Farmsafe News

Farmsafe Australia Applauds Coalition Commitment to Farm Safety

Thursday 28th April, 2022


27 April 2022                                                                                                                                                                                                

Farmsafe Australia Applauds Coalition Commitment to Farm Safety

Farmsafe Australia welcomes Minister Littleproud’s announcement that the Coalition Government will commit $10 million in funding for safety in the farming, fisheries and forestry sectors, if re-elected. This is an important follow-up to the National Farm Safety Education Fund, which funded the revitalisation of Farmsafe Australia over the last two years as well as a number of other significant projects that have brought a broad range of stakeholders together to work towards the common goal of reducing the incidence of injury and fatality on Australian farms.

The National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy, developed by Farmsafe Australia, ensures that investment in safety initiatives drives awareness, engagement and behaviour change so that farm safety culture is embraced nationally through effective leadership and increased rural industry and farming community engagement.

“Farm safety is not a one-off investment. We need to be committed to long-term cultural change programs that ingrain safety practices and behaviours across generations. We need commitment and buy-in from all levels of government, industry, the supply chain, stakeholder partners and of course, farmers, farm workers, and the rural communities that support them,” said Farmsafe Executive Officer, Stevi Howdle, “This announcement provides the certainty that we need to be able to move forward with programs and initiatives that will drive a further reduction in injury and fatality on Australian farms and embed farm safety messaging, behaviours and practices in our agricultural workforce.”

Significant Decrease in Fatalities on Farm

The recent release of Agrifuture Australia’s Non-intentional Farm-Related Incidents in Australia 2021 showed a significant decline in on-farm fatalities with 46 fatalities being reported in 2021 compared to 58 in both 2019 and 2020. It is also a 10 year low for on-farm fatality statistics, with 2010 being the last year when below 50 fatalities were reported.

This decrease coincides with the introduction of the National Farm Safety Education Fund and it is important to recognise the significant contribution that continued Government funding plays in Farmsafe’s ability to consistently raise awareness, provide modern resources, align and ensure consistent messaging across industry, engage with farmers across Australia, and continually work towards achieving zero fatalities on farm by 2030.

The Impact of Continued Funding

Continued funding will allow Farmsafe Australia to deliver on the programs and initiatives outlined in the National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy, as well as encouraging other initiatives across the farming, fisheries and forestry sectors, and ensure that safety remains front of mind.

“Most farmers are aware of the risks and hazards, but when you’ve done the same task a thousand times before, or time and money are in short supply, it’s easy to slip into complacency or take short cuts. Driving consistent engagement with safe behaviours and practices is key. A culture of safe farming will only be developed and maintained by consistent messages, reminders and strategies over a longer term which is why this funding announcement is particularly important,” says Farmsafe Chair, Felicity Richards, “Productivity on farm doesn’t happen without our farmers. Without them, there is no food on the table or clothes on our backs. We need to protect our most precious resources, our people.”

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