$2m fund to fight quad bike deaths of farms

NEW South Wales farmers will be eligible for $500 rebates to improve on-farm safety as authorities try to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by quad bike crashes.

The announcement was made at the NSW Farmers conference in Sydney and follows a coronial inquest that found quad bikes were a leading cause of death on NSW properties.

Three Northern Rivers men were among those whose deaths were investigated.

Anthony Waldron, 68, died under an overturned quad bike on his cattle farm near Murwillumbah in 2013.

Macadamia farmer Colin Reid, 65, died from traumatic asphyxiation after his bike landed on top of him at his farm west of Casino in 2013.

The body of Robert Beamish, 49, was trapped beneath his bike when he was found at his Lynchs Creek property in 2014.

There have been 220 quad bike-related deaths across Australia in the past 16 years, and thousands more injuries.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the $2 million rebate fund was designed to prevent similar avoidable deaths.

The $500 rebate can be used to buy helmets, protection devices such as roll-over bars, special training tailored to farmers or "safer" vehicles such as side-by-side alternatives - two to six-person off-road vehicles also known as UTVs.

"Quad bike related injuries and fatalities are at an unacceptable level. Every death is one too many and has devastating effects on families and communities," Mr Dominello said.

"We know there are around 200,000 quad bikes in operation across Australia in both a commercial and recreational capacity, and this program is a step forward to reducing injuries and saving lives." -ARM NEWSDESK