Queensland’s most ridiculous council fines
QUEENSLAND councils are doling out millions of dollars in fines every year with many wielding the power to sting you for outrageous offences such as leaving the wheelie bin out or dunking each other in a public swimming pool.
Gold Coast Council can fine you a whopping $630 for not properly washing yourself before going for a swim at one of their pools.
On the Sunshine Coast, releasing a helium balloon can cost $252 and you'd better think twice before parking in your driveway.
If the back of your car comes out further than your letterbox, that could set you back $94.
Twenty councils around the state have either already adopted or will adopt a law that could hit Queenslanders with an eye-watering $2500 fine for leaving wheelie bins out for more than 24 hours.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that while Brisbane City Council is most likely to fine its residents, it's the Gold Coast that's had the biggest surge in fine collections.
In the past two years alone, the Gold Coast has raked in an extra $7 million by slugging residents with more than $19 million worth of fines in 2017, up an eye- watering 60 per cent from two years earlier when $12 million was collected.
Fines issued by Brisbane City Council jumped from $34.2 million in 2015-16 to $43.3 million in 2016-17, while Sunshine Coast Council hit residents with an extra $674,449 over the same time.
The average Brisbane resident paid $36.56 worth of fines last financial year.
This was followed by Gold Coast residents, who handed over $33.03, and then Cairns and the Sunshine Coast, where about $8 was taken from residents in both councils.
Fines are a money spinner. Parking fines make up the majority of revenue from residents at large councils.
The director of public policy at free-market think tank, Institute of Public Affairs, Simon Breheny, said raising revenue from fines was a dangerous ploy.
"There's effectively no end to it because of how quickly councils come to rely on new sources of revenue," he said.
The Local Government Association of Queensland and Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe both declined to comment.