Fines, Penalties and Internal Reviews of Infringements

If you have received an Infringement Notice or Penalty Reminder Notice, you can apply to have your fine reviewed by Council. This type of review is called an Internal Review. You can request only one internal review for each infringement. The application for an internal review is located at the bottom of this page.

What is the Internal Review Process?

By law, you can only request one internal review of your infringement which means you need to provide all the relevant details or supporting documentation to help us make a decision.

Once you make an application for review, your infringement will be put on hold until it is reviewed by the independent internal review panel and a decision is made.

You may be asked for additional information. You must provide that information within 35 days.

The persons conducting the internal review, after considering your circumstances, may decide to do any of the following actions:

  • withdraw the infringement notice
  • confirm the decision to issue the infringement notice
  • withdraw the infringement notice and issue an official warning
  • waive all or any prescribed costs
  • approve a payment plan/extension or time
  • any combination of these actions.

How do I request a payment plan or extension?

A payment plan with Council is an extension of time to pay.

You will be automatically offered a payment plan (extension of time to pay) if you hold any of the following cards:

  • Commonwealth Government (Centrelink) Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card
  • Centrelink Health Care Card (all types including non-means tested).

 Please provide a copy of your card when submitting your request.

If you don’t fall under the above and you are experiencing financial hardship, then you must provide supporting documentation when submitting your request.

Please make written requests to council via letter or email us at [email protected]

What happens if I don't pay my infringement? 

Overdue fines don’t just go away and follow a 'life cycle' which escalates at each step. Please do not ignore the infringement notices. The escalation process is set out in infringement legislation.

Step 1 – Infringement notice

The initial infringement notice will provide 28 days to pay and provide other options, including:

  • requesting an internal review
  • requesting a payment plan/extension of time to pay
  • electing to have the matter heard at the Magistrates Court.

 Step 2 – Penalty reminder notice

After 28 days, Council will send you a penalty reminder notice. An extra prescribed cost will be added to the fine at this stage. The penalty reminder notice will provide options, including:

  • paying the total amount by the new due date
  • requesting an internal review, providing you have not done so already
  • electing to have the matter heard at the Magistrates Court.

 Step 3 – Court proceedings

If you do not pay the infringement by the penalty reminder notice due date, your infringements will be sent to Fines Victoria where further cost are added.

If you matter relates to one of Council's Local Laws, then you will be issued a legal proceedings letter advising that your matter will be referred to Court. Your infringement will be withdrawn, and the matter will proceed to Court. You will receive a summons to attend Court. If you do not attend Court, the matter will be heard ex-parte.

You can request an Internal Review of your fine under one of the following grounds:

Person unaware: you did not know about the fine

You can request a review under this ground if all of the following apply:

  • you found out about the fine within the last 14 days; and
  • the fine was not personally given to you by a Council officer.

If you moved house but you did not change your authorised address with the relevant agency (for example, VicRoads) within 14 days of moving, your application may not be successful.
Your application may not be successful unless you provide evidence showing you did not know about the fine. This could be a copy of your passport or boarding pass showing you were overseas, an invoice from a removalist showing that you moved house, a VicRoads address change confirmation, or a report about mail theft.
You must submit your application within 14 days of the date you became aware of the fine.
If your application is successful, you will be granted a further 21 days to deal with your fine and any fees added to your fine will be removed.

Contrary to law: the fine is invalid or was improperly issued to you

You can apply under this ground if you believe that Council's decision to fine you was inconsistent with the law.
For example, the officer who issued the fine acted unlawfully, improperly or outside their authority or the fine does not comply with the legal requirements of an infringement notice.

Mistake of identity: the fine was issued to the wrong person

You can request a review under this ground if you have been incorrectly identified as the person who committed an offence, and you have evidence to support your claim. For example, someone provided your licence or gave your details to police, or you have the same name as another person or family member and the wrong person received the fine.
Once your fine progresses to a Notice of Final Demand with Fines Victoria, it is too late to nominate (except in limited circumstances, such as family violence situations).
You cannot request a review under this ground if someone else was driving your vehicle. Failing to nominate the responsible person is not a valid reason to apply for mistake of identity.

Exceptional circumstances: the offence occurred due to an extraordinary or unavoidable situation

You should only select this ground if you can show that the offence occurred due to circumstances that were out of the ordinary, unavoidable, or exceptional – such as a medical emergency or a vehicle breakdown.

Special circumstances: you have serious personal issues, disorders or difficulties

If you have any of the circumstances outlined below, you may be eligible to apply for a review of your fines under Special Circumstances.

These circumstances are very specific. You can only apply if you can show that:

  • you committed the offence in part because you:
    • had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
    • had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
    • were homeless
    • were affected by family violence, OR
  • you cannot deal with your fines because of severe disabling long-term circumstances, even if those circumstances did not exist at the time of the offence.

You will need to provide evidence from a qualified practitioner or agency to support your application. 

The Family Violence Scheme

If you have been impacted by family violence, the Family Violence Scheme is an option to help victim survivors deal with fines if there is a link between the family violence and their fines.

See: Family Violence Scheme for more information

Special circumstances linked to your offending behaviour

You must show a link between your special circumstances and your offending behaviour.

If you have a mental illness, intellectual disability, or a serious substance addiction, you need to provide evidence of how this reduced your capacity to:

  • understand your behaviour was against the law, or
  • control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).

If you are homeless or a victim of family violence, you need to provide evidence of how this reduced your capacity to control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).

Long-term circumstances linked to your ability to deal with your fine

If you are not able to deal with your fine due to severe disabling long-term circumstances, you need to provide evidence that your circumstances:

  • are long term and severe, disabling or incapacitating, and
  • relate mostly to issues other than financial hardship, and
  • make it impracticable or unfeasible for you to deal with your fine by:
    • paying in full
    • paying in instalments
    • completing activities or treatment under a Work and Development Permit
    • applying for the Family Violence Scheme.

Examples include:

  • long-term involuntary mental health care
  • severe physical or intellectual disability.

Who can prepare your supporting evidence?

You must provide evidence from a practitioner or agency who is familiar with your circumstances. Depending on your circumstances, this may be your:

  • doctor or medical specialist
  • psychiatrist or psychologist
  • social worker or case worker
  • accredited drug treatment agency or drug counsellor
  • financial counsellor
  • recognised health, support or welfare agency (for example, the Salvation Army).

Evidence may include, reports, letters, statements, submissions, statutory declarations, police reports and family violence safety notices.

What is required in your report?

Your practitioner or agency report should include:

  • your practitioner's qualifications
  • your practitioner's relationship with you and how long they have known you
  • an explanation of your circumstances, including its nature, severity, duration, and impact on your life
  • the link between your circumstances and your offending behaviour.

In the case of severe, disabling long-term circumstances, the report should also include information on the link between your circumstances and your inability to deal with the fine.

We may ask you for more information to help determine your application.

Your evidence should be signed and dated within 12 months of the date of your application. You can provide evidence that is older than 12 months if it relates to a permanent condition, such as an intellectual disability.

What is the Work and Development Permit Scheme?

The Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme is a new state initiative to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged people with a non-financial option to address their fine debt.

A WDP allows an eligible person to work off fine debt by participating in certain activities and treatment.  

If you are interested to learn more about the WDP Scheme, contact the WDP Operational Team at [email protected]. or visit the WDP page here. 

Need help applying?

Your health practitioner or case worker can request a review on your behalf. You may also be able to access legal assistance from the below services:

If you need more time to get evidence, you can ask for it when you submit your application. We will put your fines on hold so you can get a report from a relevant practitioner or agency.

For further information, go to



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