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In 2017, the Andrews Labor Government introduced a bill to Parliament that is designed to make it harder for criminals to dispose of (and profit from) illegally obtained scrap metal. The bill was passed in late September, which has banned businesses from making or taking cash payments and from processing or trading unidentified vehicles. Businesses will also be required to keep additional records of all transactions involving scrap.
These new laws come into effect as of the 30th of May 2018.
“We are making it harder for criminals to use the auto-wrecking and scrap-metal industries as an avenue for quick cash,” said Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz.
According to these new laws, there must be traceable information available for every single transaction, with businesses facing maximum fines of more than $30,000 if they fail to comply. Police have also been granted greater search powers; officers will be permitted to search second-hand dealers’ business or storage premises without a warrant. They are also permitted to enter parts of residential premises that are used for business or storage purposes.
From the beginning of June onwards, it will become illegal for us to pay you cash for scrap metal. Instead, you will be paid with a cheque marked “not negotiable” or via Electronic Bank Transfer (EFT). There will be some processing time before funds will be available to you. Please let us know which payment method you prefer. We already record traceable information for all transactions as per the Second Hand Dealers Act and this new legislation.
Whilst we understand that the banning of cash for scrap metal is inconvenient for many of our customers, it is hoped that the measures will help to drive down theft in Victoria by removing the lure of quick cash. Did you know that close to 24,000 cars were stolen in Victoria during 2016? Many of these vehicles were sold via the scrap industry with 30% never being recovered. Downtime and inconvenience is also on the rise from criminals stealing copper and other metals from rail lines and other utilities.
“We are doing everything we can to crack down on crime and keep Victorian communities safe. The new laws provide police with additional tools to disrupt the trade of stolen cars and stop organised crime infiltrating the scrap-metal and vehicle-recycling industries,” said Minister for Police, Lisa Neville.