By Rowan Forster
Casey and Cardinia have racked up $189 million worth of debt from unpaid warrants in the last financial year, according to figures released by the Sherrif’s Office.
More than 500,000 warrants remain outstanding, with the City of Casey topping the state – likely due to it being the largest council area in Victoria.
The council saw a total of 30,498 defendants, up for a whopping $144 million in fines.
Cardinia Shire trailed with a debt of $45 million, accumulated by 9,772 ratepayers.
Across the board, Victorians received fewer infringements and settled more outstanding warrants during the same period.
Approximately 115,000 fewer infringements were issued in 2016-17 compared to the previous financial year.
According to the statistics, the number of outstanding infringements reduced by about 13 per cent.
Sheriff Warwick Knight said the figures highlight the importance of tackling outstanding debts early.
“It is important to deal with your fines as soon as possible to avoid additional penalties and the infringement becoming a warrant,” he said.
“People who receive a fine can request an internal review, nominate a driver, apply for a payment plan or elect to have the matter heard by the court, and we encourage them to come and speak to us about their options.”