14 May

2020 Penalty Unit Value

Penalty Unit Calculation

Maximum penalties for criminal and statutory offences are prescribed as penalty units rather than a prescribed dollar amount. For example the maximum penalty for a Public Nuisance offence under section 6 of the Summary Offences Act 2005 is described as ’10 penalty units’. The 2020 penalty unit value is $133.45, such that the maximum penalty for the offence is effectively $1,334.50. In January 2015, the penalty unit value was $113.85 which meant that the maximum fine would have been almost $200 less at $1,138.50.

The penalty unit value is able to be increased on a yearly basis pursuant to section 5A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 and in recent times Queensland has increased the penalty unit value on a yearly basis. On 27 March 2020, the Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minster for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, declared that there would be no increase this year to the prescribed value of the penalty unit.

No increase to 2020 Penalty Unit Value

Pursuant to section 5A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the prescribed value of a penalty unit for sections 5(1)(a)(i), (c)(i) and (e)(i) of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 will increase by 0% commencing on 1 July 2020.


As a consequence, the current penalty unit value prescribed pursuant to section 3 of the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015 will be retained at $133.45 from 1 July 2020.


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