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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 July 2008) . . Page.. 2466 ..

MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice, Mr Speaker.

Theft—motor vehicle

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you please inform the Assembly about the government’s latest initiative to tackle car theft in the ACT through the expanded engine immobiliser scheme?

Mrs Dunne: How many times has he asked this question?

Mr Stefaniak: This is about the sixth time. Are you a slow learner, Mick?

MR CORBELL: It is disappointing that those opposite are not interested in the issue of reducing car theft in our community. Of course, they are not interested in practical solutions that help Canberrans on these important issues.

Mr Speaker, today I was very pleased to launch phase 2 of the ACT government’s engine immobiliser program. This second phase expands the engine immobiliser subsidy to all Canberrans who own older motor vehicles. Previously, the subsidy has only been available to concession card holders and pensioners, who have received a full $200 rebate for the provision of an engine immobiliser. Of course, those opposite and other members would be aware that the installation of an engine immobiliser is the most effective way of helping to prevent a vehicle from being stolen, particularly in instances of opportunistic car theft.

Today, with the launch of phase 2, the subsidy is being extended to all members of the community who own an older motor vehicle, regardless of their income. Most vehicles manufactured around 1980 to the mid-1990s are not fitted with an engine immobiliser as standard, and this is an opportunity for owners of such vehicles to take advantage of this new rebate. The rebate is $100, which is 50 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing an immobiliser, with the other 50 per cent being made available by the motor vehicle owner.

This is a significant program that is designed to help drive down motor vehicle theft in our community. Indeed, the ACT has seen a very significant reduction in motor vehicle theft since the program was first launched some years ago. Now, with its expansion, we are hoping to reach over 5,000 Canberrans who need an engine immobiliser fitted. This will make it one of the largest schemes of its type in the country. Given that our older motor vehicle fleet is only around 10,000 cars, we expect that it can have a very significant impact on the level of motor vehicle theft in our community.

The scheme is very easy for Canberrans to access. They simply need to contact Canberra Connect, who can then provide them with a voucher which they can then simply take to an accredited auto-electrician to have the immobiliser fitted. The auto-electrician will then redeem the voucher through the Council on the Ageing, which, in partnership with the ACT government, is administering the scheme.

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