THE Nationals have pressed the Andrews Government to establish an inquiry into state laws to better protect farmers from animal activism, trespass and livestock theft.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victorian Region Melina Bath moved the motion in the Victorian State Parliament upper house last week. Ms Bath said current legislation is insufficient and it is imperative that Victorian farmers’ right to farm is protected.
“We are seeking legislative change so activists who break the law on law abiding Victorian farms are suitably penalised.
“Our farmers must be able to work without harassment, intimidation or theft.”
A Victorian parliamentary e-petition on animal activism was also launched last week by John Gommans, owner of The Gippy Goat and Caldermeade Farm, and is sponsored by Ms Bath. Both of Mr Gomman’s Gippsland farming enterprises have recently been targeted by animal activists.
The parliamentary petition calls for the urgent need for protection of law-abiding farmers from activists. It addresses concerns around breaches in farm biosecurity, livestock theft, trespass and damage on Victorian farms as a result of activism.
Ms Bath said the response to the petition in the first 24 hours has been outstanding.
“I am delighted with the support and passion our community has demonstrated for our farmers. It is clear that the petition has resonated with the public.
“This petition will send a clear message to the Andrews Labor Government to support our farmers and protect their right to farm.”
The petition can be signed on line at https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronicpetitions/view-e-petitions/details/12/115.
Lack of farm protection has really got Melina’s goat