Keyboard warriors face jail time for encouraging trespass
SOUTHERN Downs farming families are one step closer to a sigh of relief after new federal trespass laws passed the Lower House of Parliament.
Two new criminal offences would be introduced to deter animal activists from posting online with the intention of provoking others to trespass on agricultural land.
This includes any primary production business, such as chicken farms, saleyards and forestry.
Keyboard warriors would face a year in jail for inciting trespass and five years in jail for inciting property damage.
The bill was introduced after dangerous farm invasions across the country impacted agribusinesses such as Carey Bros Abattoir at Yangan.
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said it was a well deserved win for farmers.
"Sometimes the people encouraging farm invasions need to be removed from society for a while to think about their actions,” Mr Littleproud said.
"It is completely out of line - endangering employees, farm business procedures and wasting police time.
"Our farmers deserve to be able to grow their business in peace because they have a very important job feeding the nation.”
Critics of the bill say it isn't introducing anything new, because it is already an offence to incite criminal activity over phone or internet.
The bill also fails to mention the personal safety of farmers, instead choosing to focus on the impact to the business.