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Activists forced the closure of Gippy Goat Cafe, Yarragon

Trespass law delay

Trespass law delay

Activists forced the closure of Gippy Goat Cafe, Yarragon

Law delays leave farmers exposed to illegal trespass

The Andrews Government has been questioned by Eastern Victoria MP Melina Bath about why it has not followed though on its agreement to impose on-the-spot fines for illegal farm trespassers, such as have been passed in other states.

Ms Bath said Gippsland's farms have been adversely impacted by trespassers and need the government to step in.

A parliamentary inquiry recommended on-the-spot fines be implemented as a solution to stop extreme animal activists breaking into farms, stealing livestock and damaging biosecurity in February 2020.

However, Ms Bath said more than a year after the Inquiry report was handed down and six months since Labor finally agreed to the recommendation, farmers are still waiting for change.

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The Nationals Member said she brought the issue of illegal farm trespass and animal activism to state parliament at the start of 2018 and successfully established an upper house Inquiry which recommended Victoria implement on the spot fines for illegal farm trespass.

“Other states have already enacted similar laws so there is no excuse for Victoria’s protracted delays,” said Ms Bath.

Victoria’s farm trespass inquiry was established in May 2019 after The Nationals successfully advocated for farmers’, standing up against worsening illegal farm invasions in State Parliament.

Many Victorians were left appalled after a law-breaking activist received a fine of just $1 in court for breaching biosecurity after livestock was stolen from the Gippy Goat Café in Yarragon.

The Café was attacked multiple times by activists and subjected to sustained online abuse. It eventually closed, costing local jobs.

Ms Bath said farm invasion took a heavy emotional toll on farm families and their employees.

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