Western Australia’s worst fine defaulters are to be named and shamed on a new website from today onwards.
The website was set up under new measures, in an effort to recover millions of dollars owed to taxpayers.
The new site will publish the names of the top 100 defaulters, along with the suburb or town they live in and the amount of money owed in outstanding fines and infringements.
Attorney General (AG), Michael Mischin said the move formed part of a package of reforms targeting a small group of serial offenders who were cheating taxpayers out of millions of dollars.
Mr Mischin said the most serious fine defaulters owed $67m out of a total of $259m in unpaid infringements and court fines.
“The top 100 fine defaulters list is frankly staggering. Every person on the list each owes tens of thousands of dollars, with a handful of individuals and companies owing between $100,000 and $250,000 each,” he said.
“It not only indicates a pattern of law breaking, but a complete disregard for our laws and for their fellow West Australians. The money from these unpaid fines and infringements should rightly be available for schools, hospitals and infrastructure.”
According to the AG there has been a sharp increase in the payment of overdue fines and infringements in advance of new laws targeting repeat offenders. The laws come into effect today (August 21).
Under the laws, the Sheriff’s Office will have the power to wheel clamp vehicles or seize licence plates belonging to serious defaulters with more than $2,000 in unpaid infringements, or unpaid court fines.
Mr Mischin said that the laws have already had an impact - even before they took effect. Since the launch of these measures on August 4, 10,257 people have paid 12,478 outstanding matters in full. During this same period 2,986 people have entered into some form of payment arrangement.
The total amount of money paid in part or in full since August 4 is more than $3.9million. These figures include 639 defaulters who have paid almost $900,000 and would have been targeted for enhanced enforcement measures.
The AG suggested that any individuals and companies who don’t want their names and details published for all to see on the web should immediately pay their fines and infringements or enter into a 'time to pay' arrangement with the Fines Enforcement Registry.
The top 100 list will be available on: http://www.paymyfines.wa.gov.au. Individuals and companies can also visit the site to pay outstanding fines or infringements or they can phone the Fines Enforcement Registry on 1300 650 235 or 9235 0235 from mobile phones.
Police Minister: Liza Harvey
Police services in WA are to receive $285m funding towards extra officers and police infrastructure upgrades.
State Treasurer, Troy Buswell said that the investment will see a total of $285m injected into the states police department, $215 of that is expected to fund the recruitment of 550 new officers.
The remaining $67m is to be used to upgrade police station buildings that will house the new recruits.
The funding, to be delivered over four years, was announced today in a joint statement by Mr Buswell and Police Minister, Liza Harvey.
Mrs Harvey said the funding would mean more officers on the beat than ever before
"Fifty police officers would be recruited this year and in 2014 for a new rapid response unit in Perth's southern suburbs and 33 auxiliary officers will be signed up for general duties.The infrastructure upgrades will take place where they are most needed, in particular in Perth's outer suburbs," Mrs Harvey said.
She said the new recruitment program would be in addition to the 100 police officers to be recruited by June 2014 as part of the government's previous growth program.
"We will continue to invest in our local and regional communities to ensure we are building stronger and safer societies," Mrs Harvey said.