Safety must be our priority
The VFF is disappointed by the announced withdrawal of a number of quad bike manufacturers from the Australian market. We cannot, and will not, back away from our stance that there is nothing more important than the safety of our farmers, our families and our farm workers.
The decision to withdraw products from the Australian market, rather than adhere to Australia's new safety regulations, has caused significant angst in the farming community. Victorian farmers have enjoyed mutually beneficial relationships with manufacturers and their dealers for decades.
More than 5000 Victorian farmers have participated in Victoria's quad bike rebate scheme, demonstrating their commitment to farm safety. We may be a small portion of the international quad bike market, but we also understand that we are not the first country to mandate roll over protection, and that we will not be the last.
Rollover protection has been mandatory in Israel since the early 1990s, yet Israel still enjoys a competitive market for safe, compliant quad bikes. Despite the original withdrawal of some manufacturers from the Israeli marketplace their quad bikes are still available for sale there.
We would like to commend the manufacturers that have committed to remain in the Australian market for demonstrating the workability of Australia's laws and for putting safety first.
We hope that other manufacturers also choose to stay, retaining the mutually rewarding relationships our members have with them and their dealers.
David Jochinke, president Victorian Farmers Federation
Don't make deals with the devil
How can Victorian premier Daniel Andrews justify signing a trade deal (The Belt and Road Initiative) with the Peoples' Republic of China which is run by one of the most corrupt, dictatorial and evil regimes in the world?
The government of China is guilty of massacring its own children and running over them with tanks at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. It has imprisoned over one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims, Christians and some foreign citizens in "re-education camps" without trial and recourse to the legal system, something reminiscent of the concentration camps.
It has violently suppressed demonstrators in Hong Kong who are protesting against the loss of their democratic rights, and has given the world the coronavirus and then persecuted doctors who tried to warn everyone.
We know that China has used its "agents" in Australia to harass people who speak out against Chinese totalitarianism, including threatening the families in China of Chinese immigrants.
The list could go on forever. There is an old saying: "Remember, if you make a pact with the Devil, the Devil will always get his due".