Inquiry into copper and other metal thefts

Published Wednesday, 09 August, 2023 at 10:28 AM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • The Palaszczuk Government will establish a parliamentary inquiry to examine the issue of copper and other scrap metal thefts.
  • The inquiry will examine the prevalence and impacts of metal theft in Queensland and consider options to deter and disrupt the sale of stolen metals.


There have been growing community concerns about the frequency of thefts of metals including copper from energy, communication and transport networks, as well as local schools, sporting clubs and other properties.


Stealing is a criminal offence, and these thefts impact the whole community, including utility providers, businesses, residents, and community organisations, causing unnecessary costs and disruption.


That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is establishing a parliamentary inquiry into the issue.


The inquiry will look at options for curbing the ability of criminals to dispose of, and profit from, the sale of stolen metal through the scrap metal industry.


Consideration will also be given to the approaches taken by other states, including New South Wales and Victoria.


To ensure work begins on this important issue quickly, a round table will be held next week to hear from key stakeholders and develop the terms of reference for the inquiry.


Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:


"Our message to metal thieves is clear - stripping and stealing copper and other metals from our energy networks, businesses, schools, or any other organisation is a crime and won’t be tolerated.


“We have even heard reports of local sporting clubs across the state unable to use field lighting after their copper wiring was stolen, as well as local schools left without water after thieves took off with copper water pipes.


“I strongly encourage anyone with information about criminals stealing copper or other metals to contact Queensland Police.


“The government is determined to identify effective measures for detecting and disrupting the sale of stolen copper and other metals in Queensland.


“This is an issue impacting our economy and our communities, which is why we are initiating a thorough and comprehensive parliamentary inquiry.”



 Media Contact: Cullen Robinson 0418 170 474