimensions similar to an ATV.
“We encourage customers to consider the inherent benefits of safety technologies found in Polaris Ranger and ACE products, including ROPS, Speed Key, Descent Control, Seat Belt Interlockers, seat belts, side nets and other features that farmers may want to consider when they are balancing utility, safety and purpose,” Alexander said.
“We strongly urge safety-conscious farmers to utilize the rebates offered by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria to transition onto a product with engineered rollover protection such as a side x side or ACE product, rather than fitting ludicrous and unproven ‘crush protection’ contraptions to their ATVs.”
Polaris also took the opportunity to stress the importance of age appropriate youth vehicles, including following manufacturer recommendations that adult ATVs should not be operated by children at any time.
“Regulators also have a great opportunity to promote safety technology in youth products, and potentially provide assistance for farmers to purchase of age-appropriate youth models with protective cab frames such as the two-seat Polaris RZR 170 and the single-seat Polaris ACE 150,” Alexander said. “We can only hope that if these products are made more accessible and affordable, that it will reduce the likelihood of children operating adult ATVs.”
“We will continue to work collaboratively with these regulatory bodies with a view to providing more appropriate vehicle options for children in the many instances where the family farm is also a workplace, and continue to promote safer alternatives through the availability of unique youth models such as the RZR 170 and ACE 150 which come standard with protective cab frames.”
Primary producers wishing to utilise the SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria rebates can find more information at the below links: