Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2485 ..
MRS CROSS (5.10): The opposition is pleased to support this bill, especially as it finalises work that was initiated by the previous Liberal government. This bill addresses two problems that have lacked sufficient restriction for some time: car theft and identity fraud. Not only is each of these a significant problem individually, but the two combined can also compromise road safety.
The previous government recognised some time ago that more needed to be done to keep track of car registration details and to use these as a tool to tackle car theft in the rebirthing of vehicles. In the 2000-01 financial year, $4 million was allocated to replace the transport regulation information process system, commonly known as TRIPS.
This bill will use this new system to good advantage. The written-off vehicle register is part of a national approach that began two years ago to address vehicle theft. Having already been directly involved in this work, the opposition fully support it and wish it well.
The second issue being addressed by this bill-identity fraud-is a particular problem among teenagers who are after a fake ID in order to prove that they are over the legal drinking age. Unfortunately, fake IDs have been too easy to obtain, and once again the new TRIPS system will be made to work for the good of the community.
Naturally, there is always concern over the retention of personal information on databases. However, I am satisfied that this matter has been sufficiently addressed within the legislation and by the government's proposed protocols. I believe that we can establish a good system to protect property and privacy under this legislation, and it has opposition support.
MS DUNDAS (5.12): I rise to add the support of the Australian Democrats to this bill. The modernising of the process for issuing drivers licences and the establishing of the written-off vehicle register are two initiatives that we are happy to support.
To prevent professional motor theft it is vitally important to keep track of all Australian cars written off following accidents, as their ID numbers are often used to rebirth stolen cars, perpetuating vehicle theft. This initiative of the government places the ACT in the same league as our nearest jurisdictions of New South Wales and Victoria. I also understand that South Australia has a similar system and will be updating it to fall in line with the other Australian states.
The rebirthing of stolen vehicles is a crime which costs the community an estimated $40 million each year. This is one crime prevention step that is to be noted and applauded.
I note from budget estimates for financial year 2000-01 that Urban Services listed that the written-off vehicle register was to be implemented that year at a cost of $4 million. I would ask the minister, in closing this debate, to reassure the Assembly that we are not paying for this updated computer system twice and that this bill will not eat into our 2002-03 budget.