Sanctions for activists


TOUGH laws aimed at protecting farmers and farm businesses against people inciting farm trespass have passed the federal parliament.

The new laws mean anyone sharing farmers’ private details online to incite farm trespass will risk jail time. A similar law is also on its way through state parliament.

The changes to federal law will strengthen the consequences for incitement to trespass, property damage and theft on agricultural land.

Eastern Victoria Region MP Melina Bath said: “These strong new laws are a huge win for farmers, their families and regional communities not only in Victoria, but Australia-wide.

“They send a clear message to law-breaking activists that publishing the personal information of farmers, including their home addresses, to incite trespass will not be tolerated.”

A corresponding bill, the Crimes Amendment (Trespass) Bill 2019, introduced into the state Legislative Council by Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP Jeff Bourman, aims to “enhance protections offered to industries pertaining to animal enterprise and animal recreational activities” if passed.

The bill follows several incidents where animal activists entered businesses and farms, including a Tyabb chicken farm. (“MP pushes harder line against animal rights activists” The News 18/9/19).

First published in the Western Port News – 25 September 2019


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