SIX months after the introduction of new motor injury insurance premiums, WAFarmers is calling on the WA State Government to reconsider premiums applicable to agricultural vehicles.
As of July 1, 2016, the increased additional cost for most tractors was $25 per vehicle, while the premium increase for small motorcycles was $30 per vehicle and medium to large motorcycles would be $99 per vehicle.
The changes to all vehicle premiums were in response to expanded cover for motorists that would ensure that all people catastrophically injured in motor vehicle crashes in WA are provided with necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support over the course of their lives.
WAFarmers chief executive officer Stephen Brown said it would be more suitable for tractors and other farm vehicles to be exempt from the changes.
“As the community works together to minimise our road toll, we hope to further reduce the catastrophic injuries sustained by people on WA roads,” he said.
“With this in mind, this leaves scope to alleviate additional costs placed on agricultural producers with much of their machinery experiencing seasonal or minimal use.
“Ideally, tractors, harvesters and other seasonal-use machinery would be exempt from the program.
“However, an adjustment to have the premium applicable to farmers per licence rather than per licence plate would be welcomed.”
Mr Brown said political rhetoric about growing the state’s agricultural output needed to be complemented by growth opportunities.
“With the margins in farming getting smaller and smaller each year, opportunities to grow need to be facilitated, and by releasing as much individual capital per farming business, it allows the farmer to further invest in their own business,” he said.
“Given the State Government’s acknowledgement of agriculture as a powerhouse and its potential to double production by 2025, we urge them to reconsider the premiums associated with farm vehicles as the one-year mark draws near.
“Every little bit helps, and by relaxing fees incurred on machinery, which a farmer has a lot of, the reprieve adds up quickly across their entire fleet.”