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Rugby league legend speaks on farm safety

FORMER Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Maroons and Australia Kangaroos legend Shane Webcke was at day two of the 2019 Rotary FNQ Field Days to deliver an influential message on farm safety.

Given it’s one of the core themes at this year’s Field Days event, Mr Webcke’s speech around the importance of farm safety and his own personal experience hit home with the sizeable crowd in attendance.

A large portion of Mr Webcke’s speech was in relation to the loss of his father 25 years ago in a workplace accident, and he spoke candidly about the forever-lasting impact that has had on he and his family.

“My father was killed in a workplace accident and while it wasn’t on a farm, his bad habits were learned on a farm,” he said.

“Statistically the most dangerous industry to work in is a rural one, with more people being killed or maimed in farming accidents than anything else.”

“So, my message is that if you care about farm safety, it’s up to you and you alone.”

Mr Webcke said it’s not just felt on farms however, with too often people dying in workplaces that have stringent rules and regulations in place.

“It’s a human thing, we’re risktakers by nature and are looking to manoeuvre around rules and regulations if it means we do something easier or quicker,” he said.

“Yet in doing that we don’t think about the enormous price our family has to pay if something goes wrong.

“I lost my dad but I shouldn’t have – he paid the ultimate price for his cavalier attitude and the risk he took that night and our family has had to live with the pain as a result ever since.”

Mr Webcke said while he understands not everyone can suddenly become risk averse people at all times, he hopes those in attendance can be more conscious of their surroundings moving forward.

“I’m not trying to wrap people in cotton wool, I just want them to have a think about the message I’m trying to spread,” he said.

In what is Mr Webcke’s first visit to the Rotary FNQ Field Days, he noted his excitement to be at the event.

“I had heard about this particular event and how good it was, and today it has definitely earned that reputation,” he said.

“The problem with the event is that there’s too much, I’ve mentally bought about eight tractors,” he laughed.

“But in all honesty, it is an event I’m pleased to be at and I’m thoroughly impressed with it.”

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