Shoalhaven City Councillors will receive a detailed, confidential report quarterly on compliance activity, excluding parking infringements, specifically on the fines issued and the reasons why.
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On Tuesday night, councillors added an amendment to the general manager’s recommendation to appoint a Penalty Review Panel consisting of General Manager Russ Pigg, Planning, Environment and Development director Stephen Dunshea and the Public Officer to consider and determine any “requests for review” received via Revenue NSW.
The amendment provides councillors with more access to information on fines.
Cr Andrew Guile argued for the amendment, saying he was concerned council’s compliance department had been diverting too many resources into punitive measures.
He said council should look to WorkCover’s cultural and directional change.
“They stopped fining, fining and fining people, and worked with business to ensure they were compliant,” Cr Guile said.
“They would go in and help people achieve compliance, they’d say, ‘there’s a safety issue here, here’s a training program to help you put that into place.’
“In our culture in council that is not yet happening. I am still getting far too many complaints from people, many in tears, after dealings with our compliance staff.”
Cr Guile had hoped for a monthly briefing on fines, but staff advised developing a monthly report would be laborious and time-consuming. Both parties were pleased with the compromise.
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