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Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019

The submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee (the Committee) inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 (Cth) (the Bill) was prepared by the Law Council. 

The Law Council notes that trespass, property damage and theft is unlawful and acknowledges that such actions in relation to agricultural properties and the premises of primary production businesses can cause significant harm, including the potential to contaminate food safety, breach biosecurity protocols and cause considerable distress to members of the agricultural community.

The Law Council, while not opposed to the provision of protection to farmers against unlawful activity, maintains that it is necessary to balance this aim with the protection of legitimate rights and freedoms. The Law Council’s primary concerns with the proposed measures in their current form are:

It is for these reasons that the Law Council does not support the Bill in its current form. However, if the Committee were to conclude that the Bill ought to proceed, the Law Council makes the following recommendations with the view to improving the proportionality of the proposed measures:

You can read the full submission below.

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