Australians with Unpaid Covid Fines Could have Homes Seized, Bank Accounts Raided

Australians with Unpaid Covid Fines Could have Homes Seized, Bank Accounts Raided

The Brisbane Times published an article clearly identifying the government overreach Australian citizens are facing. Those who have violated any of the strict COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government are at risk for losing, quite literally, everything.

Australia’s staff at the State Penalties Enforcement Register (SPER) is attempting to collect roughly 3,046 unpaid fines worth a total of $5.2 million, as “Queenslands’s public health response has continued to reap dividends.”

“The fines involve 2755 individuals and businesses accused of flouting the rules during the coronavirus pandemic. About 56.4 per cent of fines had been paid in full or were subject to a payment plan” reports Brisbane Times.

The paper also reported “SPER was undertaking ‘active enforcement’ on another 18.4 per cent of fines, worth about $1 million, which a spokesman said ‘may include garnishing bank accounts or wages, registering charges over property, or suspending driver licences.”

The Daily Mail published an article with the headline: “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.”

“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.” SPER is also going after repayments on over 2,045 overdue hotel quarantine bills which they say have racked up a debt for the state of $5.7 million.

“Queenslanders rightly expect travellers will pay for their hotel quarantine stays and not leave taxpayers to foot the bill,” said a Queensland Health spokeswoman, who would not say how much commission the debt collectors stood to make under the arrangement, claiming it was commercial-in-confidence.

The Brisbane Times reports:

The government recently moved to allow for hotel quarantine invoices to be paid upfront, as part of its roadmap to reopening, and expected to also have the Wellcamp and Pinkenba quarantine facilities open within months.

By October 8, 44,350 invoices had been issued for hotel quarantine in Queensland, of which 10.8 per cent were significantly overdue. Those who did not pay up, or successfully apply for a waiver, would also be referred to debt collectors.


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