Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has secured a commitment for regional hearings to be held as part of an inquiry into the Impact of Animal Activism on Victorian agriculture.
Ms Bath said it was important for parliament to conduct hearings across regional Victoria because of the geographic spread of farming communities across the state.
Ms Bath said she was pleased the chairman had acknowledged it was important to listen to regional farming communities locally.
“Businesses and farms in regional Victoria have been greatly affected by this issue and needed the opportunity to participate locally,” Ms Bath said.
“Early in May I wrote to the Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair calling on regional hearings for the farm trespass and animal activism inquiry.
” Ms Bath raised the issue of animal activism and illegal farm trespass in State Parliament early this year following raids at The Gippy Goat in Yarragon.
Ms Bath said she was looking forward to the inquiry to ensure greater protections against illegal entry and theft of livestock. “This inquiry is the first step in delivering the change our community has been calling for,”
Ms Bath said. “It is imperative that we continue to stand up for the rights of farmers, the agriculture industry, their families and farm businesses.
” Ms Bath said a number of farms and businesses had been targeted by animal activists throughout Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula.
“Broadening the scope of the inquiry beyond the Melbourne CBD will strengthen the consideration and ensure the views and experiences of regional Victorians are captured,” she said.