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COVID-19: Restrictions and Fines in Australia

Australia Publication August 2020

Federal, state and territory governments continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing and maintaining a range of emergency measures aimed at protecting community safety and wellbeing. Restrictions and requirements differ with some states and territories experiencing easing of restrictions and others experiencing the introduction of stricter restrictions.

As the impact of the pandemic continues to evolve so too do the laws and policies in each state and territory and it can be hard to keep up. The below table provides links to the webpages of authorised information providers regarding restrictions currently in place in each state and territory.

The Police in each state and territory have the power to issue fines and/or charge people and businesses in breach of the restrictions. Information is provided below about how to seek review of or appeal a fine if you feel that it has been issued incorrectly. We recommend that you always seek legal advice if you have any specific concerns.

REMEMBER: The table below is current as at 4 August 2020. For the most comprehensive and up-to date information, click on the relevant web links.

State / Territory  Restrictions and resources  How to seek a review of / appeal a fine 
Victoria  Review current information here 

Victoria Police have announced that they will review each fine they issue for failure to comply with public health orders.

Further information in relation to requesting a review of a fine and payment options is available here. 
New South Wales  Review current information here 

If you disagree with a penalty you can request a review of a penalty issued to you by police by Revenue NSW. Further information is available here.

You can seek a reduction or waiver of a fine on grounds of financial disadvantage, arrange to pay by instalments or apply for a Work & Development order. Further information is available here.

You can also appeal your fine to the Local Court or if you are under 18 years old, the Children’s Court.1 
Queensland  Review current information here 

Queensland Police have announced that they will review each fine they issue for failure to comply with public health orders.

Further information in relation to disputing your fine is available here and disputing an infringement notice here.

You can also elect to appeal your fine to the Magistrates Court.2 
Northern Territory  Review current information here 

If you disagree with your fine you can request it be reviewed by contacting Northern Territory Police within 28 days of being issued with the fine.

Further information in relation to requesting a review of a fine is available here and payment options is available here. 
Australian Capital Territory  Review current information here  If you disagree with a fine you can request it be reviewed by contacting the Federal Police within 28 days of being issued with the fine. Further information about how to apply for a review or an extension of time to pay a fine is available here 
Tasmania  Review current information here 

If you disagree with a fine you can request it be reviewed by contacting Tasmania Police within 28 days of being issued with the fine. The Tasmania Police may:

  • withdraw your fine; or
  • confirm their decision to issue you with the fine.
Further information in relation to requesting a review of a fine or infringement notice and payment options is available here. 
Western Australia  Review current information here 

If you disagree with your fine you can request it be reviewed by contacting Western Australian Police within 28 days of being issued with the fine. Following their review Northern Territory Police may:

  • withdraw your fine; or
  • confirm their decision to issue you with the fine.
Further information in relation to payment options is available here. 
South Australia  Review current information here  Information in relation to requesting a review of a fine is available here and information in relation to payment options is available here. 
     

This update is applicable to Australian law only and are generic in nature. If you have any specific legal concerns relating to the impact of COVID-19 on your people or your business, please reach out to our pro bono team (ausprobono@nortonrosefulbright.com) and we will consider your pro bono legal request. If we aren’t able to help you, we will try to find someone else who can. This update is current as at 4 August 2020.


Footnotes

1

You should obtain legal advice before you make the decision to challenge your fine in Court.

2

You should obtain legal advice before you make the decision to challenge your fine in Court.



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