Plan to write off $112,000 in fines

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
The biggest culprits are those not paying Dog Act fines followed by unpaid parking infringements.
Camera IconThe biggest culprits are those not paying Dog Act fines followed by unpaid parking infringements. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Bunbury city councillors have been left to question what more they can do as they prepare to write off more than $112,000 in unpaid fines.

The council will next week be recommended to write off $112,533 in outstanding infringements from the 2016-17 year.

It is a slight increase on the previous year when $109,865 was written off by the council.

The biggest culprits are those not paying Dog Act fines with more than $60,000 still owed to the council from 2016-17, followed by $41,916 in unpaid parking infringements.

The remaining outstanding balance includes Cat Act, litter, bushfire and local law fines.

During a briefing session this week, several councillors questioned what more council staff and rangers could do.

“Is there any actual further action we can take with dog owners or cat owners, other than potentially taking their pets away ... is there any further action we can take other than continually sending them debt letters,” Deputy Mayor Jaysen Miguel asked.

Chief executive officer Mal Osborne told the council that staff were continually working with and educating the community.

“Our rangers team is always working with pet owners to try and make pet owners responsible and there’d be less infringements to start off with if pet owners were responsible,” Mr Osborne said.

“The education component continues and that’s not only with animals, but with all those aspects of our local laws.

“If people do the wrong thing then, not in every instance, but in a lot of instances, infringements are issued as a last resort.”

Planning and development services director Gary Barbour said staff were always considering education options.

“Depending on the issues that are commonly coming up as the rangers are doing their duties, they do look to education campaigns,” Mr Barbour said.

“There are certain elements in the community that it doesn’t matter how much education you do, it will end up in a fines situation.”

The outstanding fines are followed up by the Ministry of Justice Fines Enforcement Registry.

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