Intruders who trespass on farm properties will not face mandatory jail sentences, after the proposal was shot down in Victorian Parliament this week.
The bill was introduced by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Jeff Bourman and supported by the Liberal opposition, but the vote in the upper house failed 26-13.
It had included a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail for the offence of aggravated trespass, aimed at "extremist animal activists" who harass and intimidate.
Wodonga-based Liberal Democrat Tim Quilty was one of the MPs to vote against Mr Bourman, saying he did not believe it was the right solution to an issue that must be addressed properly.
"Liberties once removed are hard to retrieve," he said.
"The introduction of mandatory minimums will guarantee injustice in cases where there are extenuating circumstances. It merely replaces one injustice with another, and the injustice of punishing the innocent far exceeds the injustice of not punishing the guilty."
He said he was concerned by "magistrates who give these extremists a kiss on the nose and then turn them loose", but wanted discretion to remain in the court system.
"There may be better ways to go about this like using magistrates based in regional areas who understand the issues," Mr Quilty said.
"While we might hold these protestors in contempt, at another time saner Victorians may be protesting something and be targeted.
"The vague condition that an assembly be formed with the intention to harass or intimidate leaves protesters vulnerable to police action.
"Harassment and intimidation are already illegal, but bill seeks to make the actual act of assembling a crime."
Mr Bourman had argued his bill would protect farmers, fishers and hunters from extremist activities.
"Victoria's current trespass laws are grossly inadequate, and it is extremely difficult to enforce them," he said.
"This in no way affects industrial action gatherings or gatherings that have obtained lawful permits, this is solely to tackle the rising issue of extremist animal activists.
"This bill will change the old way of dealing with trespassing as an offence and will give the police more decisive measures to resolve situations rather than wasting their time."
The Parliament's economy and infrastructure committee, of which Mr Quilty is a member, is also holding an inquiry into the impact of animal rights activism on Victorian agriculture.
Mr Quilty said ways to address the crimes of trespassers will be addressed in a report, which is due to be released in February, but his favourite was the suggestion of an on-the-spot fine of $1000.
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