Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie released a statement hitting out at comments made by Senator Janet Rice to ABC Country Hour.
“The Greens’ Agriculture Spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, made some disgraceful comments in relation to the Government’s tough new penalties for keyboard warriors who incite activists to invade farms, damage property and steal animals,” she said.
“When given the chance to defend farmers, the Agriculture Spokesperson rose to the defence of those who commit ‘civil disobedience’.”
“It speaks volumes about who the Greens stand for, and how far removed they are from reality.
“Read the room Janet—farmers are seriously scared and some are leaving the industry.
“When you trespass, steal and harass you’re not a protestor, you’re not committing ‘civil disobedience’, you’re a criminal and deserve to be punished with the full force of the law.
“There are state and territory laws that deal with trespass, and they remain, but our laws are targeting those who incite sophisticated and coordinated attacks on farms.
“The Government is introducing tough new penalties and sending a clear message: if you use a carriage service to incite trespass against our family farmers, you will be risking jail.
“The Bill does not criminalise activism or protest, provided people aren’t inciting trespass.
“The people who produce the food that feeds us have a right to feel safe in their businesses and homes without the threat of activist invasions.
“Only the Liberal and Nationals Government values our farmers, and is willing to do all we can to protect them.”