Organised crime infiltration can cause significant harm to an occupation or industry, and to the broader community. We recognise that the scrap metal industry is one that is susceptible.
The Victorian Government introduced new laws banning cash for scrap metal when reforms to the Second Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989 and the Second Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Regulations 2018 came into effect in May 2018.
We worked closely with key industry stakeholders, the Australian Metal Recycling Industry Association (AMRIA), the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), and Victoria Police, to develop the reforms.
Second-hand dealers are now banned from paying or receiving cash payments for scrap metal, or dealing in unidentified scrap motor vehicles without police authorisation, and must keep detailed records of all transactions involving scrap metal.
Police have new search and entry powers that will allow them to enter business and storage premises without a warrant if they reasonably believe that dealing in scrap metal is taking place.
The new Regulations require second-hand dealers who deal in scrap metal to register as second-hand dealers through the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) by 1 September 2018. The BLA will assess registration applicants to determine whether they are suitable to be registered.
New offences have been introduced, with penalties of more than $30,000 for buying or selling scrap metal for cash. Police will be able to issue on-the-spot fines to scrap metal dealers not adhering to the new laws, with penalties of more than $1,900.