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Austin takes bullbar issue by the horns

Austin takes bullbar issue by the horns

The Nationals’ candidate for Murray, Austin Evans, has demanded a fairer go for bullbar owners in the bush, launching a petition to allow rural and regional motorists a special exemption on the soon-to-be-banned five-post bullbars.

It comes ahead of a September 2018 deadline for owners of non-compliant bullbars to replace the devices or risk hefty police fines.

Mr Evans today revealed he had started a petition calling on NSW Police and the RMS to allow vehicles registered in rural and regional NSW to legally have five-post bullbars fitted.

He will visit the iconic Deni Ute Muster this week in a bid to attract support for the petition.

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TACKLING IT HEAD ON: The Nationals’ candidate for Murray, Austin Evans, talks bullbars with Kevin Foster from Griffith’s Almet Engineering.

He said while he understood heavy duty bullbars could pose a risk on inner-city streets, they were a legitimate safety device on country roads.

“As long as we have kangaroos and other wildlife on our roadways, there will be a need for heavy duty bullbars,” Mr Evans said.

“Bullbars aren’t a fashion accessory in the country, they’re a necessity.

“As such, country people should not be punished for wanting to protect themselves and their families.”

Following a police blitz on non-compliant bullbars in 2014, former NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced a special “ministerial exemption order”, giving owners until the end of September 2017 to make their bullbars compliant. It has since been extended to September 2018.

But Mr Evans is calling for that exemption to be extended indefinitely for vehicles registered at rural and regional NSW addresses.

His call has gained the support of Kevin Foster from Griffith’s Almet Engineering, who has been successfully manufacturing five-post bullbars for more then 30 years.

“I agree with what Austin is trying to do,” Mr Foster said. “The bullbars obviously aren’t needed in George Street in Sydney but the amount of roadkill you see on country roads is proof enough of how dangerous animal collisions can be.”

To sign the petition, visit www.austinevans.com.au/savethebullbar