Dr MEHREEN FARUQI ( 14:55 ): My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Regional Water, and Minister for Trade and Industry. Has the NSW Farm Trespass Policy been finalised, and is the Government pursuing the removal of charity status for organisations that uncover animal cruelty?
The Hon. NIALL BLAIR (Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Regional Water, and Minister for Trade and Industry) ( 14:56 ): I thank Dr Mehreen Faruqi for her question. Farm trespass is a concern to the New South Wales Government, as is trespass in general. It does not matter if you live in Tamworth or Tempe, in Byron Bay or Balmain, in Queanbeyan or Queens Park, in Nimmitabel or Newtown, in Gunnedah or Gymea, in Rockdale or The Rock, everyone in New South Wales deserves to enjoy their own property without having to deal with trespassers.
This Government firmly believes that trespassing is not tolerated in any of those Sydney‑based suburbs and it should not be tolerated in regional places, particularly farms. That is why this Government, and in particular I, have taken an interest in this topic. Members may know that, in conjunction with the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, there was a farm incursion roundtable discussion talking about the seriousness of farm trespass. We know about some of the problems concerning farm trespass, particularly when looking at the latest results from the Bureau of Statistics, which shows that stock theft has gone up around 8 per cent. When we look at the price of livestock, livestock farming is a big business and it is adversely affected if farms are having their highly valued and prized stock stolen as a result of—
Dr Mehreen Faruqi: Point of order: Mr President, my point of order goes to relevance. I asked a specific question about whether the NSW Farm Trespass Policy had been finalised and is the Government pursuing the removal of charity status for organisations that uncover animal abuse. I believe the Minister has not answered that question.
The PRESIDENT: I remind honourable members that although a specific question has been asked, the Minister’s answer is only required to be generally relevant. The Minister was being generally relevant. The Minister has the call.
The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: As I said, we have been doing some work in this space, as I did with the Deputy Prime Minister, because there are a number of problems with farm trespassing, not to mention the concerns about theft. Obviously we have biosecurity concerns, particularly with people who are entering into intensive livestock operations without the proper decontamination procedures being undertaken. That is certainly a concern this Government has and that is why we take biosecurity seriously. One of the reasons we put a change in legislation through this Parliament in 2015 was that we did not want anyone entering anyone’s property without having the correct biosecurity clearances. This is an area that we are continually working on. In relation to the charitable status of any organisations, I suggest that the member refer that part of the question to the Treasurer or to any Minister who may be responsible for that area.