17-year-olds to be included in Qld's youth justice system
SPER processes will apply
The State Penalties Enforcement Registry has advised that as of the 12 February 2018, they will treat 17 years old offenders (in Queensland), as children in the eyes of the law. This means that 17-year olds will be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act 1992, rather than by the adult justice system.
This change will bring Queensland in line with legislation in other Australian jurisdictions, and will ensure that 17-year olds are still held accountable for their actions.
What will this mean for local government?
All 17-year olds will be classed as children, the same SPER processes will apply to them as currently do for 15 and 16-year olds.
To ensure there is no enforcement action against 17-year olds from 12 February, defaulted infringement notices and court fines for 17-year olds can no longer be referred to SPER from 1 February.
This means SPER will only accept referrals of unpaid fines for children with voluntary instalment plans.
SPER will still be able to accept payments from children, but won’t be able to take enforcement action if they don’t pay their debt.
How is SPER implementing this change?
SPER will have transitional arrangements for managing 17-year olds who already have debt with SPER or are under enforcement action. Any existing enforcement action will be withdrawn on 1 February, and no enforcement action will be taken after this date.
For further information
FIND further information on the Department of Justice and Attorney-General website
Or by contacting SPER at:
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006