Fine time to pay fines
PEOPLE across the Northern Rivers are taking advantage of a State Government amnesty on fines, saving themselves thousands of dollars.
The "fix up your fines in July" program is being run by Legal Aid NSW in conjunction with the Aboriginal Legal Service of NSW and the ACT.
Lismore Legal Aid Senior civil law solicitor Lurline Dillon-Smith said the program has transformed the lives of some people who have participated.
Ms Dillon-Smith said the fix up your fines program was launched after the State Debt Recovery Office advised there was a high level of unpaid fines in the Northern Rivers.
People who owe money to the State Debt Recovery Office for unpaid fines can have their licence cancelled by Roads and Maritime Services, their car registration cancelled or their belongings seized.
At the start of July 9,963 motorists from Richmond Valley, Ballina and Lismore areas owed overdue fines, with a staggering 12,510 in Byron and Tweed.
The overdue fines total $10.8 million, with 3,594 people already under Roads and Maritime Services sanctions.
Ms Dillon-Smith said many people were not aware of ways to overcome sanctions imposed by the RMS.
"People's lives get chaotic and fines build up and for some people it becomes bigger than Ben Hur ," she said.
"If you enter into instalment payments to pay your fines you can have your RMS sanctions lifted almost immediately and get your licence back."
The moratorium ends on July 31. For more information visit alsnswact.org.au.
TODAY: Muli Muli (near Urbenville), 9.30am-12.30pm Muli Aboriginal Land Council and Kyogle, 2pm-4pm, Gugin Guddaba Local Aboriginal Land Council. TUESDAY, JULY 31: Lismore, 9.30am-3.30pm - Rekindling The Spirit, Molesworth St, Lismore. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1: Nimbin - 9.30am-3.30pm - Nimbin Neighbourhood Centre.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2: Ballina, 9.30am-3.30pm - Ballina Court house.