Name, shame unpaid fine scheme defended

THE Monetary Penalty Enforcement Service has defended its unpaid fines "name and shame" system, saying it is fair and that every opportunity is provided to help affected people.

The Examiner revealed yesterday that more than 3000 Tasmanians have been named and shamed on a public website for failing to pay millions of dollars in unpaid fees for things such as traffic, fishing and boating-related infringements.

Latest figures show that in the last financial year, the state lost $58 million in revenue from outstanding fines.

On top of the 3000 Tasmanians on the named unpaid fines list, an additional 7000 people are paying in accordance with an approved repayment plan.

A Monetary Penalty Enforcement Service spokeswoman said anyone paying in accordance with a repayment plan was not on the list.

"MPES provides every opportunity to all affected persons to make arrangements to deal with their monetary penalties," the spokeswoman said.

"Where a person is paying in accordance with a repayment plan there is no enforcement action undertaken and any form of sanction that may have been imposed is suspended until such time as the outstanding debt is paid in full.

"In the event that a debtor defaults on a repayment plan, then enforcement action is recommenced."

The spokeswoman said that MPES did not take enforcement sanctions lightly and it would not be enforced unless a monetary penalty was overdue.

She said if anyone was concerned about their private details being on the website, including their name, address and amount owing "all they need do is contact MPES and make an arrangement to deal with their outstanding penalties".

For information on unpaid fines contact the MPES on 1300 366 776.

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