> Local Laws, EPA, MFB fines/infringements
> Appealing a fine/Requesting an extension of time
> Unsafe and unsightly building sites fine
> Fire hazard fine
> Dumped rubbish and litter fine
> Basic appeal information
> How to pay the fine/infringement
> Not paying the fine/infringement
> Magistrate’s court
Council endeavours to provide residents, visitors and businesses to Whitehorse with a safe and welcoming place to live, visit or run a business.
Council prefers to achieve these goals through education programs so that visitors, residents and business owners know what is expected of them. However, there are a number of laws that authorised Council Officers may need to take enforcement action to achieve the Council goals.
Whitehorse City Council takes a consultative approach to enforcement. Council Officers will generally approach residents and businesses who are contravening the Whitehorse Local Law or state legislation and ask them to correct the contravention. If the resident or business fails to voluntarily correct a breach, Council may initiate enforcement action including issuing a Notice to Comply. The Notice to Comply can be either in writing or verbal and will clearly set out the actions a resident or business need to undertake to correct any breach and the period of time they have to correct the breach.
Some residents or businesses that have been asked or directed to correct breaches in the past may be fined immediately without being issued a Notice to Comply.
Offences and the fine/infringement amounts are detailed in the following legislation:
The fine amounts for the Victorian State laws associated with those offences are reviewed annually by the state government. Council has no discretion in setting the state legislation penalty fee amount.
The fine amounts for the Whitehorse Community Local Law 2014 are reviewed annually by Council as part of the Council budget process.
Following is information about the most common infringements. The recipient of any infringement notice may lodge an appeal requesting the matter to be reviewed.
Council through its Local Laws framework aims to protect the amenity of the area and Council assets and provide safe passage for pedestrians and vehicles past the site. Council regularly receives calls from residents concerned about the condition of building sites, the blocking of pathways and roads and damage to footpaths. Maintaining access during building works is critical to ensuring public safety and the safety of workers in the area.
If a person is detected contravening the Whitehorse Local Law or other legislation related to building sites, a verbal or written Notice to Comply or an infringement may be issued to the builder.
The following commonly presented reasons are NOT CONSIDERED VALID for the withdrawal of building site-related infringement notice:
From November each year, Council officers inspect properties in the City of Whitehorse to ensure that long grass and any materials that may pose a fire hazard are removed. In addition to being a fire hazard, overgrown properties also look unsightly and may attract snakes and vermin and detract from the amenity of the municipality.
Where it is determined that a property is a fire hazard a Fire Prevention Notice will be sent to the landowner giving them a direction to remove the fire hazard from their land.
Grass should be cut and maintained to a height of 10cm or less. Other potential fire hazards include stored dry grass, dry tree branches and dry or dead vegetation.
Under the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958, you can be fined up to 500 penalty units if you allow your property to become a fire hazard. You should also be aware that if a notice is not complied with, the land may be compulsorily cleared with all costs being passed onto the property owner, in addition to the issued fines.
The following commonly presented reasons are NOT CONSIDERED VALID for the withdrawal of fire hazard-related infringement notice:
Litter is unsightly and dangerous. It can cause injury to people and wildlife. It encourages pest animals such as rats, mice and seagulls as well as the spread of germs and disease. It includes cigarette butts, dog litter, general litter, hard rubbish, dumped rubbish and over-filled rubbish bins. It can be from a trailer load of rubbish that hasn't been secured properly or the grass clippings that you sweep into the gutter.
Heavy fines may be issued to offenders under the Environmental Protection Act Vic 1970. Council's Community Law Officers are authorised to issue fines on the spot to offenders.
Dumping rubbish – old furniture, electronic items and other household waste – on the footpath or other public land is illegal. It is also unattractive, dangerous and can make people living nearby feel that the area is unsafe and dirty. Council may issue people found responsible for dumping rubbish with significant fines.
The following commonly presented reasons are NOT CONSIDERED VALID for the withdrawal of litter or dumped rubbish-related infringement notice:
In accordance with the Infringements Act (2006) you can request in writing for your fine/infringement to be withdrawn if you believe that it is not valid for any of the following reasons:
If you believe the fine/infringement was incorrectly issued or you wish to apply for a payment arrangement or you would like to have your fine/infringement heard in court, you must send your appeal letter or an Application Form for Local Laws EPA or MFB Appeal Payment Arrangement or Court Appearance (98.53kB) so that it is received by Council prior to the due date of the fine/infringement. You may send your appeal to the following addresses:
Infringement appeals.html Panel
Whitehorse City Council
Locked Bag 2
Nunawading Delivery Centre 3131
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not provide important supporting information or documentation with your appeal, we will have to contact you and request this information which will inconvenience you and delay the appeal process or the appeal will be rejected.
