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Besieged farmers hail jail time for extremist ringleaders

10 April 2019

Farmers have applauded the Federal Government's proposed tough new punishments for radical extremists who incite farm invasions.

Attorney General, Christian Porter and Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, David Littleproud today revealed a plan to introduce new laws to see extremist ringleaders face up to 12-months jail if they publish the private address details of farmers and farm-related businesses for the purpose of encouraging trespass.

"The move to throw the book at these offenders is a relief to farming families, who are right now under siege," National Farmers' Federation Chief Executive Officer Tony Mahar said.

"Hard-working farmers are having their character, livelihoods and way of life attacked and it simply cannot continue.

Much of the offensive behaviour is directly linked to an online 'map', which in January published the private address details of more than 3000 farm and supply chain businesses and which remains live today.

"Since January we've seen dairies, feedlots, abattoirs and even aquariums targeted.

"The people behind these despicable acts are so fundamental in their views they don't believe in pets or guide dogs.

"They certainly do not support animal production for food and the right of the majority of Australians to consume meat, dairy products and eggs."

As a result of the invasions incited by the 'map', families have been traumatised, production has been compromised and biosecurity and animal welfare has been placed at real risk.

Countless animals have been stolen and the welfare of these animals remains a major concern.

Mr Mahar said farmers had endured an anxious week after threats of nation-wide attacks on Monday but had been buoyed by the support of their fellow Australians.

"People from all walks of life have come out in public support of farmers. It's been particularly heartening to see those who choose a plant-based diet, distancing themselves from the radical extremists and their modus operandi.

"The announcement by the Government today, in conjunction with changes to Commonwealth privacy laws last week, will be supported by all fair-minded Australians.

"We are sure the proposal will receive bi-partisan support and we look forward to working with the Parliament to see these tough but fair new sanctions introduced.

"We await a decision by the Charities Commissioner to strip Aussie Farms of it's charity status," Mr Mahar said.

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
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