When you live in a regional area like Gippsland, we all know of someone touched by a tragic accident on a farm.

Some are deadly, others are life changing.

We know farm life is a risk, and it’s too easy to become complacent because, after all, we’ve never had an accident before.

This week is National Farm Safety Week and it draws our attention to staying safe and alive on farms.

According to the Safer Farms 2020 Agricultural Injury and Fatality trend report, between January and June 2020, there were a total of 10 fatalities and 6 non-fatal injuries on farms in Victoria.

Victoria had the highest number of farm related fatalities in the Nation.

When working on a farm in Australia, quad bikes lead to 22% of fatal accidents and 35% of serious injuries amongst farmers.

89.3% of fatalities on farms are males, with over half of those men being over 50 years of age.

There have been too many lives cut short by these accidents.

There have been too many families torn apart by avoidable mistakes.

We know of the reported accidents. What we don’t know is how many unreported accidents are seen as a part of working-life on a farm.

Farmers are the lifeblood of our community. It is in all our interests that they survive and thrive.

Stay safe on our farms.

That’s just as I see it.