The validity of over $56 million worth of COVID-19-related fines issued by the NSW Police is being challenged in the NSW Supreme Court.
Miklos Bolza reports for AAP
Redfern Legal Centre has so far filed three lawsuits in the NSW Supreme Court by individuals seeking to overturn what they claim were vague and unspecific infringement notices issued for alleged breaches of public health orders during lockdowns.
One of these lawsuits, brought by Sydney man Rohan Pank who was fined for sitting in a park with his partner in August 2021, has since been withdrawn with Revenue NSW cancelling the $1000 fine.
"For the majority of clients seen by (Redfern Legal Centre), we are of the view that they did not break the law, but that the law was applied incorrectly and the internal fine review system provided little to no recourse," senior solicitor Samantha Lee said.
While the other two cases over a $1000 fine and a $3000 fine are still ongoing, Ms Lee told AAP that further lawsuits, including a class action, could be on the cards.
"We are not ruling anything out. We are looking at all possibilities to seek some form of justice for those who have received poorly worded, wrongly issued fines, particularly the more than 3000 children who were fined," she said.
Ms Lee said there had been over 62,000 COVID-19 fines issued in NSW amounting to almost $56.5 million in total, the majority of which remained unpaid. She argued that the penalty notices were invalid because they lacked sufficient details about the alleged offence.
Tens of thousands of fines issued during the COVID pandemic are to be withdrawn or refunded by the New South Wales state of Australia after government lawyers conceded on Tuesday that some fines were invalid in a test case brought by a legal advocacy group.