Fines pressure mounts on farm activists in NSW and nationally

Sheep Central, July 22, 2019

Farm invaders are facing bigger fines in NSW and federally.

NEW on-the-spot farm trespass fines in New South Wales have been welcomed as federal Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie calls for bi-partisan support for farmers standing against activists.

NSW Farmers has welcomed moves from the NSW State Government to amend biosecurity legislation and introduce on-the-spot fines of $1000 and further biosecurity fines of up to $220,000 per person or $440,000 for corporations.

“Biosecurity is critical to farmers, as it ensures our market access and minimises disease risk to provide high quality welfare outcomes.

“The biosecurity risks posed by trespassers has been long overlooked and the Governments action today demonstrates their commitment to assisting farmers protect their biosecurity,” NSW Farmers president James Jackson said.

“NSW Farmers has always said a range of activities are required to combat the risks that these activists pose.”

Today’s announcement from NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall comes as the federal parliament is set to consider new laws this week that create an offence for using the internet to “incite” trespass on farms.

“We applaud the action by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.

“The current legislative framework is not effective and new laws are needed to address these crimes,” Mr Jackson said.

McKenzie calls for bi-partisan support on activism

Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie.

Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie today called on the Australian Parliament to support farmers and make a stand against activists who invade farms, damage property and steal animals.

“The people who produce the food that feeds us have a right to feel safe in their businesses and homes without the threat of activists’ invasions.

“The sophisticated and coordinated attacks on farming operations need to stop,” she said.

“Anthony Albanese has been on a ‘listening tour’, but must not have paid attention in rural and regional Australia where this is a serious issue for farmers and farm workers.

“Farmers have contacted me questioning their place in the industry, and it is too late for others who have left altogether,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Whose side are Labor on, the farmers who produce our food or the activist votes from the Greens?

“Richard Di Natale seemed more focused on taking pride in his parties’ ‘strong and proud tradition of civil disobedience’,” she said.

“Labor should take a stand and publicly support greater protections for our farmers from keyboard warriors who incite teams of animal activists to trespass, thieve and damage property.

“No one should be subjected to this sort of behaviour in their business or home—it risks the safety of farmers, animal welfare and biosecurity.”

Ms McKenzie said Australian farmers are currently vulnerable and the Australian parliament should unite and show how much they are valued.

“We can’t lose more hard-working farmers, fishers and foresters from the industry.

“When you trespass and steal you’re not a protestor, you’re a criminal and deserve to be punished with the full force of the law.”


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