New penalties for farm invaders

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the State Parliament’s bipartisan support of new laws imposing greater penalties for animal activists trespassing on farmers’ properties.

Following the passing of the government’s Agriculture and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 last week, protesters unlawfully entering farmland now face up to one year in jail or a fine of more than $60,000.

QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said action from government has been a long time coming for our sector – too long for those farmers who have already been targeted by animal activists.

“The unjustified actions we have seen from animal activists invade farmers’ privacy, threaten the welfare of their animals, pose unacceptable biosecurity and other risks to their businesses and have implications for food security. It is also important to note that farm businesses are often family homes,” Dr Davis said.

“The previous offence of unlawfully entering farming land did not meet the expectations of farmers and the community in punishing and most importantly, preventing future offences of trespass, and did not reflect the potential risk to farming businesses.

“QFF and member industries have been constructively working with the Queensland Government and Opposition for some time to realise more effective laws for farmers.

“Now that the issue is starting to be addressed in a meaningful way, and with the LNP Opposition’s Private Members Bill proposing three new criminal trespass offences still waiting for its day in Parliament, there can be no excuses for not getting it right.”

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