Letter to the Editor
July 20, 2020
Hi Charlie, I am contacting you from the depths of Cape York Peninsula where quads reign supreme. Horses are now seldom used. Helicopters are sometimes used but are no longer cost effective on the Peninsula. Bull catchers are another feature for mustering. Drones in North Queensland are not an option and never will be.
On the dusty plains of Nyngan NSW a drone could be used for mustering quiet European cattle or coastal dairy cows or perhaps even sheep provided the pilot was capable and possessed stock mustering experience and the drone had at least 4 to 5 hours endurance..
But in spite of the best efforts of the NFF, Agforce, LNP and Farmsafe you will never rid us of quad bikes. No matter that new Chinese bikes will have dangerous roll bars fitted they are easy to remove with an angle grinder. The tragedy of it all is that popular Honda, Suzuki and Polaris recognise that ROPS of any design make their bikes unsafe and consequently will stop selling their bikes in Australia.
OK for Nyngan where its too dry for trees to grow but on Cape York after a decade or two of communist Labor rule the lack of hot fires has allowed unprecedented vegetation thickening making stock grazing difficult.
Trying to navigate this scrub that used to be open plains with a dangerous vertical protrusion on a bike and getting hooked up on trees will cause accidents of unprecedented proportions.
Yeah as you said there could be logs in the long grass, but they don’t worry us because we burn the country before we muster or catch bulls then we can see any logs, or ant beds, or washouts, or holes, or stumps, or rocks or blackfellas with spears, which are far more dangerous than a quad bike without ROPS.
What we could do is bring a few of our quads with bullbars to NSW and Victoria open country and teach all your men how to ride one.
That would save a lot of accidents.