The Nationals WA are helping concerned locals to shine a light on the impact of rural crime on primary producers and regional communities.
Stock and equipment theft, rural trespass and illegal hunting are crimes of major concern to rural and isolated communities. As many rural families live and work on the same property, such crimes can generate tremendous fear and a sense of insecurity. There is also frustration that, even if successfully prosecuted, perpetrators of rural crimes only pay minimal fines.
The Nationals are calling for a review of legislation aimed at protecting landholders against trespassing, hunting or fishing on private land without permission, theft, damage or destruction to livestock or property, including reviewing the adequacy of maximum penalties for trespassing or illegal hunting on private land, and the potential creation of an aggravated trespass offence where there is an enhanced biosecurity risk, intent to engage in stock theft, or the presence of hunting equipment.
Nationals Member for the South West Region, Colin Holt MLC, said the petition is a response to the deep sense of anger and frustration over crime in rural areas.
“Farmers are feeling that it is left to them to protect their properties and confront trespassers”.
Geoff Charteris has been promoting the petition across the South West and says he has been horrified by stories of rural crime and the immense emotional stress on rural landholders.
“From marron producers whose dams have been cleaned out by poachers, brazen trespass, serious stock theft or isolated families terrified by illegal shooting on their land, something needs to be done”.
Fight back against rural crime by signing the petition online at:
Photo caption: Jarrod Hayden-Smith signs the petition against rural crime
For media enquiries please contact the Office of Colin Holt MLC on (08) 9724 1181 or Geoff Charteris on 0429 691 029