Lawyers call on WA Government to proclaim unpaid fine legislation urgently
24th Jun 2020
The passing of legislation which will prevent fine defaulters in WA from going to prison was long overdue, and the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) calls on the government to proclaim the legislation as a matter of urgency.
“We welcomed last week’s announcement that the Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Amendment Bill 2019 (WA) was passed by both houses of Parliament,” said Mr Graham Droppert, incoming National President, Australian Lawyers Alliance. “This legislation will help to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the justice system in WA.
“We congratulate everyone who has been advocating for this legislative reform for some time. The leader of Sisters Inside, Debbie Kilroy, has been at the forefront of this advocacy. Ms Kilroy is an ALA member and we are proud to support her work.
“This reform is much needed. WA was the last remaining state in Australia to imprison fine defaulters and the cost to the broader community, and to the individuals and families affected, was significant.
“Sending people to prison simply because they could not afford to pay their fines was tearing families apart and destroying people’s lives.”
On 1 July, Perth barrister Mr Droppert will become the first National President of the ALA to be based in WA.