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NSW COVID fines to be withdrawn: Revenue NSW

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More than 33,000 COVID-19 fines will be cancelled by Revenue NSW after the state government conceded in a NSW Supreme Court test case that the fines were invalid.

Redfern Legal Centre brought the case on behalf of three of its clients who received fines ranging from $1000 to $3000 during the 2021 public health lockdowns. One of the clients, Rohan Pank, had his fine for sitting in a park withdrawn after the case was filed.

Police patrol Bondi Beach in August 2021 to enforce public health orders.Credit:Steven Siewert

On Tuesday, a barrister appearing for the Commissioner of Fines Administration accepted that the fines in the case were not valid because they did not adequately describe the offence, meaning they did not meet the requirements of section 20 of the Fines Act.

Katherine Richardson, SC, appearing for the plaintiffs Brenden Beame and Teal Els, argued in court that the decision on the two fines could affect more than 30,000 others.

Shortly after the court adjourned, Revenue NSW said in a statement that it would withdraw a total of 33,121 fines, around half of the total number of 62,138 COVID-related fines issued.

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“This decision does not mean the offences were not committed,” a spokesperson said.

“The remaining 29,017 COVID-19 fines will still be required to be paid if not already resolved. They are not affected by this decision.”

Revenue NSW said the fines had been challenged on a “technical basis” that they “do not provide a sufficiently detailed description of the offence committed and are therefore invalid”.


More than 33,000 COVID-19 fines will be cancelled by Revenue NSW after the state government conceded in a NSW Supreme Court test case that the fines were invalid.

Redfern Legal Centre brought the case on behalf of three of its clients who received fines ranging from $1000 to $3000 during the 2021 public health lockdowns. One of the clients, Rohan Pank, had his fine for sitting in a park withdrawn after the case was filed.

Police patrol Bondi Beach in August 2021 to enforce public health orders.

Police patrol Bondi Beach in August 2021 to enforce public health orders.Credit:Steven Siewert

On Tuesday, a barrister appearing for the Commissioner of Fines Administration accepted that the fines in the case were not valid because they did not adequately describe the offence, meaning they did not meet the requirements of section 20 of the Fines Act.

Katherine Richardson, SC, appearing for the plaintiffs Brenden Beame and Teal Els, argued in court that the decision on the two fines could affect more than 30,000 others.

Shortly after the court adjourned, Revenue NSW said in a statement that it would withdraw a total of 33,121 fines, around half of the total number of 62,138 COVID-related fines issued.

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“This decision does not mean the offences were not committed,” a spokesperson said.

“The remaining 29,017 COVID-19 fines will still be required to be paid if not already resolved. They are not affected by this decision.”

Revenue NSW said the fines had been challenged on a “technical basis” that they “do not provide a sufficiently detailed description of the offence committed and are therefore invalid”.

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