Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has welcomed today’s announcement by the Liberal National Coalition that fuel drive-offs would be treated as a criminal matter under a Guy Government from 1 July 2019.
“Fuel drive-offs are becoming more and more common and this isn’t an issue confined to the city,” Ms Bath said.
Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy MP announced the policy earlier today.
“I want a safer Victoria and that means adopting a zero tolerance approach to crime,” Mr Guy said. “Victorians who do the right thing and live by the law have had enough of excuses from criminals.”
“Victorians will have a choice at the next election of more of the same on law and order from Daniel Andrews or real change and a tougher approach from a Liberal Nationals Government I lead.”
Ms Bath said the issue was of increasing concern to many.
“People in the Latrobe Valley have spoken to me about instances of fuel theft. It’s frustrating for business owners and quite scary for those working at service stations; particularly at night,” Ms Bath said.
“The Coalition wants to see a sense of safety return to our communities, and treating fuel drive-offs as a criminal matter is one step in the right direction.”
Key points of the Coalition policy include:
- Working with Victoria Police so that all fuel drive-offs with non-innocent, criminal intent will be treated as criminal theft offences and not as civil matters. If required, legislation will be introduced to mandate that fuel theft is treated as a criminal offence.
- A Victoria Police centrally administered fuel drive-off/theft online reporting system to be developed and introduced. This will ensure an improved assessment and investigatory process for alleged offences, as reported by fuel retailers, modelled on the fuel drive-offs central reporting process introduced by NSW Police in 2013.
- The establishment of an improved information sharing interface system or virtual ‘stolen plate clearing house’ between Victoria Police and VicRoads to quickly identify stolen numberplates in a more timely and efficient manner thereby leading to earlier detection of offending plates and assist in mitigating fuel drive-off offences.
- The new regime to be introduced under a Guy Government by 1 July 2019.