Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Motor Vehicle Theft and Export
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council estimates that 20 passenger and light commercial vehicles are stolen and exported from Australia each week,
(ii) there are media reports that indicate that there has also been a spike in unrecovered, stolen four wheel drive vehicles in recent years,
(iii) terror experts claim that these four wheel drive vehicles are exported to Turkey and then driven across the border into Syria for use as armoured vehicles by terrorist organisations, and
(iv) vehicle exporters are not required to provide a clean Personal Property Securities Register report prior to the vehicle leaving the country; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) require all vehicle exporters to provide to the relevant authorities a clean Personal Property Securities Register report as a mandatory compliance component of the export process, and
(ii) direct the responsible authorities to further investigate this problem in the interests of national security.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
This motion has attracted some interest from the highly respected publication that is The Courier-Mail, but, more importantly, it did attract some interest from the government. Using national security was a way of attracting attention to this problem. This was the same tactic used by the government at the time I wrote this motion. Although there may be tenuous links with stolen vehicles leaving Australia and ending up in Syria, the real problem is this: approximately 20 passenger and light commercial vehicles are stolen and exported from Australia each week. Putting terrorism aside, I would just like to ask one question: do you think it is okay for a motor vehicle to be exported from this country without any checks at the border to ensure it is not stolen? I do not. If someone wants to personally import a vehicle, a lot of rules, red tape and costs are involved. If someone wants to steal our pride and joy, there are no checks to prevent it from being exported. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Attorney-General, his staff and the department for listening to my concerns and taking steps to address them. I will continue to talk to the government about this issue, but probably not The Courier-Mail.(Time expired)
The government notes Senator Muir's concerns about the theft and export of, in particular, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The government has referred Senator Muir's concerns to the relevant agencies for investigation and comment. We will of course provide Senator Muir with a copy of that advice when it is received. However, until the government is advised of the need for exporters—which will include many, many private individuals—to provide a Personal Property Securities Register report and the additional paperwork contemplated by this motion, the government cannot support the motion.