Australia’s toughest trespass laws will come into effect in New South Wales today, providing further evidence of the McGowan Government’s unwillingness to take serious action against animal activists.
Leader of The Nationals WA Mia Davies said the new penalties in NSW sent a clear message to animal activists that their illegal behaviours would no longer be tolerated.
“Criminal activists who trespass on agricultural properties in NSW will now face fines of up to $220,000 for individuals and $440,000 for groups or organisations. Trespassers will also cop on-the-spot fines of $1000,” Ms Davies said.
“This legislation puts criminal activists on notice and is a welcome step in protecting farmers and their families from intimidating and unlawful activity.”
Ms Davies said it was a credit to the NSW Parliament that the tough new penalties had been implemented swiftly.
“Meanwhile, the McGowan Labor Government is spinning its wheels on this issue – despite being aware of the threats posed by animal activists since the beginning of the year,” she said.
“More than seven months since these attacks by criminal activists began – attacks which have expanded from farms to cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and even schools – the McGowan Government has done nothing.”
Agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa also welcomed the recent announcement that the National Farmers Federation would launch its own campaign against animal activists.
“The agricultural community has a clear voice on this issue and it’s great to see the sector step up in the absence of any leadership or support from the State Labor Government,” Mr de Grussa said.
The Federal Government introduced legislation last month making it a criminal offence for activists to incite illegal activity online and would carry a penalty of up to five years imprisonment.
“While it is positive that we are seeing action being taken on this issue in other States and at a Federal level, the silence from the McGowan Government is deafening,” Mr de Grussa said.
The Nationals WA have led the debate against illegal animal activist behaviour, including consistent calls for tougher trespass penalties and increased police resources to deal with rural crime.