Community urged to have a say in farm trespass inquiry
Wednesday 12 June 2019
Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy is encouraging the community to have their say to help fix farm trespass laws, with a parliamentary inquiry into the issue now taking public submissions.
The inquiry will help determine the best ways to strengthen laws to protect Victorian farmers against farm trespass, following the alarming action of brazen extreme activists who have been illegally entering farms and stealing livestock.
Mr McCurdy said The Nationals moved to establish the inquiry to make sure regional communities, including people living in the Ovens Valley electorate, could have their say.
“Our farmers deserve laws that protect them against activists illegally coming on to their farms and stealing livestock,” Mr McCurdy said.
“It’s clear the laws need fixing when law-breaking activists get fines of just $1 – it’s just a slap on the wrist that only emboldens illegal activists, instead of deterring them.
“No-one should have to face the heart-breaking decision of closing down their business, as we saw at Yarragon’s Gippy Goat Café, because of the stress of constant harassment and intimidation.
“The Nationals stand with our farmers and rural communities, and this inquiry is a first step forward to deliver the change our communities are demanding.”
Mr McCurdy has requested that the Committee ensure that public hearings are held in north-east Victoria and not just at Parliament House in Melbourne.
Visit www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-lc/article/4187 for detail on how to have your say. Written submissions will be accepted until August 2. The inquiry will deliver its final report by November 28.