Fines Victoria

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What is a WDP?

The WDP scheme provides vulnerable people with a non-financial option to deal with their fine debt.

If you are suffering from acute financial hardship, family violence, homelessness, mental disabilities and/or addiction you may be able to work off your fines. This is possible through the scheme by completing activities and treatment that can help you to address the cause of your offending behaviour.

To participate in a WDP you must be engaged with an accredited sponsor.

What types of activities can I do as part of a WDP?

Activities that you can undertake as part of a WDP when you are engaged with a sponsor include:

  • unpaid work
  • treatment given by a doctor, nurse or psychologist
  • courses, including educational, vocational or life skills courses
  • counselling, including financial or other types of counselling
  • drug and alcohol counselling, and
  • mentoring (for a person under 25 years of age).

If you undertake a WDP, your sponsor will help you choose the activities that are best suited to you.

How can I participate in a WDP?

If you are experiencing difficulty paying your fine and meet eligibility criteria you could be eligible to participate in a Work Development Permit (WDP).

To participate in a WDP you must be engaged with an accredited sponsor.

What is an accredited sponsor?

A sponsor is an organisation or a health practitioner (psychologist, doctor or nurse) accredited by Fines Victoria. Your sponsor supervises the working off of fine debt in return for your time participating in specific activities or treatment.

How can I become eligible for a WDP?

Your sponsor will assess whether or not you are a candidate to participate in a WDP against the eligibility criteria. You may be eligible to participate if you:

  • have a mental or intellectual disability, disorder or illness
  • have an addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
  • are experiencing homelessness
  • are experiencing acute financial hardship, or
  • are the victim of family violence.

If you meet the criteria, your sponsor lodges the application on your behalf and supervises you while participating in the WDP scheme.

While you are undertaking a WDP to work off your fine debt, enforcement activity is suspended in relation to the fines that are on the WDP.

What fines can I work off with a WDP?

You can work off outstanding infringement fines if you are eligible for the scheme. However, you can’t work off an infringement fine if a sheriff’s officer or a police officer has served you with a seven day notice and the seven day notice period has expired. Or if you have been arrested or your property has been seized in relation to the fine. Also, you can’t work off a fine issued by a court (court fine) on a WDP.

Your sponsor can help you to understand which fines you can work off with a WDP.

I am already engaged with an organisation or seeking treatment from a health practitioner who is not an accredited sponsor - can I still participate?

To participate in the scheme the organisation or health practitioner must be accredited. If you are already engaged with an organisation or health practitioner who is interested in becoming a WDP sponsor they can contact the WDP Team on 1300 323 483. The WDP Team can assist them to find out more about becoming a sponsor.

I'm not currently engaged with an organisation or health practitioner - how can I participate?

You can call the WDP team on 1300 323 483 to discuss your options.

How much of my fine debt will I work off on a WDP?

When you undertake a WDP, your fine debt is reduced as you participate in activities or treatment. Each type of activity has a rate which determines the amount that your fine debt is reduced. When you undertake a WDP, your sponsor will help you to keep track of your outstanding fine balance and the amount that you have worked off.

What other options are available to deal with fines?

A WDP is just one of a number of options available to deal with fines. Some other options include payment, paying by instalments, requesting a review, going to court and the family violence scheme.

The most appropriate option to deal with fines will depend on your personal circumstances. To help decide which option is the most suitable, you may wish to seek free legal advice.

I am an organisation or health practitioner, how can I become a WDP sponsor?

If you are an organisation (not-for-profit, government agency or statutory body, general practice or for-profit organisation) or a health practitioner (nurse, psychologist or doctor) working for an organisation or as a sole practitioner you may apply to the Director, Fines Victoria to become a WDP sponsor.

Your role will be to assess your client's eligibility, apply for a WDP on behalf of your client and supervise and support your client while undertaking a WDP. You will have access to your own self service client management tool where you can report monthly on the progress of all active WDPs under your supervision. The process is user friendly and easy to manage with support available from the WDP team.

As a WDP sponsor you will not only assist your clients to manage and reduce fine debt but help them to choose the activities that are best suited to their needs. This includes referrals to third parties providing you with additional ways to assist your client.

Learn more about becoming a WDP sponsor

If you are interested and would like to learn more about becoming a WDP sponsor, contact us on 1300 323 483 to arrange an information session or for further assistance.

You can download the WDP guidelines (including consent form) which are made by the Attorney-General and set out certain requirements and details relating to the scheme.

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