Quad bikes never designed to be fitted with rollover protection bars will be forced to fit them under new regulations announced by the federal government.
It's an outcome which is opposed by both importers and thousands of farmers who use them every day, although opinion is sharply divided because the machines are blamed for rolling over, crushing riders and causing an average 16 deaths a year across the country.
The government has been pressured to respond to the trauma and has called on Standards Australia to develop a unique "occupant protection device", or rollover bar.
The major issue for this independent organisation is that no standard for rollover bars on quad bikes exists in the world so it would have to develop one locally.
The majority of the quad bikes sold in Australia - around 10,000 new machines per year, a fraction of worldwide demand - are imported from Japan, Canada and the USA.
Faced with the need and cost to develop an Australian-specific standard which has no precedent and does not apply elsewhere in the world, most of the manufacturers are likely to simply withdraw their products from the local market.
For farm operators and weed sprayers like Gundaroo's Colin Caldwell, who regularly use a quad bike because it fulfils a specific work requirement, there's "no way" he would fit a rollover bar.
"In a practical sense, the rollbar prevents the machine working the way an operator wants," he said.
"You can no longer get the bike in under trees and low-hanging branches and you can't fit equipment like spraypacks on the back, which is why many farmers use a quad bike in the first instance."
His view is that the move to mandate rollover bars is the government "looking to be seen to be doing something" about the injuries and deaths attributed to the machines.
He says that quad bikes are designed to be ridden like motorcycles, the logic being that in an incident the rider separates from the machine and is not struck or crushed by it. He shares the concerns of manufacturers that an add-on rollbar could entrap the rider and result in a worse injury outcome.
Mr Caldwell has not had an accident "in more than 20 years" of riding and mustering on a quad bike and before that, a motorcycle. Before that, he was mustering on horseback and still does, from time to time, when the rugged country doesn't suit the use of machinery.
"I think people are now doing things on them [quad bikes] that they were never designed for," he said.
"You need to apply a common sense approach to riding a quad bike, much like a lot of things that you do on a farm, and there's a fair bit of common sense lacking these days."
Quad bike importers have been lobbying for years to have helmets made mandatory for riders and in 2017 one manufacturer designed and produced a lightweight open-faced helmet specifically for farmers.
However, this behavioural change was not widely embraced and the industry's Canberra-based lobby group, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, was left to defend quad bikes and their poor safety record.
This was seized upon by more effective lobbyists such as the National Farmers Federation.
A survey of 446 farmers by SafeWork NSW found that many of the key safety messages - including keeping children off adult-sized quad bikes and not carrying passengers - had been heard and understood but only 37 per cent said they were likely to fit rollover protection.
Quad bike sales in Australia are receding, becoming replaced as farm utility vehicles by larger, more expensive "side-by-side" vehicles which have a steering wheel, a semi-enclosed cabin, and require the occupants to wear seatbelts.