4 July 2019

Protections against farm trespass and theft strengthened by Federal Government

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) congratulates the Morrison-McCormack Government for introducing a Bill in the first sitting week that will strengthen protections for Australian farmers against trespass, theft and other property offences.

“I commend the Federal Government for prioritising the protection of farmers against those wishing to incite trespass on farms, property damage, or animal theft,” said Mr David Jochinke, VFF President.

“The fear of farm invasions and harassment from animal activists is very real for farmers in Victoria. On top of all the other challenges they are facing, farmers cannot be expected to live in fear every day.

“The new criminal offences proposed in this Bill will further deter individuals and groups from sharing farm addresses and encouraging others to invade farms or steal livestock.

“We will be closely following this Bill as it passes through the Parliament, and hope that it is enshrined in law as soon as possible,” said Mr Jochinke.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 was introduced today, Thursday 4 July, into the House of Representatives by the Attorney-General Christian Porter MP. The Bill has now been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, which will report on the Bill by Friday 6 September 2019.

“The Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture is still ongoing, and I encourage every farmer and supply chain business to write a submission, no matter how short, telling the Victorian Government how important it is to protect farmers from trespass and theft.

“Consumers are free to eat, or not eat, whatever they want. We are lucky to live a country with a diverse, prosperous agricultural industry that delivers a huge range of safe, sustainable food. The issue is when a small number of people choose to push their own dietary preferences onto others and break the law to target individual farmers,” said Mr Jochinke.

Media Contacts:
David Jochinke, VFF President, 0427 834 524
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589

About the VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social licence in a community that respects and values the sector.