VIC Lockdown Fines Outdo Other States
Australian Society and Politics, News, Topics | 11th October 2020
Interview with Sky News Australia, 10th October 2020
Victorians payed $2.2m more in COVID fines than rest of Australia combined during first lockdown
Economist Saul Eslake has discovered Victorians during the first lockdown payed almost $6 million in fines for allegedly breaching COVID restrictions, $2.2 million more than the rest of the country combined.
“Let me emphasise here, the comparisons I’m making are during the first lockdown, between late March and late May when all states were facing essentially the same situation during the first wave,” Mr Eslake told Sky News.
“Particularly Victoria collected five-and-a-half times as much by way of revenue from fines for breaches of lockdown regulations as New South Wales, can you really believe that there were five-and-a-half times more Victorians for every person in New South Wales who was doing something stupid or idiotic.
“No of course not, the difference was that Victoria was much more zealous in putting the police out there looking for breaches, Victoria was much less willing to exercise discretion for minor or inadvertent breaches.
“And the fines which Victoria imposed for every breach were considerably higher than the rest of the country.
“If that resulted in Victoria having a better experience then you might defend that as a sensible policy to have pursued.”
Mr Eslake said it is quite plausible to think the “complacency with which Premier Andrews so charmingly accused his fellow citizens of displaying when the first lockdown restrictions were eased” was caused by the “sense of relief they might have felt from getting out from under what had been clearly the most oppressive policing regime when it came to lockdown regulations”.