New laws to protect our farmers

Tough new farm trespass laws will protect Australia’s farmers from the unlawful actions of animal activists, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced today.

Legislation to deliver the new laws has been delivered by the Morrison Government after it passed both houses of Parliament on Thursday.

Mr O’Brien said the successful passage of the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill was an important safety measure for dedicated farmers in Wide Bay and throughout Australia – most of whom are small businesses.

“This Bill clearly demonstrates the Morrison Government will back our farmers and their livelihoods, with no tolerance for those who want to disrupt and destroy our farming, fishing and forestry industries,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This Bill was introduced in the first sitting of the new Parliament because it was a top priority of the Morrison Government to protect our farmers and establish new offences for incitement of trespass, property damage, or theft on agricultural land.”

The Bill criminalises the action of publishing material, via a carriage service, with the intention of inciting trespass, property damage or theft on agricultural land, with punishments including imprisonment of up to five years.

“This bill reflects the Australian community’s expectations that farmers who feed and clothe us should be safe from harassment in their businesses and their homes.

“It sends a clear message to animal activists’ that trespass and invasion of privacy is a criminal matter. It’s time these activists learned that when protests become acts of trespass and theft, you’re not a protestor, you’re a criminal and deserve to be punished.”

The Government amended the Bill to include adding wood processing facilities to coverage under the Bill.  The Bill will be presented for Royal Assent through the regular process.