May 21, 2020
South Burnett Regional Council will write off almost $159,000 in debts and fines because most are unrecoverable.
At Wednesday’s May meeting, officers reported Council’s finance department had attempted to recover a variety of debts, but their efforts had been unsuccessful.
Almost three-quarters of the total – $118,900 – were for unpaid infringement fines, most connected with animals.
The balance was owed by sundry debtors for the mowing of overgrown allotments, waste disposal charges, cattle sale fees, hall hire and similar activities.
Officers said some of the sundry debts were unrecoverable either because the businesses which had incurred them had closed or changed hands, or because properties had been sold and the previous owner was uncontactable.
In some other cases, the debts had been on Council’s books for more than six years and had now exceeded the statute of limitations.
Officers said the $118,900 owed for unpaid fines had been passed to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) for collection, and this may recover some funds in the future.
However, Council’s collection agency had advised the costs of trying to recoup the remaining sundry debts would likely exceed whatever money could be secured.
Council officers recommended the debts be written off to bring Council’s books up to date.
Councillors agreed, and accepted the recommendation unanimously.