On Monday, farmers celebrated the news that radical group Aussie Farms had been stripped of its charity status.
In January, the group published an online map with the address details of more than 3000 farm and supply chain businesses, for the alleged purpose of encouraging people to enter unlawfully and capture covert footage.
In April, Aussie Farms attempted to coordinate a national day of alleged farm invasions and capital city disruptions.
Since January, National Farmers’ Federation has called on governments to curtail the activities of Aussie Farms and President Fiona Simson said the group’s charity status revocation was very much welcomed.
“The fact the group’s mastermind and director Chris Delforce, was enjoying a tax-payer funded tax exemption was nothing short of galling.
“The Aussie Farms map, which remains live today, incorrectly implies that the farmers featured are in some way doing something illegal or unethical,” Ms Simson said.
“In fact, the opposite is true. These mums and dads and their families are producing food and fibre to feed Australians and the world. They are the backbone of regional Australia.
“Many are battling one of the worst droughts in living memory. The last thing they need hanging over their head is the fear and anguish of radical extremists invading their home and business potentially putting themselves, their family, their workers and farm animals in peril.”
Earlier in the year, the Government responded to NFF’s calls for changes to ensure Aussie Farms is subject to the Commonwealth Privacy Act. The Parliament also supported changes to the Criminal Code to make it a criminal offence to use online means to incite trespass, theft or damage on agricultural land.
Just last week, a senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade employee, Julie Delforce, was stood down due to her connection with the organization. The decision came following a month-long investigation by DFAT which was reported on by The Weekly Times.
Minister for Drought, David Littleproud, welcomed the decision saying that it was a ‘win for common sense.’
“Charities do not invade people’s privacy and encourage illegal behaviour. Our farmers deserve respect for putting the best food in the world on our dinner tables,” Mr Littleproud said.
“These activists put farming families at risk by encouraging large-scale trespass.
“It’s time Aussie Farms came to their senses and took their attack map down.
“We will always stand behind our farmers and farming families who have done nothing wrong.”