Fuel drive-offs raised at community law and order forum
Tuesday 1 August 2017
Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy today welcomed the announcement that fuel drive-offs will be treated as criminal theft offences and not as civil matters under a Coalition Government.
Mr McCurdy said the current situation where fuel drive-offs from a petrol station are treated as a civil matter was raised at the Law and Order community forum in Wangaratta last night.
“Shadow Attorney General John Pesutto raised the problem of the current way fuel drive-offs are regarded as a civil rather than a criminal matter with community members who attended the law and order forum,” Mr McCurdy said.
“The current treatment of fuel drive-offs as civil matters has absolutely no deterrent effect on would be or recidivist offenders.
“Allowing fuel drive-off offenders to get away with theft can lead to an escalation in the seriousness of offender behaviour.”
Shadow Minister for Police, Edward O’Donohue, who also spoke at the Wangaratta Law and Order forum said it was clear the approach of turning a blind-eye to fuel drive offs hadn’t worked.
“It’s time to send a clear message of deterrence to those with intent who steal fuel by again treating it as a crime,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“Under Daniel Andrews criminals are emboldened with little fear of consequences and this has to change, including for fuel theft.”
Mr McCurdy said more than 70 people attended the forum including residents from Yarrawonga, Bright and Numurkah.
“Members of the community raised many important issues relating to crime, sentencing and community safety at the forum,” he said.
“Those in attendance listened and contributed to the discussion on the impact of crime in our region and what areas we need to focus on to bring about change.”
Mr McCurdy said the impact of the drug ice on the community, an increase in police numbers in the region and assistance for victims of crime were among the issues raised at the event. A local steering committee will now be formed.