Where does money from fines and penalties go?

Reckitt Benckiser was fined $6M recently for misleading consumers about Nurofen pain relief products. Does the $6M go into consolidated revenue, or will it be used for something productive like to bolster the health budget?


Hi @meltam, I thought this was an interesting question that deserved its own thread. To my understanding, monetary fines and penalties like this one go to the treasury as consolidated revenue (categorised as ‘non-taxation revenue’). The ABS measures the amount the government receives at Commonwealth, state and council levels in the Australian government revenue table. You can also find further info on where the fines go on the state or territory treasury sites - for example, the Victorian Government says fines make up less than 3 percent of total revenue.

Other pecuniary orders can include restitution or compensation, depending on what the court decides. Hope this helps - I’m sure there are people with more knowledge in this area than myself, so feel free to add to this below.


Thank you for the detailed answer. Yes it helps to understand where it goes.

So Reckitt Benckiser made $45M, were fined $6M, and are still ahead by $39M.

The Federal Government gains $6M into consolidated revenue to be spent as they please.

So the clear winner is Reckitt Benckiser, followed a long way back by the Federal Government. Bringing up the rear are consumers; who get clearer packaging on one product from one pharmaceutical company. :confounded:

Hmmmm. It sounded good as a headline.


Brendan. Both those links are dead.


An article regarding unpaid fines in Victoria.

And politicians and public servants try to claim it is not about revenue raising.

This is one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever seen.

Normal councils use rates and govennment funding to provide services, and here we have a council wanting fine revenue to fund a new 80,000 person development at Fisherman’s Bend

Most council’s would rub their hands with glee at the prospect of the massive increase in revenue from such a development starting with all the headworks charges and ending with a massive increase in the rates base.

Only in Victoria where they cannot introduce a container deposit scheme, a single use plastic bag ban or a viable recycling scheme, but the premier is the highest paid state politician in Australia.


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I blame the ABS! :laughing:

Here’s an updated version of the taxation table.

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Changed in Dec 2018 as noted in the following document about the AGFS15 changes:


Also the Victorian link no longer works due to a revision of how they account for fines & penalties:

“8.1 Financial instruments specific disclosures
Financial instruments arise out of contractual agreements that give rise to a financial asset of one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument of another entity. Due to the nature of the Department’s activities, certain financial assets and financial liabilities arise under statute rather than a contract (for example taxes, fines and penalties). Such assets and liabilities do not meet the definition of financial instruments in AASB 132 Financial Instruments”

For most States/Territories I guess it will all be lumped under “Other Revenue” in cash flow statements and would, as hidden this way, be hard for the layman to actually contend how much of it was revenue raising fines and penalties.


Long after every other State & territory in Australia.

Should be easy enough as they can merely copy the rest of the country.

Better late than never I guess.

Now that only leaves the conatiner deposit scheme and the recycling.

You have a point on containers, but recycling in Vic is mainly a current problem because of a dodgy private enterprise that low balled bids to get contracts and was thus unsustainable. How do ‘we’ sign up to such companies? Easy, because virtually every level of government has a procurement system with seriously flawed guidelines. The one that irks me most is that it is common that those evaluating tenders are obligated to accept all claims made re competency and deliverables. Whoever gets an award has non-performance handled in a penalty clause. The buyer has recourse on paper, but if a company fails or does not deliver, penalties do not get the job done. Imagine, the procurement system expects that a supplier in default can be held accountable under the contract but vetting such issues prior to awarding a contract is often not on in these times! It is obvious to everyone but blind Freddy and his cohorts how ridiculous that is in practice, but so it goes at local, state, and federal levels.


Hopefully Victoria goes one better, than the rest.

The Qld container deposit scheme is one small step, but only collects a limited number of products. It’s simpler and probably also lower carbon to simply put it all in the yellow bin than drive to the collection machine.

Of all the stuff that goes in a Qld yellow waste bin on garbage night much might not get recycled. On the Sunshine Coast it is self evident from what the local recycling depot does not accept in the recycling bins. The general waste contains much that should not got to landfill. It is better than five years ago, but still a way to go.

At the shops and supermarkets have us up here and elsewhere simply exchanged one plastic product for another? There are those of us who bring our own bags. Observation suggests we are still in a minority. Italy had one solution to that as far back as 1990. The stores were happy to provide typically plastic carry bags for your groceries. The ‘busta piccolo’ was sold at the checkout for around the price of a cold can of coke and the ‘busta grande’ priced for a little less than a tallie/Perona. That would put a current Aussie $2-3 price tag on the smallest bags and $6-8 tag on an oversized carry all at the store counter. At that price regardless of what material is used, the bags did not go to landfill.

And yes, my post is totally off this topic, for good reason!

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Three Melbourne councils forced to refund $20 million of parking fines.


Only in Victoria

NSW to reduce fines for persons on welfare from 01.07.2020.