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Queensland to pay stolen vehicle recovery costs

A scheme that covers recovery costs for victims of motor theft will be rolled out across Queensland thanks to a government funding injection.

The police scheme, which has been trialled in Townsville, covers the cost of towing and initial storage when a stolen vehicle is found. It is expected to expand to south-east Queensland by next month and be statewide by September.

“If someone does become a victim, we hope to ensure they are given every support possible to recover and feel supported and protected while doing so,” Queensland Police Service acting assistant commissioner Andrew Pilotto said.

The towing scheme is backed by a $1.28 billion state investment in broader community safety programs.

The Insurance Council of Australia welcomed the announcement, with a spokesperson describing it as a "positive step towards alleviating the financial burden on victims of crime". 
"Additionally, the ICA and its members would support broader reforms to the Tow Truck Regulation 2009 to place price caps on accident storage fees," the spokesperson said.

"As towing fees in Queensland are already subject to regulations, extending these to include accident storage would deter price gouging by some operators.
"Price gouging in accident towing and storage charges inflate insurance claim costs, and these costs are ultimately reflected in higher motor insurance premiums for all Queenslanders."