CLAMPING DOWN: SPER debts across Queensland have risen to a high, including here in Warwick.
CLAMPING DOWN: SPER debts across Queensland have risen to a high, including here in Warwick.

Warwick’s staggering SPER debt worst in region

WARWICK residents owe more than $3 million in unpaid fines, ranking it the worst in the region by a staggering amount.

According to new SPER data taken between July 2019 and May 2020, the 4370 postcode owes a total of $3,288,000 to the state for court and government agency imposed fines.

The state Southern Downs electorate owes a jaw-dropping $7,848,000 in fines.

The top three reasons for unpaid fines for Warwick included speeding, driving offences (e.g. dangerous driving or driving without a seatbelt) and tolling.

This new data comes as 4300 debtors across Queensland sought a deferral in March of up to 90 days as part of the collection agency’s response to coronavirus.

According to SPER spokesman, the data reflected the seriousness of Warwick’s debt to the agency.

“SPER debts don’t just go away and the consequences can be serious, so it’s important that people deal with their debt or contact SPER if they need more time to pay,” he said.

“SPER is always willing to reach acceptable payment arrangements based on an individual’s circumstances and can take a tailored approach to a person’s debt history.”

Following 2016 census population data, the data means that approximately 10 per cent of Warwick residents owed debt of some kind, with 1,584 debtors listed in the round up.

Offenders were also more likely to double up on the number of debts they owed with debtors paying back an average of 6.4 debts each.

The runner-up to Warwick in the Southern Downs state electorate region was Stanthorpe, at a considerably lower $1,891,000.

Warwick’s debt was higher than that amassed by postcodes 4405 and 4123, Dalby and the Brisbane suburb of Rochedale respectively, each racking up $3,189,000 of debt.

The 4179 postcode — encompassing Brisbane, Manly West, Manly and Lota — sits at $3,253,000.

Comparing Queensland Police Service crime maps for the same period of time, drug offences were the most common charges at 307, followed closely by traffic offences at 278.

At the end of May, Queenslanders owed SPER just shy of $1.3 billion with southeast residents among the worse offenders.

TOP 10 POSTCODES FOR SPER DEBT IN THE SOUTHERN DOWNS

– 4370 (Warwick): $3,288,000

– 4380 (Stanthorpe): $1,891,000

– 4390 (Goondiwindi): $1,056,000

– 4387 (Inglewood): $412,000

– 4362 (Allora): $219,000

– 4373 (Killarney): $150,000

– 4383 (Wallangarra): $142,000

– 4388 (Yelarbon): $132,000

– 4385 (Texas): $130,000

– 4382 (Ballandean): $91,000



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