Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen criticises NSW Labor, Greens for opposing Right to Farm Bill 2019

UPPER Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has criticised NSW Labor for voting against local farmers by opposing the Right to Farm Bill 2019.

The historic trespass law, which establishes the toughest penalties in the nation for illegal farm invasions, passed the Legislative Assembly in the NSW Parliament on Wednesday night with the support of the Liberals, Nationals, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers as well as independent representatives Greg Piper and Dr Joe McGirr.

However, it was opposed by NSW Labor and the Greens.

Mr Johnsen said the adversaries had voted for ideology over common sense - and it would be struggling hard-working farmers who'll suffer.

"Upper Hunter farmers and communities are supportive of stronger protections to deter vegan vigilantes invading and terrorising owners on their properties," the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture added.

"Clearly those concerns have fallen on the deaf ears of Jenny Aitchison, Clayton Barr and NSW Labor.

"On one hand, you have federal Labor calling for a 'war cabinet' to deal with the current drought.

"Meanwhile, state Labor is turning its back on our farmers.

"It is the standard lack of consistency from Labor with regards to our local farming communities."

But, Labor hit back, saying the party would introduce its own Right to Farm Bill after the Liberals and Nationals failed to fix their sloppily-drafted laws, which could be thrown out by the High Court.

Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Jenny Aitchison said the current draft might leave farmers with no protection at all.

"This is because they relied on the Inclosed Lands Protection Act, which based on a successful legal challenge in Tasmania means they could be vulnerable to being thrown out by the High Court," she explained.

"Labor won't sign up to it if it could leave our farmers mired in legal uncertainty in the middle of a drought.

"We should get this right the first time.

"Labor supports the right of all farmers to live and work on their land safely and peacefully.

"We are committed to delivering good laws that give NSW farmers security and peace of mind - that's why we'll introduce our own Right to Farm Bill that will stand up to High Court scrutiny."

Labor has flagged using the state's Safe Access Zones legislation - the specifically-drafted laws that apply to protests outside abortion clinics - as a model to protect farmers from protesters.

The Victorian version has been tested by the High Court and was upheld.

This story Struggling farmers will suffer, says MP first appeared on Hunter Valley News.