Page 3624 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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Answers to questions

Crime—motor vehicle theft
(Question No 459)

Mr Pratt asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice, on 16 August 2005:

(1) Further to reports in the media, ABC Online of 19 July 2005, that ACT is the ‘weakest link’ in stolen car registrations, how many incidents of stolen vehicles which have been registered in the ACT occurred in the ACT during (a) 2001-02, (b) 2002-03, (c) 2003-04 and (iv) 2004-05;

(2) How was it discovered that these vehicles were in fact stolen;

(3) What are the procedures that are meant to be undertaken by the motor registry to ensure that vehicles are not stolen prior to registration;

(4) Will motor vehicle registration procedures be tightened as a result of this activity; if so, how; if not, why not;

(5) Why is the ACT supposedly known to criminals as the ‘weakest link’ for registering stolen cars;

(6) What will the ACT Government be doing to combat this illegal activity in light of the court’s findings that the ACT is the ‘weakest link’ for stolen motor vehicle registrations by large interstate organised crime rebirthing rings.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Road Transport Authority does not keep a record, in any recoverable form, of stolen vehicles that have been registered in the ACT.

(2) The two vehicles that caused the media reports were vehicles that were discovered to be stolen through the normal inspection and registration processes and were never granted ACT registration.

(3) The ACT registration system includes a range of measures designed to prevent the registration of stolen vehicles. The ACT is fully connected to the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS), Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) System, and has a fully functional Written-Off Vehicle Register (WOVR). All used vehicles are required to be physically inspected upon first registration in the ACT. Further to this, the ACT undertakes a program of higher-level (“third tier”) identity inspections for those vehicles considered to be of higher risk. These inspections are conducted by government officers in a centralised inspection station, in conjunction with members of the Australian Federal Police.

(4) All recent auditing of the vehicle registration system in the ACT has supported the measures in place and has failed to identify any system weaknesses that would provide for the opportunity for criminals to register stolen vehicles in the ACT. Nevertheless, as with all systems at the vehicle registration office, procedures are under constant review. In addition, the ACT continues to participate in national vehicle theft initiatives arising from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council and other forums.

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