It will be easier and simpler for Victorians to deal with their fines in one place under the Fines Reform Act, which stared this week.
A new body — Fines Victoria — will sit within the Department of Justice and Regulation to manage the administration and enforcement of infringement and court fines across the state.
Fines Victoria will become a single, central and accessible point of contact for people with outstanding fines.
Fines Victoria will consolidate fines into one place with significant improvements to fine payment options and arrangements.
Victorians will also be able to pay their fines — including those issued by different agencies and courts — under a single payment arrangement.
The reforms provide more options for people suffering genuine hardship to resolve their fines, including for victims of family violence and people in acute financial hardship.
Key features include:
●Increased options for vulnerable and disadvantaged people to work off fines under the Work and Development Permit scheme;
●Strengthened internal review provisions, including a new internal review oversight function, to ensure fair and consistent decision-making by enforcement agencies;
●Victim survivors of family violence will no longer be unfairly liable for fines incurred by perpetrators; and
●The option to seek a review if a person can demonstrate that they didn’t receive the fine in the mail and their details were up-to-date.
The reforms also include a range of sanctions to deter non-payment of fines and keep the system fair for the majority of people who pay their fines.
Sanctions can apply to people and companies by the director of Fines Victoria. The fines life-cycle will also be shortened under the new system.
For those who ignore reminder notices and refuse to pay their fines on time, sanctions can include suspending a person’s vehicle registration or preventing them from renewing or transferring the registration; suspending a person’s driver’s license or preventing them from renewing or obtaining a new one; or making a company director personally liable for fines incurred by a company.
Sheriff’s officers will also be able to remove number plates and apply wheel clamps.
‘‘The new fines model creates a fairer balance for Victorians by providing better options for people suffering genuine hardship, while also ensuring those who can and should pay their fines do so,’’ deputy secretary Ryan Phillips said.
●People can deal with their outstanding fines online at fines.vic.gov.au