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Money coming in and people have 2 days to go

21 October 2004

Money coming in and people have 2 days to go

Calls to the Collections 0800 FINES number have increased ten-fold since radio advertising began 10 days ago to warn fine and reparation defaulters their names could be published in daily and local papers.

So far 5910 people have made calls and some people have contacted their local collections unit. Courts Minister Rick Barker says the result of those calls is $731,076 now under a time to pay arrangement and others paying in full bringing the total coming in to $745,157.

"I am really pleased with the results so far and impressed that 2 individuals made full payments totalling nearly $15,000. I congratulate them on getting this matter behind them so they can get on with their lives. The Ostrich Syndrome does result in a itchy neck and blurry eyes after a while," said Mr Barker.

"This campaign also attracts people who are avoiding fines but aren't at the $500 limit so they're avoiding worst case scenario now, and this is what it's all about. I expect the amount collected to go up over the next two weeks.

"For the first time I've decided to get the names of people owing reparations published. I basically have a zero tolerance for not paying reparations to victims when it is part of someone's sentence. That's not fair to the victim whether it be an organisation or an individual," he added.

It's likely that 1630 names will be published in daily newspapers this Saturday 23 October and in community papers during the week following. Subsequently, many more people are expected to come forward with information or pay fines.

Last year’s campaign saw new information provided on around a quarter of the people owing fines and this enabled enforcement. Many others paid in full or made arrangements. Names are still being removed from the Name and Shame list over the next 2 days.

ENDS

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