DEG witnesses, and its staff responds to the harmful impacts of fines on our community every day. During the COVID pandemic Walgett had the highest rate of public health order fines in NSW.
In our Yuwaya Ngarrali partnership with UNSW, we have employed a small team to implement a WDO scheme in Walgett. The work of the Dealing with Fines Team, recruited in 2022, is client-centred and community-led, which aligns with the Yuwaya Ngarra-li Two River Pathway to Change model. It works directly with community to reduce fine debt, offering support, transport and mentoring to overcome barriers. The project collaborates with the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT to provide additional legal advice and explore alternative solutions to deal with fine debts. NSW Legal Aid assists the team with any issues they are having with the Revenue NSW interface.