Panic buying of quads due to circulating mistruths: NSW Farmers

There have been reports of farmers buying multiple quad bikes and dealerships running out of stock as manufacturers set to pull out of the Australian market. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
There have been reports of farmers buying multiple quad bikes and dealerships running out of stock as manufacturers set to pull out of the Australian market. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

A peak body representing farmers in NSW says panic buying of quad bikes are likely due to mistruths being circulated that they will no longer be available in the near future.

There have been reports of farmers buying multiple quad bikes and dealerships running out of stock as manufacturers set to pull out of the Australian market.

Polaris and Yamaha will stop selling quad bikes in Australia and as of October next year Honda will also stop selling quad bikes in Australia.

The decision comes as new federal government standards require all quads be fitted with rollover protection from October 2021.

NSW Farmers president James Jackson said they have heard of similar reports of panic buying.

"It is unfortunate that certain parties are spreading such mistruths at a time when most farmers are likely experiencing pressures with cashflow due to long term drought," he said.

"Quad bikes will continue on being available, a number of manufacturers have indicated their commitment to the Australian quad bike market.

"CFMOTO has recently announced that they are transitioning all their quad bike models to be compliant with the second phase Safety Standard ahead of the October 2021 deadline."

Mr Jackson said NSW Farmers understand Polaris' decision is driven by their commercial consideration as a result of contraction of demand for quad bikes.

"In relation to Yamaha and Honda, it is regrettable these popular brands have decided to stop offering quad bikes to the Australian market due to the introduction of the new Safety Standard," he said.

"They are considered as popular brands, our members are concerned that their preferred choice may not be available in the near future.

"It would have been preferable if all parties can work together to reduce quad bike related injuries and fatalities without sacrificing choice that are available to the farming community.

Mr Jackson said however, looking at the experience of Israel, supply is likely to continue where there is demand.

"OPD has been mandatory in Israel since the early 1990s, yet Israel still enjoys a competitive market for safe, compliant quad bikes," he said. "Despite the original withdrawal of some manufacturers from the Israeli market, their quad bikes are still available for sale there."

Mr Jackson said the NSW Farmers have been a strong advocate for the establishment of a star safety rating for quad bikes and SSVs.

"Despite our submissions to the ACCC calling for a star safety rating scheme and despite the ACCC in-principle support for such a scheme, this option was ultimately not progressed by the ACCC as no consensus was reached on a set of reliable testing model," he said.

"The federal government's decision needs to be considered in light of the increased responsibilities required from farmers to ensure the safety of those on their farms."