Do not enter: NSW cracks down on farm trespassers
Fines of up to $200k to be enforced
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
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.
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.