What are the changes?

New aggravated farm trespass

The government is proposing to create a new offence, specifically for farm trespassing. The offence would penalise a person who trespasses on production land and: 

  • interferes with the conduct of the farming activities, or
  • does anything that gives rise to a serious risk to the safety of the person or any other person on the land, or
  • introduces or increases a risk of biosecurity or food contamination. 

The new offence would have a focus on actual or potential biosecurity and food contamination risks, and damage to the farming enterprise or wider markets and supply chains. 

The maximum penalty for the aggravated farm trespass offence would be $10,000 or 12 months imprisonment, along with compensation to the farmer. 

Increasing penalties for existing provisions

A number of provisions for trespassing already exist under the Summary Offences Act 1953 and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935

Under the Summary Offences Act, the fine for trespassing is $2500. To further deter trespassing on primary production land, the penalty is proposed to be increased to $5,000 where trespassing occurs on a farm. 

Other farm-related offences are also proposed to be changed. The penalties for interfering with farm gates and disturbing farm animals would increase. 

  • Interfering with a farm gate from $750 to $1500
  • Disturbing farm animals from $750 to $2500 or a prison term of 6 months. 

Upcoming key dates

Fri, 4 Oct 2019 at 5:00 PM

CLOSING DATE: New farm trespassing laws

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