Legal groups which have been speaking out against fines since 2020 say it would be ‘unfair and heartless’ to pursue payment.
Legal groups say the Victorian government should waive all fines issued under coronavirus public health orders following reports that some of those recruited to issue the fines were not properly authorised.
The government separately promised 12 months ago to review fines issued under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to ensure they passed the common sense test. That resulted in hundreds of fines being challenged in the magistrates court.
Community legal services have been calling for fines to be waived since 2020, arguing they disproportionately affected marginalised communities and had in some cases been issued to people who were acting in accordance with the law.
Police in New South Wales have also been accused of issuing fines under that state’s public health legislation unfairly and incorrectly, with an alliance of legal centres calling for the fines to be withdrawn.