Council cannot process your appeal without the following information:
Please note: In accordance with the Infringements Act (2006), a postal address is required to enable Council to provide you with a response in writing.
Please be advised that if the required information is NOT received by the fine/infringement due date, the infringement will progress and may incur additional costs and further action.
For your convenience, all the required information is detailed in the Application Form for Local Laws EPA or MFB Appeal Payment Arrangement or Court Appearance (98.53kB).
The following table details the supporting documentation that could assist the Infringement appeals.html Panel to make a timely decision on your appeal or request for a payment arrangement. All supporting documentation must be relevant to the fine/infringement.
Note: Failure to provide supporting documentation may result in a delay in the process or a decision will be made without it.
The appeals.html process is bound by the Infringements (Reporting and Prescribed Details and Forms) Regulations (2006), which allows up to 90 days for a response from Council. Once Council receives your appeal with the appropriate contact information and appeal detail, action on your infringement is suspended and your infringement will be placed on hold pending a review.
All appeals.html are reviewed by the Whitehorse City Council Infringement appeals.html Panel. The Panel will take into account all available information including:
If insufficient information is provided by you, we may need to contact you for additional details before reviewing the fine/infringement. If the requested information is not received by the date specified in the request for additional information, a decision will be made based on the information at hand.
Once all the information has been received, the fine/infringement will be reviewed and a response will be sent by mail to you once a decision has been reached.
It is within your rights to contact the Mayor and/or your local Councillor about a fine/infringement. However, the Mayor and Councillors will refer the matter to the Infringement appeals.html Panel in accordance with the regular appeal process.
If your appeal for a payment arrangement is successful, Council will notify you in writing informing you of the new payment arrangement.
If your appeal for a payment arrangement is unsuccessful, Council will notify you in writing indicating the payment due date. Council will only consider one appeal unless there is additional evidence you can provide to support your case.
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may elect to have the matter heard in Court.
If your fine/infringement appeal is successful, Council will notify you in writing indicating that the fine/infringement has been withdrawn. This may also include an official warning.
Should your fine/infringement appeal be unsuccessful, you will be advised in writing of a new payment date. Council will only consider one appeal unless there is additional evidence you can provide to support your case.
If you decide to pay the fine/infringement by the due date, you will not need to take any further action. However, if the payment is not received by the due date, the matter may escalate and you may incur additional costs or it may result in appearing before a magistrate.
Payments may be made at any of Council’s three Customer Service Centres:
Cheque or money order payments can be mailed to Whitehorse City Council, Locked Bag 2, Nunawading Delivery Centre, 3131. Please ensure that you include your infringement no. with your mailed payment.By phone:
Credit card phone payment is available by phoning 9697 5730. The service is provided by SecurePay.Online:
Payment can be made by clicking on the Online Payment section of the website.
IMPORTANT: Please wait three days after the infringement date before you can pay the fine/infringement to allow for fine/infringement information to be loaded into the Council’s payment systems.
If a fine/infringement is not paid by the due date shown on the Infringement Notice, the issue gets escalated in the following way:
It is suggested prior to having the matter heard in front of a Magistrate, that you seek independent legal advice before taking this step. Should you decide not to seek legal advice, the information provided below may assist you.
To inform Council you wish to dispute the fine/infringement before a Magistrate you must inform Council in writing. Please complete the Application Form for Local Laws EPA or MFB Appeal Payment Arrangement or Court Appearance (98.53kB).
You will receive an acknowledgement that the matter will be heard in court and you will receive a summons in writing telling you the date, time and place of the hearing. If you succeed at the hearing, the fine/infringement will be withdrawn. If you are not successful, you will be required to pay the fine/infringement amount and any court and Council costs.
To help you with your day in court, refer to information on the Victorian Law Foundation website.
379-397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, Victoria 3131
Tel: (03) 9262 6333 Fax: (03) 9262 6490Email: email@example.com