Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie says animal activists who invade farms are criminals.

Vegan extremists face farm invasion laws

Morons, ratbags, smelly-hairy greenies, cultists, fascists - just a few choice words conservative senators have launched at vegan farm invaders.

Both chambers of parliament on Thursday agreed to legislation creating new federal offences for inciting trespass, theft and damage on Australian farms.

After earlier passing the Senate the bill returned to the lower house for final approval, after the government amended it to include forestry facilities.

Only independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Greens MP Adam Bandt opposed the bill, with the minor party member arguing the changes were targeted towards people protesting against logging.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the measures, which include up to five years' prison for the most serious crimes, were a firm response to an online activist map with farmers' details.

"It's not a badge of honour to walk around and say 'Yay I've been locked up for sticking it to the man, sticking it to Australian farmers' - you're actually a criminal," she told parliament.

The minister said militant animal activists were fascists because they imposed their ideology on the broader public, turning the Greens' label for the bill's supporters against them.

Greens senator Jordon Steele-John encouraged Nationals, Liberal and Labor senators to hit the stand-up comedy circuit after their speeches.

He said the bill was unnecessary, arguing the agriculture industry had repeatedly failed to meet community expectations on animal welfare.

"It seeks to impose upon activists penalties that exceed the penalties which are to be faced by those who abuse animals in the most horrendous way," Senator Steele-John said.

But Senator McKenzie insists the laws protect people who legitimately expose animal cruelty, including journalists.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson described farm invaders as "morons, ratbags and idiots".

"They are actually killing animals. They are actually seeing the death of animals," she told parliament.

Senator Hanson pointed to an invasion of a Queensland chicken farm where protesters dropped the protective shutters, with the loud bang resulting in hundreds of birds dying.

She said a "terrorist" in Spain attempting to rescue rabbits inadvertently led to the death of 100 of the animals last week.

Northern Territory Nationals senator Sam McMahon raised the scenario of "smelly, hairy" greenies in Sydney inciting mobs to storm farms and hurt animals.

She said the "terrifying" scenario wasn't a wild fantasy, with a pig farmer telling her an invasion led to miscarriages and the death of escaped piglets.

"This is what the Greens want to see happen - baby pigs drowning in effluent," she said.

Her party room colleague Susan McDonald said Aussie Farms - the group behind the map - Extinction Rebellion, Australia Day activists and climate alarmists had ridden roughshod over decency and fairness.

"If you have an opinion that diverges from the cultists they don't just want to disagree with you, they want to destroy you, your family and your livelihood," the Queenslander said.

Greens senator Nick McKim questioned whether Pokemon Go's creator could be in trouble if damage was caused by people chasing characters on farms.

"Let me make it very clear to any future judge: Charizard, Pikachu and Jigglypuff are safe from the bill," Senator McKenzie said.

"It is not intended to capture Pokemon Go participants and gamers."

Source: Thursday 12 September

Farm trespassers face jail under new NSW laws.

THE NSW Government has announced the nation’s first jail terms for farm trespassers and will introduce tough new measures to protect ‘the right to farm’ from nuisance complainants.

NSW Nationals’ leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro today announced the State’s new Right to Farm Bill would, if passed, legislate jail terms up to three years for farm trespassers and fines up to $22,000.
New offences would be created for aggravating factors such as trespassing as a group, damaging property and releasing livestock and tampering with farm gates and ramps.

In a first for the farm sector, the NSW Government will also attempt to bring in legal recognition of a farmer’s right to farm, to protect farmers from “nuisance complaints”, claims and legal action from their neighbours and other third parties.

It means a court won’t be able to order an injunction against an activity that is allegedly causing a nuisance such as trucks moving chickens or spray rigs spraying crops.

The tough new laws have been hailed by the NSW Farmers’ Association, which has run a major campaign on the impact of farm trespass on businesses and rural families.

NSW Nationals’ leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Bill would help address the increasing number of attacks on farming families.

“This legislation is all about sending the clearest possible message: enough is enough,” Mr Barilaro said.
“If you invade a farm in NSW you’ll face the toughest penalties in the nation and three years potential jail time.

“If you move next door to a farm and decide you don’t like the way it looks or sounds, then you won’t have the grounds to take that farmer to court with nuisance claims.”

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the changes include new offences that do not exist in any other state or territory.

“Existing penalties of up to $5500 in fines are just a slap on the wrist,” Mr Marshall said. “Now if you’re farming legally and have so for many years, you’re not going to cop a nuisance claim and potential legal action just because some folks from the city moved next door and decided they didn’t like the sound of your dairy cows.”

The Bill comes on top of recent regulatory changes introduced under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015, which impose further offences and large financial penalties for farm trespass which breach on-farm biosecurity plans.

Source: LUCY KNIGHT , The Weekly Times

MPs set to support farm trespass law in parliament.

TOUGH new laws to prevent farm trespass are expected to pass the Senate when parliament returns to Canberra later this month.

While Greens senators have still not publicly declared which way they will vote when the Bill enters the Upper House, statements by various MPs during the election campaign could be seen as support for the new measures designed to deter extreme animal activists from breaking on to farms or abattoirs.

The Government moved in the first week of the new parliament to bring on the legislation, which Coalition MPs, and particularly the Prime Minister, campaigned strongly on prior to the election.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 introduces new offences for the incitement of trespass, property damage or theft on agricultural land.

The Bill proposes new criminal penalties to protect farmers from “the unlawful actions of animal activists”.

Attorney-General Christian Porter told parliament animal activist group, Aussie Farms, had maliciously used personal information specifically to encourage others to trespass on properties and damage businesses.

There are exemptions for bona fide journalists and for situations where the information being released shows a law being broken, such as whistleblowing on animal cruelty.

With the Bill tabled earlier than expected, The Greens did not formally declare a position on the matter and will not reveal their position publicly until they next meet on July 22.

While the party says it was committed to ending animal cruelty, Greens leader Richard Di Natale has said publicly on a number of occasions he did not support breaking the law.

West Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has also distanced the party from any link to animal activists, stating they were “in no way affiliated”.

National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson said she was pleased to see the Bill tabled so soon.

Source: Weekly Times