News

Input wanted into privacy bill

By Country News

Farmers, agricultural businesses and stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on a new bill to protect the privacy of Australian farmers and producers against the unlawful actions of animal activists.

Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie encouraged all interested parties to put forward their views on the new laws, along with their experiences of dealing with farm invasions and theft.

‘‘The government wants to see tough new penalties in place to help protect farmers and their businesses from people who seek to destroy what they do for a living,’’ Senator McKenzie said.

‘‘The Criminal Code Amendment Bill criminalises the action of publishing material, via a carriage service, with the intention to incite trespass, property damage and theft on to agricultural land.

‘‘The serious criminal penalties include up to five years’ imprisonment.’’

The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives in the first sitting of the new parliament and has now been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.

Submissions are open until July 31, and can be made confidentially in writing or online. Public hearings will be held by the Senate Committee later in the year.

■For more information on how to put forward a submission, visit: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary—Business/Committees/Senate/Legal—and—Constitutional—Affairs/Agriculturalprotection