Media Release – Rural Safety and Health Alliance Announced

Posted on January 10, 2019 in

New ‘shark tank’ funding approach to tackle ag’s health, safety record

A new partnership of rural research and development corporations (RDCs) is investing in a fresh approach to improve primary production’s health and safety record centred on innovative research and extension.


The partnership, called the Rural Safety and Health Alliance (RSHA), will invest in practical extension solutions informed by industry input on work, health and safety risks.


Key features of the RSHA include setting clear priorities to better target research, development and extension, strengthening industry leadership and developing a ‘shark tank’ funding model, where applicants work together to pitch projects for funding.


Rural Safety and Health Alliance Chair Patrick Murphy says there is an urgent need to change the current approach to bring about change in the industry’s health and safety record.


“Health and safety performance has hardly changed in the past 15 years and the direct and indirect financial impact of agricultural workplace deaths is estimated to be $1.5 billion over this period,” Mr Murphy said.


“There is an enormous social, emotional and economic toll to workplace death and injury so the RSHA is focused on giving farmers and fishers the tools to create safer working environments for themselves, their workers and their families.


“Not only will we be saving lives but it has been demonstrated in other sectors that improvements to health and safety also bring productivity and financial benefits so there is much to gain by tackling this issue directly.”


Mr Murphy says the RSHA will generate new levels of collaboration and best target resources to address what ‘good’ health and safety looks like in theory and in practice.


“Through this partnership, the RDCs are leading in this area and we will be seeking to leverage their funding and leadership to gain support from public and private organisations. From start-ups through to experienced extension providers, we are wanting new, innovative and creative ways to develop practical solutions and eliminate duplication,” he said.

“The difference between the RSHA and earlier efforts is the research-focused agenda and its competitive funding model which will generate accountability to ensure RD&E investments deliver a return on value and translate into practical improvements for producers.”


The Rural Safety and Health Alliance is seeking registrations of interest from groups or individuals who want to be kept updated as the alliance is formed, such as from research and extension professionals, industry associations, producers, agricultural workers, government and advocacy groups. To register, or for more information about the RSHA, visit


The Rural Safety and Health Alliance is supported jointly by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Eggs, Australian Pork, Australian Wool Innovation, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Dairy Australia, Fisheries Research & Development Corporation, Grains Research & Development Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia.


It is supported by AgriFutures Australia on behalf of the RDC partners. It replaces the former Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership, which was wound-up in 2017.



For media interviews:
Andrew Barrett, CEO, Rural Safety and Health Alliance

0422 403 506


About the Rural Safety and Health Alliance ….
The Rural Safety and Health Alliance is focused on generating positive change in the Australian agriculture industry’s work health and safety record. It relies on innovative research and extension to deliver practical health and safety solutions for producers and fishers. It achieves this by setting clear RD&E priorities based on risks identified by industry, supporting practical extension that creates safer working environments and ensuring accountability in delivering a return on value for investments. The alliance is supported by nine rural research and development corporations which are leaders in seeking to generate meaningful change for their commodities.

 © Copyright 2018 Rural Safety & Health Alliance | Privacy Policy