What to do with Covid fines?

Australian dollars. Image: Wikicommons

With more than 1200 fines handed out in NSW since March 17 for breaches of social distancing rules, some of them on the Central Coast, the State Opposition is calling for revenue collected to be given to charities supporting those doing it tough during COVID-19.

Eight businesses and 1,262 individuals have been slugged for failing to maintain social distancing restrictions and Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park says the money should go directly to frontline charities helping those who have lost their jobs and livelihood as a result of the devastating economic impact the pandemic is having right across the community.

“We want people to do the right thing and follow the social distancing and self-isolation rules that are in place,” Park said.

“However, there is an opportunity for this additional revenue to provide a much-needed boost to those struggling to make ends meet as a result of the thousands of jobs that have been lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“NSW has been hit the hardest both in terms of health impacts and job losses across the community and it is critical that charities are assisted during this time so that people and families get the support that they need to get through this crisis.”

But a NSW Government spokesperson said all money collected from fines goes into consolidated revenue.

“Consolidated revenue is a critical source of funding for essential infrastructure and community services in NSW, including roads, schools, police, transport and health care,” the spokesperson said.

“The NSW Government is considering what options are available to redirect revenue from fines collected from breaches of the Public Health Act to other measures which would benefit the community.”

Media release, Apr 30
Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park
Media statement, May 14
NSW Government