Cash boost to help Australia’s “critical” farm safety issue

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There were 133 on-farm injuries and 58 on-farm fatalities in Australia in 2019.
Camera IconThere were 133 on-farm injuries and 58 on-farm fatalities in Australia in 2019.

The Federal Government is bankrolling $1.6 million in grants to improve the “critical national issue” of farm safety to try and save the lives of those working in Australia’s powerhouse agriculture industry.

The National Farm safety Education Fund Program opened this month, providing a competitive grant process to deliver services under the National Farm safety Education Fund between 2021 and 2023.

Projects must be based on education and capacity building with a focus on two key areas — the next generation of farmers and industry-endorsed training and continued learning.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the grant aimed to provide “better and more effective” communication to improve understanding and take-up of farm safety.

“Unfortunately, one in five workplace fatalities happen on a farm,” he said.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.
Camera IconFederal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. Credit: TheWest

“Finding ways to get safety messaging out there on to farms is paramount to saving lives and improving health and safety.

“These grants will go to projects that deliver well-designed, fit-for-purpose and adaptable safety training and education.

“They will be a game-changer, not just for this generation of farmers, but the next one to come.”

Mr Littleproud said he hoped the grants — open to a range of groups including companies, corporate entities, states and territories, co-operatives, and local governments — would “come up with innovative projects and solutions to a nationwide problem”.

There were 133 on-farm injuries and 58 on-farm fatalities in Australia in 2019.

Mr Littleproud said Australian farmers made up 2.6 per cent of Australia’s workforce, but counted for 21 per cent of workplace fatalities.

“I believe we can do better and must continue to work hard to improve these statistics,” he said.

“These grants will provide the means for our agricultural industry and other organisations to come together to help reduce the risks and instances of farm fatalities and accidents.

“The risks are different across farming systems and commodities, but there is a lot of great research and solutions being developed across the country that we can expand on or leverage.”

For eligibility, terms and conditions, guidelines and application forms, visit grants.gov.au

Applications close July 28.

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