Littleproud calls on Victorian government to protect farmers' rights

Littleproud calls on Victorian government to protect farmers' rights

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Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

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Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has slammed the Victorian State Government for refusing to defend farmers from activists.

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Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has slammed the Victorian State Government for refusing to defend farmers from activists invading their farms.

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has recently come out saying she preferred to talk to activists about "cultural change" rather than legislating penalties for trespass.

"While I am certainly open to changes to the law, as someone who has worked in the legal space for a really long time, harsher penalties - in and of themselves - don't necessarily lead to a change in behaviour," Ms Symes said last week, addressing the Rural Press Club of Victoria.

Minister Littleproud said it was naive for Ms Symes to think she could have a rational conversation with activists.

"Ms Symes is supposed to protect farmers, not activists," he said.

"These people are zealots and have proven they think they are above the law.

"If 100 country people broke into a city home the police would cuff them and drag them down to the clink."

He said Victorian farmers deserved the same protection.

"These properties are homes where farming families and children live, I fear someone will be hurt or worse if this continues," he said.

"It's time for the Victorian Labor Government to step up."

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