farmers animal activists Inquiry | July 23, 2019

Be heard and stand with Victorian farmers against farm trespass

There’s just two weeks left for Gippsland farmers, farm businesses and community members to have your voice heard in the Inquiry to fix farm trespass laws.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has urged locals to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture, before public submissions close on August 2.

Ms Bath said the views will provide critical evidence to inform the Committee’s final recommendations.

“Our farmers deserve to feel safe at work and in their homes, but that’s not been the case while law-breaking activists feel they can break in and steal livestock, only to get a slap on the wrist,” Ms Bath said.

“I stand with our farmers and farm businesses and urge anyone who agrees that the laws need to be stronger to put in a public submission and add their voice in support of our responsible, ethical farmers.

“The Latrobe Valley community must make sure this opportunity to be heard and to make a difference for our farmers and their families is not missed.”

Agriculture makes a vital contribution to our state each year. In 2017-18, it contributed $15 billion to Victoria’s economy – a quarter our national total – and supported nearly 90,000 jobs.  The value of agricultural production in the Latrobe-Gippsland region was reported at $1.8 billion, equating to 12 per cent of the total industry value within Victoria.

Ms Bath congratulated the Federal Liberal Nationals Government for moving to strengthen privacy laws, including penalties for anyone using technology to incite trespass on private property.

“Our farmers deserve to be protected against these keyboard warriors who encourage law-breaking activists to trespass, steal livestock and publicly bring down our hard-working farmers’ reputation,” Ms Bath said.

“The Nationals stand with our farmers and rural communities, and this Victorian Inquiry is a first step forward to deliver the change our communities are demanding.”

To make a public submission visit https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-lc/article/4202 before August 2.

The Economy and Infrastructure Committee will hold hearings later in the year and provide a final report to Parliament by November 28.

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