November 1, 2021

AUSTRALIA: Thousands Of Australians With Unpaid Fines For Breaking Covid Rules Have Their Homes Seized, Bank Accounts Raided And Licences Cancelled As Government Chases $5.2 Million

The Daily Mail, UK
written by Miriah Davis
Wednesday October 27, 2021

Queenslanders who received fines for breaking Covid-19 rules risk having their homes seized and bank accounts frozen in a government crackdown to collect $5.2 million in repayments.

The State Penalties Enforcement Register is expected to collect 3,046 unpaid fines from the pandemic on behalf of Queensland Health.

More than 2,755 fines were from individuals and businesses accused of breaking Covid-19 restrictions and the rest either still under investigation or pending payment.

About 56.4 per cent of fines have already been paid in full or are being paid off on a payment plan.

The drastic measures would be used to collect 18.4 per cent of outstanding fines, worth a total of $1 million.

Queensland Health also called on SPER to recover more than 2,045 overdue hotel quarantine bills which have racked up a state debt of $5.7 million.

'Queenslanders rightly expect travellers will pay for their hotel quarantine stays and not leave taxpayers to foot the bill,' Queensland Health said.

The commission debt collectors will make from recovering the unpaid fines is not yet known.

Before Queensland required upfront payment for hotel quarantine stays, 44,350 invoices were issued by October 8 with 10.8 per cent of bills outstanding.

Those unable to foot the bill can apply for a waiver but others will be referred to debt collectors.

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UPDATE 11/2/21 at 12:37am: Added info below.

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