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Departmental Circular 9 2020

The Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Amendment Act 2020 (WA) (FPINE Amendment Act) received Royal Assent on Friday 19 June 2020. 

The FPINE Amendment Act introduces and amends actions to enforce the outstanding payment of fines and infringements.

Limited provisions of the FPINE Amendment Act have already commenced operation, with the remainder of the reforms coming into effect on Tuesday 29 September 2020.

Infringement notices

Currently, some infringement notices are required by legislation to refer to the actions that may be taken under the Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Act 1994 (WA) (FPINE Act) if the alleged offender does not act in accordance with the notice. The actions referred to in these infringement notices will need to be updated to reflect the new and amended enforcement actions when the remaining provisions of the FPINE Amendment Act commence on 29 September 2020.

The Department of Justice has progressed amendments to various regulations (Attachment A) to ensure infringement notices are updated in accordance with the enforcement actions that will be available when the FPINE Amendment Act commences. The proposed updated content to be adopted in these infringement notices is attached for your reference (Attachment B).

Local governments have a role in issuing infringement notices under several regulations listed in Attachment A. It should be noted that only the infringement notices that refer to the enforcement actions that can be taken under the FPINE Act are affected.

Local governments need to do the following:

  1. Update relevant infringement notices with the new wording in Attachment B
  2. Commence using the new infringement notices from Tuesday 29 September 2020.

When updating infringement notices, interim options may need to be adopted, including using stickers with the updated enforcement actions that can be applied to existing infringement notices, or attaching a document notifying the alleged offender of the updated enforcement actions.

An example of the additional information to be provided with an infringement notice is attached (Attachment C).   

Local laws

Local governments may prescribe the form of infringement notices in local laws. While not legally required, some local laws may also refer to the kinds of enforcement actions that can be taken under the FPINE Act in relation to infringement notices. Any such local laws need to be amended to ensure the infringement notices reflect the new enforcement actions. 

It is proposed that these local laws will be amended by a uniform local law made by the Governor under section 3.17 of the Local Government Act 1995 (WA).

To assist the Department to prepare this local law, it is recommended that your local government review its current local laws and:

  1. identify any local laws that refer to enforcement actions under the FPINE Act, including infringement notices included in local laws
  2. notify the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) of any local laws that refer to enforcement actions under the FPINE Act by Thursday, 29 October 2020. Please email legislation@dlgsc.wa.gov.au to provide a list of local laws that need updating.

If your local government does not notify DLGSC by the time specified, the local government will be responsible for amending the local law themselves.

Timing

The Government is introducing the remaining provisions of the FPINE Amendment Act as a priority. These provisions come into effect on Tuesday, 29 September 2020.

Infringement notices that are affected, must be updated and used (or interim options adopted) from Tuesday, 29 September 2020. 

If you require further information, please contact Legislative Services, Strategic Reform Directorate, Department of Justice at  legpolicy@justice.wa.gov.au.

Duncan Ord
DIRECTOR GENERAL

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Page reviewed 30 July 2019