Trespassers will be proscecuted!

Submitted: Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 19:12
ThreadID: 108977 Views:4578 Replies:13 FollowUps:23
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It was a sign you used to see on a tree on private property all the time years ago!, But not so prevalent it seems these days, But what is the risk of been proscecuted,when you innocently pull over and camp for the night,depending where you are of course, An irrate property owner might have more legal power than one thinks, especially to campers with no respect, I know my father used to have no tolerances to strangers on his land, and the old shot gun played a big part on convincing some to move

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: rumpig - Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 19:23

Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 19:23
came across this out near Leyburn a few years back....anyone who wants to camp on his land can do it wthout me i reckon, he got his message across to me loud and

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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 19:34

Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 19:34
See What you mean!!.

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Reply By: Moondyne - Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 21:01

Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 21:01
I can only speak for WA. Trespass is covered by the Criminal Code. In short it is an offence to enter or be in a place without the consent of the owner, occupier or person that controls that place without lawful excuse. 'Place' covers land building's etc. The penalty in WA is up to 12 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $12,000. (I highly doubt anyone has ever been imprisoned for trespass though).

It is fairly complex because there is a whole raft of case law and common law that determines what a place is. Then you have the defence of honest mistake and so on.

To answer your question, it is highly unlikely you would be prosecuted in WA for simply camping in the wrong place. However if you blatantly ignore "Private Property" signs then you run that risk.
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Follow Up By: NTVRX - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 23:07

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 23:07
Pity those who cannot read or write!!
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 22:09

Friday, Aug 01, 2014 at 22:09
G`day Axle,

I know you are talking about years gone long ago when you refer to your father using a shotgun to convince people to leave his property.
But may I suggest that it would be a very foolish property owner that has a firearm in his hand while ordering people off the place the way gun laws are today.
Assault with a firearm is a far more serious offense than trespass, and you only have to be holding a firearm when making such an order for it to be deemed a threat and an assault with a weapon.
About 55 years ago when I was a bit of a lad I was ordered off a property by the owner pointing a .22 rifle at me, I calmly suggested that unless he was going to use it he should put it back in his car, after a short stand off he did so, so then I left.
These days if a similar thing happened I would ring 000 on my mobile and ask for the police to attend as I was being threatened by a bloke pointing a rifle at me.
I reckon I know who would get the biggest smack. lol


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Follow Up By: Thinkin - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 00:02

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 00:02
Two things here, only some 20% of Australia has mobile coverage and why would you want to trespass on private property. If your out of your territory you should know where your going, if you don't, stay home or on public property.
Fancy telling a gun holder "unless he was going to use it he should put it back in his car". You don't know who your dealing with. If confronted with an irate property owner, best to apologise and move off as quick as possible.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 13:14

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 13:14
" You don`t know who you are dealing with."

I was stating a particular incident that occurred a long time ago in our local area, I DID know who I was dealing with. Another local was involved in a similar incident with the same land owner a few years later, he also calmly said something like" you won`t need that, put it away."
Also, who said these things only happen outside mobile phone range?
Not thinking, read it again.
I was heavily involved with the local volunteer fire brigade when I was younger and quite often I would be the only qualified person available to drive the appliance.
After being asked to leave a local farmers property one day while catching yabbies in his dam,I informed him that if he kicks me out now I won`t ever be back, even in the fire truck.
"look, ok just make sure you shut the gate" was his parting statement.
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Follow Up By: madfisher - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 16:54

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 16:54
Had a similar incident about 10 years ago. I was on a public road, but the local cocky told everyone it was his private road. I had the bad luck to catch up to him at a gate, where he rather heatedly told me to leave. After informing him who I was, and that my brother had put most of the fire breaks in in very steep country, he asked why I wanted to go in. I replied to go fishing, he then replied catch as many carp as possible and kill them. He then wrote his ph no on a bit of paper to ring him next time before entry. Which was fair enough.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 11:38

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 11:38
I can just imagine you Scrubby , on the phone to triple zero,
" Help , I need the Police , I'm camped on a property in the middle of Qld and the property owner has a gun and has asked me to leave his property !"

" Where is the property ? "

" I don't know exactly , about 150 klm from Muttaburra on some dirt road that supposedly a short cut to Mt.Isa"

"please hold "

" I cant' for long , my Sat phone needs charging , No bloody mobile service "

" Muttaburra & Aramac Police informed , Please give an exact location "

"I don't Know !! The property owner has told me to leave ! He has a gun in his vehicle !! "

" Has this person threatened you with the weapon ? "

"No , But he has a Gun ! "

" Well sir ,I suggest you leave as asked as you don't have a clue where you actually are and are probably trespassing on private property."

