Published on Tuesday 29, November 2022

Victorian Government should withdraw COVID-19 fines

Inner Melbourne Community Legal and YouthLaw have called on the Victorian Government to withdraw more than 30,000 outstanding COVID-19 fines issued in Victoria during the pandemic. 

Revenue NSW cancelled 33,000 COVID-19 fines, which is around half of the fine issued during the lockdown in New South Wales, after the Supreme Court of New South Wales ruled the fines did not meet the requirements under the Fines Act 1986 (NSW).  

Victoria’s Community Legal Centres will look closely at the implications of the NSW decision and what it could mean for Victorians that are being pursued for outstanding COVID-19 fines.

As previously reported, people in lower socio-economic areas were more likely to receive COVID-19 fines. The process of reviewing COVID-19 fines has also concerned community legal centres. We have seen people request their own internal review applications, which were ultimately refused. They were given no indication whether their circumstances had been properly considered.

The NSW case highlights the inappropriateness of a punitive policing response to a public health crisis. Inner Melbourne Community Legal and Youthlaw call for the withdraw all COVID fines that were inappropriately issued or inadequately reviewed by Victoria Police.

For further comment contact:

Connie Agius