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Bracks caps speed camera compo

Tanya Giles and Jeremy Kelly
August 11, 2004

THE Bracks Government, in an about-face, will cap compensation to motorists who lost licences after being caught by faulty speed cameras.

The Government yes terday announced compensation payouts for about 3000 motorists would be limited for claims of loss of income and travel expenses.

Only three months ago, Premier Steve Bracks said the ex gratia payments would be unlimited, and made on a case-by-case basis, largely for economic loss.

Acting Police Minister John Lenders yesterday said motorists who collected too many demerit points, and lost licences after being caught on faulty fixed speed cameras on the Western Ring Rd, would be paid compensation from a $6 million fund.

He said motorists would be eligible for a maximum payment of $955 a week for loss of income, if they were employees.

The Government said the cap was based on the Victorian adult full-time average weekly earnings.

Compensation for business owners will be determined case by case.

Motorists will also be able to claim up to $230 a month for travel costs, with an extra $100 a month for carers or drivers who cannot use public transport because of a disability, incapacity or illness.

A Government spokeswoman said caps had not been imposed, but guidelines to ensure the process was fair and reasonable.

Mr Lenders said all applications for payments would be assessed by independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Letters were sent out yesterday to about 3000 motorists telling them they have until Tuesday, September 14, to apply for an ex gratia payment.

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the Government had cheated motorists.

"It's their fault and this compensation scheme is grossly unfair," Mr Mulder said. "How can you compare an 18 or 19-year-old inconvenienced by losing their licence to drive to uni to a family man who has lost his licence, his income and possibly his home?"

Police will this week send out about 41,000 letters telling drivers that speeding fines issued on CityLink and the Monash Freeway before November 12 will be enforced.

Another 3450 motorists caught driving unregistered vehicles on the Monash Freeway, CityLink and Western Ring Rd before November 12 last year will also need to pay their fines.

Motorists will have 28 days to pay the fines for speeding and driving unregistered cars.

About 7500 fines on Monash Freeway, CityLink and Western Ring Rd, put on hold on November 12, will not proceed because police had exceeded their 12-month statute of limitations period and couldn't enforce them.

© Herald Sun