The Morrison Government has delivered tough new farm trespass laws to protect Australia’s farmers from the unlawful actions of animal activists.
Legislation to deliver the new laws today passed both houses of Parliament.
Attorney-General, Christian Porter, and Agriculture Minister, Bridget McKenzie, said the successful passage of the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill was an important safety measure for Australia’s dedicated farmers, most of whom are small businesses.
“This Bill was a top priority for the returned Morrison Government and was introduced in the first sitting of the new Parliament to establish new offences for incitement of trespass, property damage, or theft on agricultural land,” the Attorney-General said.
“This Bill clearly demonstrates the Morrison Government will back our farmers against those who want to disrupt and destroy our farming, fishing and forestry industries.
Minister McKenzie said the Bill reflected the Australian community’s expectations that farmers and their families should be safe from harassment in their businesses and their homes.
“This Bill criminalises the action of publishing material, via a carriage service, with the intention of inciting trespass, property damage or theft on agricultural land,” Minister McKenzie said.
“It sends a clear message to animal activists that if you use the personal information of family farmers to incite trespass then you will be risking imprisonment of up to five years’.
“Australians expect the farmers who feed and clothe us – and many millions around the world – should not be harassed, or worse, as they go about their work.
“The time has come for activists to understand that you can’t just descend on someone’s place of work and home, interfere with their business and steal their animals—and think that you can get away with it.
“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.