NATIONAL Farm Safety Week is underway and acts as a reminder of the many dangers involved in farming and the need to protect our farmers and farm workers the best we can.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie said that ensuring the safety of farmers was a priority, and Farm Safety Week was an opportunity to continue this conversation.
“We need to protect our farmers, farm workers and their families from the risks when operating machinery and farm vehicles, and from the real and present threat of activists invading their farms, damaging property and stealing animals,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The people who produce the food that feeds us have a right to feel safe in their businesses and their homes without the threat of activists’ invasions.
“The Government acted quickly and decisively, introducing the Criminal Code Amendment Bill in the first week of Parliament, which is scheduled for debate in the House this week.
“This Bill will criminalise the action of publishing material, via a carriage service, with the intention to incite trespass, and cause damage and destruction to agricultural land.
“Our Parliament must stand up to activists, pass these laws and make serious jail time a potential punishment for keyboard warriors who incite farm trespass.
“The Government’s commitment to farm safety includes our election commitment to establish a $3.5 million National Farm Safety Education Fund to address safety issues such as dams, quad bikes and machinery, with an emphasis on campaigns for children.
“We applaud Farmsafe Australia’s commitment to National Farm Safety Week and to raising awareness and improving practices.
“Farm safety is an important issue, and one that this Government will continue to address as we work to grow Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.”