Agriculture | June 14, 2019
Kealy urges community to have a say on farm trespass laws
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy is encouraging the community to have their say to help fix farm trespass laws, with a parliamentary inquiry into the issue now taking public submissions.
The inquiry will help determine the best ways to strengthen laws to protect Victorian farmers against farm trespass following the alarming action of brazen extreme activists who have been illegally entering farms and stealing livestock.
Ms Kealy said The Nationals moved to establish the inquiry to make sure regional communities, including people living in Lowan, could have their say.
“Our farmers deserve laws that protect them against activists illegally coming on to their farms and stealing livestock,” Ms Kealy said.
“It’s clear the laws need fixing when law-breaking activists get fines of just $1 – it’s just a slap on the wrist that only emboldens illegal activists instead of deterring them.
“No-one should have to face the heart-breaking decision of closing down their business, as we saw at Yarragon’s Gippy Goat Café, because of the stress of constant harassment and intimidation.
“Locally a Luv-A-Duck property near Nhill has been targeted and experienced theft and incidents of trespassing and now our local stock agents are being targeted online.
“Our farmers work hard and operate responsible and sustainable businesses. They deserve to be able to operate their farms without fear for their own safety or that of their family, employees and livestock.
“The Nationals stand with our farmers and rural communities and this inquiry is a first step forward to deliver the change our communities are demanding.”
Ms Kealy has written to the Parliament of Victoria requesting that one of the Public Hearings being conducted as part of the Inquiry be held in the Lowan electorate.
The Nationals have also requested that the Committee ensure that public hearings are held in rural communities and not just at Parliament House in Melbourne.
Visit www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-lc/article/4187 for details on how to have your say.
Written submissions will be accepted until August 2.
The inquiry will deliver its final report by November 28.
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