Farmers, agricultural businesses and stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on a new Bill to protect the privacy of Australian farmers and producers against the unlawful actions of animal activists.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, encouraged all interested parties to put forward their views on the new laws, along with their lived experiences on dealing with farm invasions and theft.
“The government wants to see tough new penalties in place to help protect farmers and their businesses from people who seek to destroy what they do for a living,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The Criminal Code Amendment Bill criminalises the action of publishing material, via a carriage service, with the intention to incite trespass, property damage and theft on to agricultural land.
“The serious criminal penalties include up to five years’ imprisonment.
“Farmers have a right to feel safe in their homes and workplaces and not be subject to harassment and theft for producing food that feeds people here and across the globe.
“We need to send 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.
“Australians affected by the unlawful actions of trespassing animal activists should put forward a submission to the Senate Committee and make the ramifications of farm trespass clearly known.”
The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives in the first sitting of the new Parliament and has now been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.
Submissions are open until 31 July, and can be made confidentially in writing or online. There will also be public hearings held by the Senate Committee later in the year.
More information on how to put forward a submission can be found at Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 [Provisions]