Round 5: Nature Conservation Council, Environmental Defenders Office, Unions NSW and Council for Civil Liberties

Mr Chris Gambian: Chief Executive, Nature Conservation Council of NSW

Mr Gambian begins by referencing the Knitting Nannas, and states that naming the Bill "Right to Farm" is "mischevious".

He continues by saying the "punitive" measures of the Bill are "extreme". He demands Parliamentarians "rise above the news cycle" and criticises how the Bill came about.


Ms Rachel Walmsley: Policy and Law Reform Director, Environmental Defenders Office NSW

Ms Walmsley says the Bill is "unnecessary" and the current legislation deals appropriately with trespass by animal activists. She adds that this bill attacks more than animal activists but the general community and the penalties included are disproportionately high.

She continues by highlighting that the majority of concerns brought to the EDO are by neighbouring farmers, and that this Bill will only seek to increase these tensions.


Ms Kate Minter: Executive Officer, Unions NSW

Ms Minter says Unions NSW are deeply concerned about the Bill seriously impacting the right to protest in the state. She raises that while the Bill includes farms, it also includes universities, parks, and car parks.

She continues by saying "protest works and maybe that is a scary thought for government". 


Ms Pauline Wright: President, NSW Council for Civil Liberties

Ms Wright raises the issues of free speech and democratic governance. She notes that the Bill stifles political communication regarding animal and environmental concerns. Like those beforehand she says the Bill is "draconian" and the penalties are not proportionate to the level of criminality. 

She highlights that draconian penalties do not work as a deterrent and adds it will have a chilling effect on peaceful protest. Ms Wright further states the definitions of "hindrance" and "enclosed land" make this Bill incredibly problematic.

Ms Wright highlights the term "hindering" is passive, which could leave people holding a peaceful protest open to large fines and jail time.