Fuel theft must stop says Walsh | Riverine Herald

MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has delivered a strong message of zero tolerance to those with intent to steal fuel.

Mr Walsh has applauded the decision by the Liberal National Coalition that fuel drive-offs would be treated as a criminal matter under a Coalition Government from 1 July 2019.

“Stealing petrol is a crime,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Liberal-Nationals are determined to see a sense of safety returned to our communities, and treating fuel drive-offs as a criminal matter is another step in the right direction,” he said.

“Victorians will have a very clear choice at the next election of more of the softly, softly approach on law and order from the Premier for Melbourne Daniel Andrews or a real crackdown on violent crime and assault in our communities.”

The key points of the Coalition policy include:

■Work with Victoria Police so all fuel drive-offs with non-innocent, criminal intent will be treated as criminal theft offences and not as civil matters.

■Work with Victoria Police to recommit to the presumption that all fuel drive-offs are initially

investigated as criminal offences.

■A zero-tolerance investigatory and enforcement regime to be established.

■A Victoria Police centrally administered fuel drive-off/theft online reporting system to be developed and introduced.

■Introduction of a new specific Victoria offence code, to the Crimes Act 1958 offence of theft, detailing fuel drive-off.

■The establishment of an improved information sharing interface system or virtual ‘stolen plate clearing house’ between Victoria Police and VicRoads.

■Work with industry to continue to implement improved security and video surveillance measures.

■The establishment of a taskforce to oversee the implementation, and ongoing effectiveness, of these reforms.

Mr Walsh said the Liberal-Nationals policy was another step in delivering long overdue legislative reform to address crime rates in the Murray Plains electorate and restore honesty and respect to our rural communities.