Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino has welcomed the Morrison Government’s commitment to protect the privacy of South West farmers and primary producers by introducing legislation to protect them from the unlawful actions of animal activists.
The Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 introduces new offences for the incitement of trespass, property damage, or theft on agricultural land.
Mrs Marino said incidents of trespass by animal activists have impacted on South West farmers and their businesses, particularly in the Shire of Harvey, prompting stronger action to deter those who incite this behaviour.
“Prior to the election we promised these new laws as a priority and we are delivering them as a priority,” she said.
“They went into the Parliament in our first sitting week.
“These laws are necessary to protect farmers from potential property damage, theft and biosecurity breaches.”
Attorney General Christian Porter said farmers should not be subjected to the illegal invasion of their property and their privacy.
“There must be consequences for this unacceptable behaviour,” the Attorney-General said.
“The Bill introduces serious criminal penalties to ensure that farmers and their families are protected, with offenders facing up to five years’ imprisonment.
“The Bill includes exemptions for journalists and whistle-blowers who expose instances of animal cruelty.”
The Bill also covers other private agricultural businesses such as fishers and foresters.