" But , But , He has a Gun ! "

" Yes sir , to shoot Unwanted vermin and feral animals and injured stock
perfectly legal "

" Are the police coming ? "

" No sir , Aramac Police are 242 km away in Aramac at the Sunday bowls competition , Muttaburra Police 150 km away at Muttaburra at a working bee at the race course ,, we suggest you stop wasting our time and leave the property as asked ."

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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 11:51

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 11:51
LOL... Gold!

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Reply By: Tony F8 - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 06:08

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 06:08
The Stuber's of Palmerville didn't muck around with trespassers.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 07:23

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 07:23
My old man who fought in both theaters of war in WW2 (against the Germans in the middle east and the Japanese in south east Asia) would never have anything more to do with guns. However he did once tell me to never point a gun at another person unless you intend to use it.
As said, you never know what the mindset of another person is. Best to appologise and leave.

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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 10:26

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 10:26
"The Stuber's of Palmerville didn't muck around with trespassers."

I don't know how many inadvertently or deliberately went into Stuber's private property, but most who were attacked, run off the track, shot at and threatened were using a gazetted public access that happened to pass through the Palmerville property. In 2010 the Qld Police had posted a public notice in Maytown stating that the track was a gazetted public road and that any "difficulties" should be reported to the police.

There is something in the water in TNQ or FNQ or whatever the geographical region is that rots the inhabitants' brains.

We were heading for a designated General Permission gemstone fossicking site on Chudleigh Park Station on the Kennedy Development Road about 150km north of Hughenden. In accordance with the info sheet that accompanied our fossicker's permit, we went to the homestead to notify the property owner of our intention to camp and fossick in the public area. (Note, permission not required, just a courtesy call to let the land-owner know of our proposed presence.)

We could find only a couple of young station hands who knew nothing about the system, so we asked them to pass on the message to the boss. We were about to leave when a ute with a few teenage kids (both girls and boys) came tearing towards us and skidded to a stop in a spray of gravel and dust. We tried to tell the driver why we were there but could get no hearing. We were subject to a tirade of abuse and threats by the driver who accused us of trespass, didn't care about the effing fossicking site just f** off my property. Lovely language to us and our wives and a fine example to the young girls in the ute - not.

There were two rifles in a rack across the back window. Needless to say, we gave up and left.

Some basic research of the public records show the owner to be one Peter Camm and further research of public records reveals that he has form and previously has been taken to court over similar actions.

A nasty piece of work.

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Follow Up By: BunderDog - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 12:34

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 12:34
There's a bit more to the story regarding access to to the fossicking areas on Chudleigh Park which dates dates back to the days when the Coutt's owned it. Most of the ill will occurred when Great Southern owned it and restricted access and when they went under and the Receiver's were appointed the place was pretty tightly locked up.

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Reply By: OBJ - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 08:19

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 08:19
"I know my father used to have no tolerances to strangers on his land, and the old shot gun played a big part on convincing some to move"

Lol??? Redneck behaviour must be catching, or hereditary! What a stupid comment. Grow up.

AnswerID: 536987

Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:07

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:07
To those that had to work hard and have very little,had great pride in their land,just in case you didn't know!?,and when boofheads came along and just used it as their own, then the old way to move them along was different to what it is to-day.....Or is it ? These days they just pull the trigger,.....Happy camping.

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:52

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:52
Tell that to the family of the Environment Officer lying dead in some morgue in northern NSW just because he was doing his job.

Guns have no place in these sort of disputes - doesn't matter what they are.

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Follow Up By: howesy - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 10:08

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 10:08
Axle was talking about what old timers used to do in times when they weren't F%&k&d up social rejects that society produces now.
Guns weren't a problem then they are only a problem now because of the idiots using them and changes in social standards.
It wasn't a stupid comment and was laughable because that's the way it was and you laugh because in today's society it would be a stupid thing to do.
Take the comment in it's context he was talking about old times and old attitudes which we all know are unacceptable and if you cant have a chuckle at the crazy things old timers used to do then you need to get out in the fourby more because your life is too dull
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 11:20

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 11:20
My life is not too dull - these old style values of shoot first and ask questions later still exist and are not appropriate in a modern society.
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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 13:06

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 13:06
Garrycol, you have it all arse up mate!, I did not say anything about shooting people, As Howesy stated the old timers where crazy not murderers though, and there way of making you move on was a shot in the air or the presence of a double barrel shotgun and maybe a big mangy dog was enough to make anyone clear out.

