RECRUITING “another highly paid bureaucrat” will not stop animal activists from trespassing on and secretly filming farms around Leeton, according to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Murray candidate Helen Dalton.
The NSW Nationals have announced they will appoint a new “agriculture commissioner” to address the recent attacks on Australian farmers by the group Aussie Farms.
The animal activist group recently published addresses and personal information on lawful animal-related enterprises, encouraging people to secretly video alleged acts of animal cruelty.
“A lot of farmers and legitimate businesses around Leeton are very concerned by these rogue activist groups,” Mrs Dalton said.
“They are invading their privacy and making families feel unsafe.
“Imagine if you had your phone number and address published all over the internet?”
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers said it was a token announcement before an election that does not address the problem.
According to a NSW Nationals press release, “the commissioner will work with the chief planner to strengthen standard planning and zoning instruments and review local strategic plans to protect Right to Farm principles”.
Robert Borsak, a Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Upper House MP, said only criminal law changes will make a difference.
“There’s no use paying a commissioner $200,000 a year when our existing laws are clearly too weak to enforce anything,” he said.
“I put forward a right to farm bill last year proposing changing the NSW Crimes Act to make trespass and secret videoing of farms a criminal offence.
“If the NSW Nationals were serious about protecting our farmers, they would have supported my bill. But they did not.”
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