Farm Activism inquiry & Bill
In May 2019 the Economy and Infrastructure committee was tasked with an inquiry into Animal Activists Trespassing on Private Property. The Inquiry, initiated by the Coalition, quickly turned into a farce and the coalition’s hopes of gaining credibility were quickly dashed with a report tabled that said or did nothing to allay farmers fears of further illegal trespassing.
Before the inquiry even started, jeff was working on a Bill to increase penalties for animal activists. Due to the likely failure of this inquiry to produce any tangible results for farmers, Jeff Bourman MP moved the CRIMES AMENDMENT (TRESPASS) BILL 2019.
This Bill would take on the activists with legislation, proper definitions of trespass and hefty fines to those who endanger not only the safety of farmers but also hunters and fishers.
This inquiry was failing so we stepped up.
In Jeff’s opening speech he said:
I understand this issue is before a committee. Some problems like this are so obvious that we don’t need a committee to know that we need to fix it. I don’t need an inquiry to tell me that the state of Victoria needs to change its archaic trespass laws to reflect modern times and modern practices.
The growing trend that is animal activism is a sign of the growing disconnect between the city and the country, between Disney and reality.
In the debate of this Bill we were perplexed at some supposed “pro-gun” and rural based parties opposing the bill. Whilst they explained their lack of support as being due to the failing inquiry still being in progress, the end result is that Jeff’s bill failed due to the lack of their support, leaving the farmers and hunters no better off and completely unprotected against future activist incursions.