Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has today welcomed the news that the Right to Farm Bill 2019 has passed both houses of the NSW Parliament, giving the strongest protections to the State’s farmers and farming families.
“New South Wales is experiencing extremely trying times – suffering through this devastating drought and battling ferocious bushfires – the absolute last thing our farmers need is the threat of trespassers and expensive legal disputes,” Mr Provest said.
“The Nationals went to the 2019 State Election promising a Right to Farm Bill, and today I’m very pleased to say the NSW Nationals in Government have delivered on that commitment.
“We are the first jurisdiction in Australia to enshrine in law a farmers’ right to farm their land and have rigorous protection from the threat of illegal farm incursions.
“If a farmer is undertaking lawful agricultural activities, they will have the full protection of the law in NSW against farm invasions, intimidation and interference in their farming operations.”
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall who introduced the Right to Farm Bill said he was delighted the Bill has passed both houses, despite Labor refusing to support the Bill at any stage.
“Today, Labor again refused to vote for the Bill at the final step and voted against it in the Lower and Upper House.
“By not voting for the Right to Farm Bill, Labor has shown where its true loyalties lie, with law-breaking activists – not hard-working farming families battling drought.
“Their refusal to support the Bill is an act of treachery against country NSW and for that they stand rightly condemned.”
Under the Bill, penalties for aggravated farm trespass will increase from fines of up to $5,500, to three years jail time and up to $22,000 in fines.
The new penalties will be in force in by 2020.