Legislative Council: Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Farm Trespassing

In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK ().31 May 2023).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): I am advised:

In response to concerns raised in relation to trespassing on farms, in 2020 the Summary Offences Act 1953 was amended to insert an aggravated farm trespass offence and to increase the penalties for trespass-related offences on agricultural premises.

In particular, the offence of being on primary production premises for an unlawful purpose or without lawful excuse is now section 17(a1) of the Summary Offences Act 1953, which if committed in aggravated circumstances has a maximum penalty of $10,000 or imprisonment for 12 months. Being on premises to intimidate or harass is likely to be unlawful for the purposes of section 17(a1).

An offence occurs in aggravated circumstances if while on primary production premises, the person:

interferes with, or attempts to or intends to interfere with primary production activities;

is accompanied by two or more persons;

does anything that gives rise to a serious risk to the safety of the person or any other person on the premises; or

does anything that—

involves, or gives rise to a risk of—

the introduction, spread or increase of a disease or pest; or

the contamination of any substance or thing; or

gives rise to any other risk, or kind of risk, related to primary production activities prescribed by the regulations; or

intentionally causes, or is recklessly indifferent as to whether they cause, damage to an operation or activity connected to the primary production activities at the premises: section 17(a2).

A primary production premises is defined to be a premises used for the purpose of primary production activities.

In addition to the new aggravated offence, in 2020 the penalties for some of the existing offences in relation to trespassing in South Australia in both the Summary Offences Act 1953 and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 were increased.

A table summarising the relevant offences and their maximum penalties, which identifies which penalties were increased in 2020, is attached for information.