Inquiry reveals 50,000 Covid-related fines issued in Victoria

More than 50,000 fines have been handed to Victorians for breaching Covid-19 restrictions, but half have not been paid.

Some 5721 people were given a $100 fine for not wearing a mask, a state budget estimates inquiry has been told, while 112 people were caught failing to isolate when required, copping a $2,726 penalty. Nearly 40,000 fines were issued for “general breaches”, and another 1,723 fines for illegal gatherings.

But about 50 per cent of people have not paid their fines, Justice Department secretary Rebecca Falkingham told the inquiry on Wednesday.

There have also been 20,500 invoices sent to those who stayed in Victoria’s hotel quarantine system, the inquiry was told, with only 11,000 invoices paid, totalling $38 million.

About 4,300 invoices were waived, with the remainder either not due yet or with payment plans in place.

Meanwhile, Victorian attorney-general Jaclyn Symes was grilled at the inquiry over a report into the state’s ailing triple zero call service.

Symes confirmed she has the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority report, the compilation of which was led by former Victoria police chief commissioner Graham Ashton, but she would not give a timeline for its release date.

“No one is sitting on the report,” the attorney-general told the hearing.

“I will take it through the appropriate cabinet process before it’s released.”

Symes last week said the report would be released before 30 June.

The state opposition has accused the Andrews government of withholding answers from the public.

“Every Victorian who is being let down by Labor’s triple zero crisis deserves straight answers, not more Labor spin,” emergency services spokesman Brad Battin said in a statement.

More than $333 million was allocated to the ESTA in the 2022/23 state budget, which includes funding for an additional 400 staff.

Fines issued for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria:

  • 50,031 in total

  • 39,919 for general breaches

  • 5,721 for failing to wear a mask

  • 1,723 for unlawful gatherings

  • 112 for failing to isolate

  • 914 for leaving a restricted area

  • 634 for entering Victoria from a restricted area

  • 993 for businesses that did not comply

  • 15 for failing to leave a name and address.

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