The Nationals Member for Eastern Victorian Region Melina Bath has welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed new legislation and tough new penalties on law-breaking activists who encourage others to trespass on farms.
Ms Bath said the new federal legislation is a positive advancement which will strengthen protections for law-abiding farmers.
“The federal laws will better protect farmers’ privacy by stopping animal activists using carriage services to share farmers’ personal details and facilitate their campaigns of harassment and intimidation on the agriculture industry,” said Ms Bath.
“It is now time for the Andrews Labor Government to fix Victoria’s farm trespass laws and strengthen penalties for illegally entering private properties.
“Our farmers deserve to feel safe at home and able to go about their daily business which is why I led the call to establish the current Parliamentary Inquiry to fix farm trespass laws.
“The agriculture industry has been faced with enormous pressure from animal activists who threaten farmers only to receive a slap on the wrist.”
Ms Bath said it is time Labor supported the call to strengthen farm trespass laws and penalties.
“There are numerous examples of aggravated farm trespass and livestock theft across Victoria, however many more have gone unreported because police are under-resourced and the laws aren’t strong enough,” said Ms Bath.
“Majority of people, like myself, are passionate about protecting our hardworking farmers and it’s important we deter law-breaking activists who won’t listen to reason or respect law abiding farming enterprises.
“Without appropriate legislation and penalties the police and the courts cannot protect Victorian farmers and their families in line with community expectations.”
The Farm Trespass Inquiry is now taking submissions from the public until early August.
Submissions can be made online at https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/965-eic-lc/inquiry-into-the-impact-of-animal-rights-activism-on-victorian-agriculture
“I congratulate the Federal Government on their swift response on farm trespass and animal activism and I encourage the public to contribute to the Victorian Inquiry and to continue to support our farmers.”