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  • Unpaid fine tally close to $1 billion as dodgers ignore SPER warnings
  • 09/11/2014 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Peti_K ( 1 article in 2014 )
FINE dodgers are poised to run up a bill of more than $1 billion within two years.

Threats of debt collectors, wheel clamping, community service, registration suspension and vehicle repossession have failed to convince fine defaulters to pay up.

Total debts before the much-maligned State Penalties and Enforcement Registry (SPER), created so fine dodgers avoid going to jail, exceeded $840 million at the end of 2013-14.

This was up 9 per cent from the previous year’s $774 million, putting the bill on track to hit $1 billion in 2016 if the Newman Government cannot persuade defaulters to pay.

The latest figures released by the Department of Treasury and Trade do not include $100 million wiped from SPER’s books after being deemed unrecoverable.

And the growth comes despite a record year of collections with the agency recovering more than $250 million.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said while the agency was recovering more each year, this was being outpaced by growth in fines caused by population increases, new technologies and a wider range of infringements.

“We are stepping up a legislative reform program at SPER to improve the recovery of unpaid fines and court imposed penalties, including the progressive use of different enforcement options,’’ he said.

A $20 million program to deploy debt collectors to knock on doors to collect cash also began this year amid mounting evidence that letters from SPER were having little effect.


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