Ipswich City Council owed $1.36m in unpaid fines
IPSWICH City Council is seeking to reclaim unpaid fines totalling $1.36m through the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER).
But if you think that sounds like a lot, it pales in comparison with the cash owed by residents of our big-city neighbour.
Brisbane City Council (BCC) is seeking to claw back $44.6 million worth of unpaid council fines and court-order penalties.
Taking population into account, BCC is owed about $41.40 per person, while ICC is owed only $8.90 per person.
In an attempt to recoup the unpaid fines from people who have broken council regulations and bylaws, the State Government is to trial the use of a third-party debt collection agency.
However, Ipswich won't be sweating on the repayment initiative as much as Brisbane.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the city council has taken a compassionate stance on outstanding fines.
"Council rarely uses the court-ordered penalty option," Cr Pisasale said. "Many people have been through incredible hardship since the floods ... I urge anyone with genuine financial difficulties to contact council to discuss payment options."
Cr Pisasale said fines referred to SPER could escalate and cause "even more hardship".
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said he was determined to get tough.
"For too long, repeat offenders were able to treat SPER like a limitless credit card," he said.
- Ipswich City Council has 6889 fines and 1452 court-ordered penalties registered with SPER.
- Brisbane City Council has 280,141 SPER-referred fines and 7021 court-ordered penalties outstanding.