A year since The Nationals WA first asked the Premier to respond to a rise in criminal activists, the Labor Government has failed to introduce promised legislation to protect regional communities and farming families.
Member for Roe Peter Rundle said criminal activism had “never been more visible” than last weekend when a protester disrupted the inaugural AFLW derby between Fremantle and West Coast.
“Under the Labor Government’s watch, criminal activists continue to thumb their nose at the law, trespassing at major sporting events and brazenly promising to reoffend,” Mr Rundle said.
“On February 19 last year, The Nationals WA first asked the Labor Government to take action to deter these kinds of illegal activities but 12 months later they have absolutely nothing to show for it.”
Mr Rundle said the need for strengthened penalties for trespass was apparent after two serial offenders were given a “slap on the wrist” on being found guilty of trespass, burglary and stealing a calf from a South West dairy.
“Despite the seriousness of these offences, neither one of these criminals received any jail time – in fact their supervision and reporting requirements to WA Police have now been dropped,” Rundle said.
“Both offenders have pledged to continue committing crimes and have been given apparent free rein to intimidate and harass farmers, workers and regional families because of the Labor Government’s inaction.”
Spokesperson for agriculture Colin de Grussa said the Premier must apologise to regional communities for breaking his promise to strengthen trespass penalties.
“Factional infighting within the Labor Party has hijacked this important legislation, leaving regional families exposed,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The Premier must take charge and call on his Attorney General to prioritise this legislation.”
Mr de Grussa said it was curious that on a week where Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander was visiting Western Australia, the real “show about nothing” was unfolding in State Parliament.
“Instead of bringing forward this long-promised legislation, the Labor Party has prioritised puppy farming and wheel-clamping over the safety of farmers, workers and their families in regional WA,” he said.