Nats establish inquiry to fix farm trespass laws
Thursday 2 May 2019
Protecting farmers across northern Victoria against the destructive actions of law-breaking activists will be at the centre of a parliamentary inquiry to fix farm trespass laws.
The Nationals’ motion to establish the inquiry following serious concerns more needed to be done to protect farmers from law-breaking activists passed State Parliament today.
Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said the inquiry would help identify the best way to strengthen laws and would report back in November this year.
“This parliamentary inquiry is a win for farmers, their families and regional communities,” Mr McCurdy said.
“I’ve heard from many farmers who are furious that people are getting away with breaking into farms and stealing livestock with just a slap on the wrist.
“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.”
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the strong community-driven campaign had forced the Andrews Government into action.
“This inquiry is an opportunity for Parliament to work together to deliver the laws and penalties that our communities expect and demand,” Mr Walsh said.
Mr Walsh added that it was disappointing that not all parties had supported the inquiry.
“While Labor finally saw the light and realised they can’t keep ignoring farmers, unsurprisingly The Greens again failed to back the industry,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Greens pretend to support farmers when they are hunting for votes but, as proved again today, it’s just hollow rhetoric.”
The inquiry will be carried out be Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee and local people will have a chance to have their say when public submissions open.