Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Keeping farm kids safe

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced the National Winner of the Child Safety on Farms Competition, which aims to encourage farming families to make their farms safer for children.

“For children aged 0-4 years, the most common cause of death on Australian farms is drowning, usually in dams, rivers and creeks. For children aged 5-14 years, the major causes of death are from injuries caused by farm machinery, farm motorcycles, other vehicles and animals. Tragically, around 30 children a year die on Australian farms.

“To help prevent these tragic accidents, the Coalition Government is providing $887,000 over three years to the Child Safety on Farms Strategy. The Strategy aims to identify effective solutions and strategies for our farming community to address key hazards for children on Australian farms.

“The winner of the Child Safety on Farms Competition is the Harvey family of Cowra, NSW. Graham, Lyn and children Allisha (11), Kaitlyn (8) and Jack (6) have all been actively involved in making their farm safer and have established a number of innovative and common sense improvements.

“Examples of their initiatives include:

  • The children are required to “hug a tree” when they hear machinery coming.
  • Created a drive through machinery shed to reduce the need for reversing vehicles.
  • Signs have been erected advising truck drivers entering the farm that children are on the farm.

“Graham and Lyn are to be commended for their commitment to farm safety. They set aside specific times to teach their children about farming and safety practices, particularly the importance of wearing the right protective gear,” Mr Anthony said.

In addition, checking and fixing hazards is a priority. “I can raise something with Graham, like securing the gate over the sheep dip, and he’ll just go and do it,” Lyn said.

“I congratulate Farmsafe Australia, an association of key stakeholder agencies, for the good work they are doing to better the health and wellbeing of the farming community.

“Farms are a great place for children to grow up, but they can also be very dangerous places. This award recognises the Harvey’s achievements and is well deserved. I hope all farming families follow their example to make their farms a safe place for kids,”
Mr Anthony said.