Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson has welcomed new laws that will protect farming families from activist invasions.
The Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) 2019 introduces new offences for using the internet to incite trespass, theft or property damage on agricultural land.
“Militant animal activists have invaded farms across the country trespassing, threatening and harassing farming families, including in O’Connor,” Mr Wilson said.
“This Bill makes it a criminal offence to publish material, via a carriage service like the internet, if you intend to incite trespass, property damage or theft on agricultural land.
“Animal activists who use the personal information of family farmers to incite trespass risk imprisonment of up to five years.
“The Morrison Government is serious about deterring those who want to disrupt and intimidate our farmers, fishers and foresters in their homes and on their properties.”
Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie, said anyone convicted of the offence would face up to five years in prison.
“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,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The time has come for activists to understand that they can’t just descend on someone’s home and place of work, interfere with their business and steal their animals.
“We’re not banning protests—we’re banning militant animal activists from inciting others to break the law.”
The Government amended the Bill to include adding wood processing facilities to coverage under the Bill, a move which has been welcomed by The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA).
The Bill will be presented for Royal Assent through the regular process.