Do not en­ter: NSW cracks down on farm tres­passers

Fines of up to $200k to be en­forced

The Western Star - - Rural Weekly - Chantelle Fran­cis [email protected]­ral­weekly.com

NSW will in­tro­duce on-the-spot fines for an­i­mal ac­tivists who il­le­gally en­ter farms from next month.

The state’s Biose­cu­rity Act will be amended to in­clude a new of­fence that will see tres­passers, who pose a biose­cu­rity risk, fined $1000 on the spot and sub­ject to fur­ther fines of up to $220,000.

The penal­ties will come into ef­fect on Au­gust 1.

“But we aren’t stop­ping there. We are also look­ing at ways we can fur­ther de­ter this kind of be­hav­iour, in­clud­ing in­tro­duc­ing leg­is­la­tion and po­ten­tial jail time for of­fend­ers,” NSW Deputy Pre­mier John Bar­i­laro said.

Mr Bar­i­laro said ac­tivists il­le­gally tres­pass­ing were “noth­ing short of do­mes­tic ter­ror­ists” and “virtue-sig­nalling thugs”.

NSW Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Adam Mar­shall said the Govern­ment was work­ing on ad­di­tional changes with fur­ther penal­ties, in­clud­ing jail time.

“We are putting these vig­i­lantes and thugs on no­tice - your time threat­en­ing our pri­mary pro­duc­ers by il­le­gally tres­pass­ing and cre­at­ing biose­cu­rity risks is done,” Mr Mar­shall said.

“The agri­cul­tural in­dus­try and com­mu­nity have had a gut­ful of this vile be­hav­iour.

“These thugs are not only ha­rass­ing and trau­ma­tis­ing hard­work­ing farm­ers and their fam­i­lies, they’re also pos­ing se­ri­ous biose­cu­rity risks by po­ten­tially bring­ing con­tam­i­nants and dis­eases on to prop­er­ties that could wipe out an en­tire farm­ing op­er­a­tion.”

NSW Farm­ers has wel­comed the move, say­ing “the cur­rent leg­isla­tive frame­work is not ef­fec­tive and new laws are needed to ad­dress these crimes”.

“The biose­cu­rity risks posed by tres­passers has been long over­looked and the (NSW) Govern­ment’s ac­tion demon­strates their com­mit­ment to as­sist­ing farm­ers pro­tect their biose­cu­rity,” NSW Farm­ers pres­i­dent James Jack­son said.

Un­der the changes to the Biose­cu­rity Reg­u­la­tion 2017 it will be­come manda­tory for site vis­i­tors to com­ply with a Biose­cu­rity Man­age­ment

Plan.

Any­one who en­ters a des­ig­nated biose­cu­rity area with­out per­mis­sion and with­out com­ply­ing with the plan’s re­quire­ments may be sub­ject to the new penal­ties.

To ac­cess the new of­fence, farm­ers will need to have a biose­cu­rity plan in place and ap­pro­pri­ate sig­nage.

Farm­ers are en­cour­aged to con­tact the NSW Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries or their Lo­cal Land Ser­vices of­fice for more in­for­ma­tion.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

TAK­ING A STAND: NSW Dep­tuy Pre­mier John Bar­i­laro said the ag com­mu­nity has had enough harassment from tres­passers.

Ve­gan ac­tivists chained them­selves to equip­ment in­side Carey Bros abat­toir in south­west Queens­land ear­lier this year.

Over 100 an­i­mal ac­tivists in­vaded Le­mon­tree feed­lot and dairy at Millmer­ran on Queens­land’s Dar­ling Downs this year.

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