Its these days you have to worry about getting shot just minding your own business.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:09

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:09
I think that you might find that "Trespass" only comes in to play when you refuse to move on when asked to do so by the property owner/agent in the presence of a Member of the Police Force.


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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:52

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:52
Maybe just comes down to RESPECT... If a sign says "no trespassing" or "private property" or both... Then figure it out your self! Any rocket scientists out there.. If you must go on the property, seek permission, or stay the hell off it! Can't be anymore straight forward than that.. That's my rule anyway.. Respect for others property, be it land, vehicle, or belongings... Cheers Odog
Some people want it to happen, some people wish it could happen, others make it happen!

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 12:19

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 12:19
Yeh it can become far more complicated when those signs are errected with no respect for the law that states that the road or property is in fact public property or that the law specifically provides access.

Just because there is a sign, a gate or a does not necessarily follow that access is not legal.

The converse may also apply...but that gets even more complicated.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:46

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:46
This whole trespass, access and right of way thing is far more complex than a lot of people want to know....AND...there are plenty out there..including governments..who will have a red hot go at bluffing.

There are a lot of fences, gates and signs errected on what amounts to public roads and public land....fences gates and signs that have no legal reason to be there.

There are also many gasetted and publicly acessable roads that pass thru ligitimate private property.

This has been discussed here and on other forums at length in the past.

There are situations where...." land owners"...have fenced and gated sections of public land, such as stock reserves, crown land or other such and tried to tell people that it is their property.....where it definitely is not.

Above all, you need to know, as best you can where you are and what the situation is with the road or land you are traveling thru.

There are some very interesting issues revolving arround gates, fences, signs and the like and they spin out into public liability, property rights and a whole raft of other issues.

That is without getting into the mine field of the right ( or lack there of) of governments to levy fines and pass legeslation regarding certain things...There are slabs of legeslation out there particularly in state and local government that is invalid or partly invalid because it conflicts with superiour legeslation...some of that relates to access.

All that said.....the whole " free camping freeloader" thing is a very real issue out there with a lot of people pushing their luck, going and camping where they reasonably should not....and/or not looking after the place linke thay should.
There are also areas where the impcat of the traveling public is pretty damn you can understand various locals being a bit uppity.

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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:58

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 09:58
I have no idea whatsoever about the actual law, so my comments are based on my sense of natural justice.

I think there is a big difference between walking onto someone's suburban quarter acre block to have a look at the garden beds, and someone else's 100,000 hectare station to have a look at wildflowers.

Similarly, camping on a fenced dairy farm in regional Victoria is clearly inappropriate, while camping on an unfenced cattle run in the Territory (well away from cattle or any improvements) seems harmless to me.

I would therefore expect any law governing "trespass" to take into account the location and size of the property, and the reason the person was "trespassing" (casing the house to plan a burglary, retrieving a football, stealing cattle, looking at wildflowers, shooting pigs, camping).

One example that affects me is camping in Central Australia. There are large distances involved, necessitating overnight stops. There is often no public land available for camping while the roads run for 100s of kms between wall to wall cattle stations or aboriginal land. I've heard the argument "you wouldn't want people camping on your front lawn". For the reasons above, I think it is entirely different. To close off millions of hectares of open bushland to people who merely want a place to roll out their swag for the night seems very "dog in the manger" to me.

I'd be interested to hear what others think.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:44

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:44
I have come across that situation a bit Bob and have no hesitation to stop overnight.

Its think its about being reasonable - common sense things like not making a mess etc.

I'm glad we can sleep in the car which takes little time and makes little impact. Only once have I been told by an offical its a no camping spot and we agreed to leave at first light , which I thought was reasonable outcome.

