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Speeding fines wiped as appeals bank up - The Age

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Sir Ride Alot, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Speeding fines wiped as appeals bank up

    Date February 25, 2013 - 12:24PM
    Deborah Gough

    Reporter for The Age

    Melbourne's most lucrative camera site: Keilor Park Drive Bridge in Keilor East.

    Up to 40,000 speeding motorists have got off without paying for their fines because there are too few public servants to cope with the review process, the public sector union has said.

    Under the Infringement Act, a person can apply for a review of their speeding fine. If the review is not dealt with within 45 days it must be withdrawn by the Traffic Camera Office.

    The ABC reported that the camera office was forced to withdraw up to 40,000 speeding fines because it could not keep pace with the appeals.

    The Community and Public Sector Union state secretary Karen Batt said cuts to public servants and a freeze on hiring had led to a leap in motorists getting off without paying their fine. Ms Batt said police officers had been used to make up the shortfalls for trained support staff since December last year.

    Ms Batt said she held documents that showed the Justice Department had started using labour hire firm Tenix to fill the gaps in the Victoria Police’s traffic review and prosecutions section last week. Tenix would provide labour hire staff until at least June, she said.

    Earlier this year, it was reported that there were too few staff to process paperwork that allows police to crush hoon cars and that hoons were getting their cars back.

    Ms Batt said up to 12 per cent of Victoria Police's support staff had been cut and labour hire firms were used to make up the shortfall. The Baillieu Government has cut 4200 public sector jobs.

    Ms Batt told ABC 774 the cuts were counter-productive because the state lost revenue and was spending money on labour hire firms instead.

    "We believe that the budget cuts are a great expense to the state's budget," Ms Batt said.

    "We have been getting a lot of anecdotal evidence from across Victoria Police about the impact that these cuts are having. You can't cut support staff without it having a direct impact on the frontline," she said.

    The union has put its case against the use of labour hire firms to a Senate inquiry.

    "The use of labour hire in the public service is undermining both the integrity of the public service and the ability to deliver services to the people of Victoria," she said.

    She said labour hire contractors did not have the same ethics training as ‘‘officers of the Crown’’ and were not subject to freedom of information laws in the same way as public servant staff.

    Deputy Premier and Police Minister Peter Ryan would not elaborate only saying that it was "not my understanding".

    "I will have the matter investigated and we will have more to say about it in a timely way," he said.

  2. If you get an infringement ALWAYS ask for a review.
  3. Heraldsun have just posted up a report.

    Extra staff hired. No fines will be scrapped.
  4. What a surprise. They'd do anything not to let go of it. I was expecting them to ban reviews on fines.
  5. Must try harder then, mustn't we?

    FWIW I think they are obliged and permitted to say that, whatever the truth is.
  6. Staff shortage won't stop 40,000 fines being issued

    February 26, 2013 Deborah Gough

    Motorists booked for speeding will not get away with breaking the law, a spokesman for the Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan has said.

    On Monday, it was reported that 40,000 contested fines had been withdrawn because there were insufficient staff in the Traffic Camera Office to deal with the backlog.

    Under the Infringement Act, if a request for a fine review is not dealt with within 90 days, not 45 days as previously reported, it must be withdrawn.

    The issue was first mentioned on ABC Radio and was confirmed by the Community and Public Sector Union.

    “Claims by Labor's union mates that 40,000 contested speeding fines are to be withdrawn are absolutely false," Mr Ryan's spokesman said.

    “Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill stated at least three times yesterday that the allotted 90-day period for dealing with an appeal to a fine had not lapsed in any case. No fines have been withdrawn," he said.

    “Independent Traffic Camera Commissioner Gordon Lewis has stated this morning that he has made his own investigations and is satisfied this is exactly the case."

    CPSU state secretary Karen Batt raised concerns about the use of contractors in the public service, especially to deal with ethical and legal issues such as traffic fines reviews.

    Six staff from labour hire company Tenix have been hired to join the Traffic Camera Office and are expected to be there until at least June, following staff cuts at the office.

  7. hmmm probably 5% of fines get disputed.. they hire more staff to cover it... what it 10% of people asked for a review...

    make them work for it and it wont be as appealing for plugging budget problems.
  8. It should never be about plugging budget leaks nor should it be about jumping on people who are 1k over, but they do that too.
  9. Then they find a way to charge extra (purely to cover the costs involved) if you dispute it and they decide you're still guilty.
  10. then take it in the ass... your choice.

    if its too easy for them they have no reason to change anything.
  11. I think I'll believe it when I actually hear about some fines being withdrawn without a considered response.
    But interestingly, Roads Minister Terry Mulder announced today that the "mobile phone issue is the biggest road safety issue since .05". No argument from me, but it sounds a little bit like TACs "Speed Kills" overkill has gotten a bit on the nose....?
  12. Didn't say not to do it, only made a cynical prediction. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be surprised if they did it regardless of volume.