FIXING farm trespass laws was again in the spotlight in August, with the petition to change farm trespass laws tabled in State Parliament.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, said she was delighted to present over 6500 signatures calling for better protection of our farmers from law-breaking activists.
“The message is clear, the community want the Andrews Labor Government to fix Victoria’s farm trespass laws,” said Ms Bath.
“The Gippy Goat story captured Australia’s attention, creating a wave of anger and an outpouring of emotion calling for law changes so this disgraceful situation is not repeated.
“This petition demonstrates the passion individuals have for protecting our law-abiding farmers; the community is stating loudly enough is enough.”
The Gippy Goat petition was instigated by the business owner John Gommans, and sponsored by Ms Bath, in early March following an animal activist invasion on Mr Gommans’ Yarragon goat farm.
During the illegal invasion, activists harassed staff and stole livestock, with the following torrent of online abuse targeting Mr Gommans, his family, employees and customers forcing the Gippy Goat Café to shut its doors at the end of April.
Ms Bath said the lack of penalty and consequence for activists who break the law has caused serious frustrations across Gippsland and Victoria.
“The public are fed up with the aggressive and threatening actions of activists who feel their way of life is the only way,” said Ms Bath.
“This petition sends another strong message to the Andrews Labor Government that the community expects state laws around farm biosecurity and trespass on private property to be strengthened.
“Strong farm trespass laws have recently been implemented in NSW and Queensland and it is outrageous the Andrews Labor Government is so reluctant and slow to act in Victoria.
“The Nationals are calling on Labor to fix farm trespass laws and introduce stronger legal protections to appropriately penalise people who illegally enter farm businesses.”