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Fine and dandy: Government pumps up penalties to add millions to state coffers


Queenslanders are set to pay for a hefty increase in fines and infringements quietly introduced by the Palaszczuk Government, a decision likely to add tens of millions of dollars to the state’s coffers.

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Treasurer Cameron Dick last week approved a whopping 4.3 per cent increase in the value of a penalty unit to $143.77, the basis for determining the fines for breaches of state and local government laws.

To apply from July 1, it is the largest rise in the value of fines for several years, and a further sign the government is expecting a big leap in the amount of fines it collects.

Last year’s state Budget forecast that revenue from fines and forfeitures would grow a massive 39.3 per cent this financial year, largely as a result of the introduction of cameras to catch motorists not wearing seat belts or using mobile phones while driving.

“Revenue is forecast to grow by 7.9 per cent in 2022–23, driven by the planned rollout of additional cameras, and then remain stable in 2023–24 and 2024–25, growing by 2.5 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively,” the budget papers state.

Dick’s decision means the maximum fine for using a mobile phone while driving will jump to around $2860.

The Government last year began rolling out cameras that use artificial intelligence to detect divers using mobile phones or not wearing seat belts. The rollout followed a trial of the cameras in 2020 that detected more than 15,000 mobile phones offences and 2200 seat belt offences.



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