Outsiders taking us for a ride as fines hit $1.3b
Overseas and interstate fine dodgers owe almost $90 million to Queensland's State Penalties Enforcement Registry, sparking renewed calls for the agency to rein in the staggering debt.
New data has revealed a whopping $87.7 million in fines have been racked up by overseas and interstate residents while in Queensland.
SPER is responsible for collecting unpaid fines and court-ordered penalties, including fines for speeding, drink-driving, unpaid tolls and driving an unregistered vehicle.
A Queensland Treasury spokesman said SPER used all its available powers to collect debts, no matter where the debtor resided.
It is understood powers include the ability to freeze assets, seize wages and suspend a driver's licence.
It comes as Queensland's total SPER debt pool reaches a staggering $1.31 billion, with $590 million awaiting enforcement action due to non-payment.
About $164 million in new debt has been registered in the 2020-21 financial year, more than $814,000 a day.
Queensland's $1.31 billion debt pool grew from $1.29 billion at the same time last year.
Last October a spokeswoman for Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the Government planned to invest $74.9 million on a debt and recovery compliance program to increase revenue and collections by $488 million over the next three years.
Queensland shadow treasurer David Janetzki called for the Government to prioritise its recovery actions.
"Labor's promise to invest in a SPER recovery compliance program must be kept," he said.
"This is money that belongs to all Queenslanders.
"It should be used to fast-track infrastructure projects across the state that can drive our economic recovery and create jobs."
At last year's state election the Opposition pledged to investigate using mercantile agents to recover the mammoth debt.
Brisbane's 4000 postcode has the highest number of debtors, with 4539 people owing $11 million.
Debtors in the northern suburbs of Carseldine, Boondall, Geebung, Aspley and Zillmere in postcode 4034 owed $11 million - the second highest.
WHAT $1.3BN COULD FUND
- 18,714 new state school teachers
- 17,635 registered nurses or midwives
- 13,879 Queensland Police Senior Constables
- The Brisbane Metro
- 87 per cent of stage one of the Coomera Connector
Originally published as Outsiders taking us for a ride as fines hit $1.3b