NSW COVID fines to be withdrawn: Revenue NSW

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”.

“Where fines are withdrawn, all sanctions, including driver licence restrictions or garnishee order activity will be stopped,” the spokesperson said.

“Where a fine has been withdrawn and a customer has made a payment, either in part or in full, Revenue NSW will make contact to arrange a refund or credit the payment towards other outstanding debts.”

Speaking outside court, Redfern Legal Centre’s acting principal solicitor Samantha Lee said it was an “extraordinary day for the people of New South Wales”.

She said the case had been a “last resort” after her clients “tried every single option” to get their fines cancelled.

“This case has set a precedent that all of those fines are invalid and should never have been issued,” she said. “What has happened today is pure justice, and really it is a case for the people.”

Lee noted that fines can have a severe impact on people living in poverty. In NSW, a large portion of COVID penalties were issued to First Nations children, First Nations people and people earning low wages or no wage.

“This is a case for them,” she said.

Lee said when Justice Dina Yehia delivers a judgment in the case next year, we will know “whether this has implications for all COVID fines out there in the community.”

“It does have the potential to invalidate all COVID fines that were issued during the lockdown period,” she said.

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