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Unpaid Debts Paid Back Through Working Hours

Saturday, December 30, 2017 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

A program introduced in 2009 is helping some with unpaid debts to State Debt Recovery pay back their fines but not through a monetary payment but through working hours.

The State Debt Recovery Work Development Order ("WDO") allows those with fines, who meet certain criteria, to reduce their fines through unpaid work for approved organisations. Those who may be eligible to apply for a WDO include:

- Those that have a mental illness, intellectual disability or cognitive impairment
- Those who are homeless;
- Those who have a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or volatile substances; or
- People experiencing financial hardship.

Brian Roberts, 39 of Moree NSW, successfully paid of $4,000 in fines using the program and has been able to get his drivers licence for the first time in 20 years. He said in a statement, "Be persistent in chasing up your fines. Don’t be lazy and sit back and think it’s going to go away. The assistance is out there.

The reduction in fines is at the discretion of the State Debt Recovery Office ("SDRO"), with those defaulting under the WDO incurring an additional $65 penalty for each offence and being referred back to SDRO for further action including the suspension of licenses, cancellation of motor vehicle registrations and potential gaol time.

You can find out more about the program at NSW Revenue.

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