On 1 July 2023, the monetary value of a penalty unit increased from $143.75 to $154.80, with the implementation of the Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2023.
This amendment seeks to increase the prescribed monetary value of the penalty unit under the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015. The stated objective is to ensure that fines and infringement notices remain effective as deterrents and punishments for various offences.
The Purpose of the Penalty Unit Value Regulation
The primary purpose of the Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2023 is to raise the monetary value of the penalty unit specified in section 3 of the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015.
The current prescribed penalty unit value stands at $143.75, but as of 1 July 2023, it will increase to $154.80. This adjustment is greater than usual 3.5% within the provisions of section 5A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, which allows for the indexation of penalty unit values.
The Indexation Process
Section 5A of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 provides the framework for the indexation of the penalty unit in specified circumstances. The monetary value of a penalty unit can be increased once per financial year by either 3.5% or a percentage change published by the Treasurer in the Queensland Government Gazette on or before 31 March.
In this case, a percentage change of 7.7% for the penalty unit value was published by the Honourable Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, in the Queensland Government Gazette on 31 March 2023.
Impact and Significance
The Queensland Government says that by raising the penalty unit value, the Amendment Regulation ensures that fines and infringement notices remain an effective deterrent and punishment for various offences. It maintains the proportional relationship between the seriousness of an offence and the corresponding penalty imposed.
It is a peculiar step by the Queensland Government, at a time when the costs of living have increased. At the same time as this present increase the Government has reduced the fees for Learner Driver Licenses‘, citing costs of living.
The Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2023 is a significant development that increases the prescribed monetary value of the penalty unit in Queensland. By implementing this amendment, the government aims to maintain the deterrent and punishment effect of fines and infringement notices. It ensures that the penalties imposed for various offences align with the seriousness of the violations committed.
This change reflects the commitment to uphold law and order in Queensland and reinforces the principle of accountability within the community. As 1 July 2023 approaches, individuals and organizations should be aware of the revised penalty unit value and the potential consequences of non-compliance with the law.
Disclaimer: This article provides an overview of the Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2023 and should not be considered legal advice. For specific information and guidance related to your circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a qualified legal professional.