By HARRY PALMER
Minister for COVID misinformation and head of the government “Dream Team”, Brad Hazzard was not available for comment to CairnsNews.
Remembered for his media spin doctoring during that government generated pandemic, Mr Bradley Ronald Hazzard, minister for NSW health, member for Wakehurst since 1991.
Good news for NSW, he is retiring from politics next election with that golden handshake and totally unaccountable as pending fallout of government COVID scam is on the Horrison.
Story from New Daily
Millions of dollars worth of fines issued in NSW for breaching COVID restrictions have been withdrawn by the states’ revenue agency.
NSW Revenue said 33,121 fines would be withdrawn following a landmark decision in the Supreme Court, on Tuesday.
A total number of 62,138 COVID-19 related fines were issued.
Refunds will also be given to those that have already paid the fines, which total millions of dollars.
The announcement came roughly an hour after Justice Dina Yehia told a NSW Supreme Court hearing in Sydney she would order refunds be given for two fines (one of $1000 and another of $3000) issued during 2021 public health lockdowns.
Justice Yehia said she accepted evidence given on Tuesday that the fines were not valid because they did not include a description of the offences.
Earlier, David Kell SC, who was representing the NSW Commissioner of Fines Administration, warned the court that the two infringements did not meet requirements of the NSW Fines Act.
But he warned the court should be “cautious” in throwing them out, as it would set a precedent in the area.
Katherine Richardson SC, who appeared for the plaintiffs, called for an immediate refund of the fines value.
“It’s accepted that the two penalties don’t contain a description about the substance of the offence. We were in furious agreement over that,” Ms Richardson told the court.
“It’s only at the 11th hour the Crown has finally accepted that these were invalid.”
Revenue NSW said the decision to withdraw the fines did not mean the offences had not been committed.
“The Commissioner of Fines Administration is able to independently review or withdraw penalty notices,” it said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
“In this case, he has decided to exercise his statutory power to withdraw two types of Public Health Order fines.”
The decision relates to fines issued to individuals and businesses for the infringement, “fail to comply with noticed direction in relation section 7/8/9 – COVID-19”.
The case was launched by the Redfern Legal Centre on behalf of three men – Brenden Beame, Teal Els and Rohan Pank.
Figures obtained by the group showed COVID fines were disproportionately issued to those living in low socio-economic areas, Redfern Legal Centre acting principal solicitor Samantha Lee said last week.
Mr Pank’s fine was withdrawn before the case went to court, with the state agreeing to pay his legal fees.
Justice Yehia ordered the state refund $436 to Mr Beame and $826 to Mr Els and said the men could also file applications to have their legal costs paid.
Ms Lee said the case was about more than just two people’s fines.
“It is about the need to properly adhere to the rule of law, even during a pandemic,” she told news.com.au on Tuesday.
“Today, justice has been granted to three people who took on the NSW government regarding the validity of their COVID fines and won.”
According to Revenue NSW statistics, more than 62,000 fines have been issued for COVID-related offences since the start of the pandemic.
The remaining 29,017 COVID-19 fines would still need to be paid if they were not already resolved, Revenue NSW said in a statement
Justice Yehia said she would order refunds for the other men’s fines, but likely wouldn’t publish reasons for her decision until next year.