Government tightens law against farm trespassers
Farm invaders convicted in Queensland could face up to one year in jail or fines up to $60,000 under new laws passed by the state's parliament.
An amendment to the Agriculture Bill aims to deter animal activists from trespassing on farms following a number of such incidents in 2019.
"This is a direct response to a series of incidents early last year that saw animal activists invading farming operations," Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said.
"Everybody has the right to feel safe and protected in their workplace and in their homes."
Mr Furner said the government supports the right to protest, but entering private property without authorisation is unacceptable, no matter the cause.
"Farms are complex and potentially dangerous environments. Unauthorised entry poses a risk to everybody concerned as well as to livestock," he said.
A report presented to the Victorian government on Wednesday suggested similar regulations to those in Queensland.
The report argued that throughout 2018 and 2019, Victoria experienced a series of events where animal rights activists intimidated farmers, stole livestock and disrupted businesses.
The Right To Farm Bill introduced in New South Wales in October included up to three years' jail for such offences.