Actually most of the time I suspect you are in the road reserve anyway and different rules apply there , and you have a right to stop and rest if getting tired.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Charlie - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 11:46

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 11:46
Back during the great depression farmers were very welcoming to strangers as your never know when a fire will start and burn you out. No need for fire these days as simply shaking your fist at someone is assault and will get you a court date.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 14:42

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 14:42
We are currently in a CP in Kakadu National park. Day before yesterday we took a guided boat tour of the East Alligator River. As you who have been there will know this river forms part of the border between Kakadu and Arnhem Land. The tour guide was an indigenous bloke from the Kakadu side of the river. Now I certainly aren't any expert on the subject and for a couple of good reasons I wasn't going to ask him if he was full blood or not. First of all I am of the opinion that it would be extremely rude and none of my business. Secondly he was literally twice my size and might have taken a great deal of offence and thrown me overboard to the crocs of which there was dozens. Actually he was one of the nicest blokes you could hope to meet, extremely knowledgeable about the area, it's animals and plants, and the traditional uses his people have for them. He even autographed the wife's jacket for her.
Anyway for the first part of the cruise he took us downstream to Cahills Crossing and explained how it came in to being. While we were there a couple of tour coaches went across into Arnhem Land along with a drilling rig and support vehicles. At that point he informed us about the need for the appropriate permits needed to enter. According to what he told us even though he was one of the traditional owners on the Kakadu side of the river he would need a permit to enter Arnhem Land as he was not of any of the family groups who live there and is not related by marriage or blood.
Pretty simple really, just ask permission and respect the decision whatever that may be. Arnhem Land is home to these people, regardless of how big it is. To me the same applies to station or farm land. Nothing to do with size. For that matter Kakadu has been handed back to the traditional owner family groups and leased back to the Federal government on a 99 year lease. They do welcome visitors to their land and are happy to show them "country". They just ask us to respect their culture and beliefs.
Just as an aside, there were a few heros standing about knee deep in the water flowing over Cahills Crossing fishing. One of the people on the boat asked our guide about the crocs where these guys were. His answer was pretty simple. "Bloody idiots, I was born and raised here and I wouldn't do that. Every so often one of them lose the lottery and their life."

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Reply By: Member - Robert R1 (SA) - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 18:32

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 18:32
I believe Toffytrailertrash has it spot on. If you are asked to move on and you don't then you are trespassing. If you leave then you are not trespassing.

AnswerID: 537019

Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 19:16

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 19:16
I agree Bob,but I didn`t know about there having to be a member of the police present at the time you are being ordered off.
A couple of years back I inquired to the police about the legality of some "Keep Out, Trespasses Prosecuted" signs on a roadside fence that goes right to the waters edge of a river.
The copper said that the signs mean nothing, you have to be verbally asked by the owner or the manager to stay out, or to leave if you are already on the property.
Interesting to hear that Toffytrailertrash says that a member of the police must be present at the time.
I just might have to check this out, it`s not a bad fishing spot. lol

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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:46

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:46
The laws of 'trespass' seem complicated but in reality are quite simple , by law each and every property /house has to have reasonable access , if a property owner /leaseeplaces a sign & gate denying access he / she is within their rights to refuse access to the GENERAL PUBLIC but cannot deny access to Aust Post / Minning Co's / Telstra / Electricity Suppliers etc ,,, as for those complaining about being confronted by a rifle bearing property owner ,, out our way you never know when you might need to shoot some vermin or a beast that the trespasser has injured…
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:00

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:00
"Trespassers Shot - Survivors Eaten" :-)
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:16

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:16


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Follow Up By: bigcol - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 00:12

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 00:12
Signs like Trespassers will be prosecuted is all you really need.
If some one enters your property you can then have them charged.

We had our local council playing games with us over their tree protection orders. Orders that the new officers had no idea about and were interpreting the laws different to what they had been for the last 13 years.

When they took aerial photographs of our property it was the last straw. We attached this to the front gate and informed them about the airspace.

There's plenty of high court rulings on trespass

So if it is signed you be best staying well clear and if some one asks you to leave do it straight away or you could end up with a hefty legal bill

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Follow Up By: Lifetime Member-Gaz@Gove (NT) - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 18:59

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 18:59
"Trespassers shot, Survivors prosecuted" is one I'll always remember.
Mmmmmmmm, now where do we go next?

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Reply By: Member - powernut (AFL Power) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 at 21:32

Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 at 21:32
Today's trespasser, tomorrow's Rottweiler bleep e. That sticks in my mind.

The main reason rural property owners get a bit touchy about trespassers is simple. In the past they would have had trespassers do damage to assets, and the farmer never get to see who it was. So he is suspicious of all trespasser, and unfortunately it disadvantages innocent people. But the bad apple in most situations effects us all in some way.

Just pull off the road a few meters and do the right thing. Most times you will be ok. If not negotiate a move on in the morning and apologize. Doesn't cost,much.
I am an apprentice retire. Its looking like my most successful career to date.

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