Thursday, 1 November 2012
The appeal heard on Wednesday 31 October 2012 involves whether or not a Magistrate is authorised to impose a condition that an offender make a direct payment to a charity nominated by the court.
Council staff are aware of instances where the donations ordered bore no relation to the offence, and generated tax deductions for the offender.
Importantly, direct donations like the one ordered in this instance are not regulated and avoid the operation of the Court Fund, bypassing accountability processes.
In prosecutions brought under the Food Act, the Act requires that all penalties recovered be paid into the municipal fund of the relevant Council.
The City of Melbourne has advised that should the appeal be successful, it will not seek costs nor will it seek repayment of any monies from St Vincent de Paul.
The City of Melbourne supports the excellent work St Vincent de Paul does in the city and around the state.
In taking this action, the City of Melbourne is seeking to clarify the operation of the Sentencing Act.
The decision has been reserved.