Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said tough new farm trespass laws to protect Australia’s farmers from the unlawful actions of animal activists that passed the Australian Parliament this week would be welcomed by primary producers across the region.

Dr Gillespie said passage of the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill demonstrated a strong commitment to Australia’s farmers and made it clear that Australians were on their side.

“The Australian community have had enough of the behaviour of militant animal activists who have invaded farms across the country trespassing, threatening and harassing farming families, including here in our region,” Dr Gillespie 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 Federal Nationals in government are serious about deterring those who want to disrupt and intimidate our farmers, fishers and foresters in their homes and on their properties.”

Anyone convicted of the offence will 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.

“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.

As the Minister has said 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. The Bill will be presented for Royal Assent through the regular process.