‘Pitiful’ trespass fine won’t stop activists
A NEW fine aimed at deterring militant animal rights activists from trespassing on farms has been derided as “pathetically weak” by Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.
Mr Dametto said it was laughable the State Labor Government thought their newly announced $652.75 fine would do anything to stop activists from causing havoc on farms and meatworks across Queensland.
“If the government thinks $652 is a deterrent for any activist, they are deluded. That sort of money could be raised online by these people in a day,” he said.
“An anti-Adani protestor was recently hit with a $10,000 fine by the court after blocking the Abbot Point rail line. Now that’s a real deterrent. The government should be considering the same amount for these animal activists. They are ruining the livelihoods of our hardworking farmers with their antics.”
The government will amend the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 to include the new fine by the end of this month, which can either be issued on the spot or later after review of evidence from the protest site.
The fine can be issued either by police or biosecurity officers. Activists who move from location to location for multiple protests will also be fined multiple times.
Mr Dametto said he would be writing to State Agriculture Minister Mark Furner to argue for a dramatic increase in the fine.
“I commend the government for realising that trespassing on farms is a serious problem, both in terms of the biosecurity risks and respecting the basic rights of landowners. But this fine is nowhere near where it should be to act as a deterrent for would-be activists,” he said.
“Queensland’s farmers expect better legislative protection and Katter’s Australian Party will fight for it.”