Mail returned to sender gives non-voters a pass

SEVEN Hinkler constituents have escaped further punishment after summons to appear in court regarding failure to vote in the 2013 Federal Election were sent back to the Australian Electoral Commission.
SEVEN Hinkler constituents have escaped further punishment after summons to appear in court regarding failure to vote in the 2013 Federal Election were sent back to the Australian Electoral Commission. Christopher Chan

SEVEN Hinkler constituents have escaped further punishment after summons to appear in court regarding failure to vote in the 2013 Federal Election were sent back to the Australian Electoral Commission as return to sender mail.

However four others had penalties increased to $170 and were also ordered to pay $93.40 in court costs in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court last week.

Of those four, only one non-voter had been in contact with the AEC, admitting guilt via written correspondence, while the other three did not appear in court on Thursday.

A spokesman for the AEC said where proceedings were initiated for failure to vote at the 2013 election, delivery of a summons to the individual was affected.

"In this instance, in seven of the eleven cases, the summons was received back to AEC as return-to-sender mail," he said.

"This matter was dealt with by the magistrate who agreed to discontinue proceedings on these matters."

A conviction was also recorded against those four deemed to be guilty of not voting and failure to pay the now court imposed fines could land non-voters in even more trouble.

The AEC spokesman said the matters now lay in the hands of the court.

"It should be noted that if a non-voter has been convicted and fined by a court, and the non-voter decides not to pay the fine, then it is for the court to decide what action should be taken or if a further penalty should be imposed," he said.

"The action taken by the court in relation to fine defaulters may vary depending on the state or territory in which the conviction is recorded, and may involve community service orders, seizure of goods, or a short period in jail.

"In some jurisdictions the court may have no alternative to ordering a jail sentence for fine defaulters. However, this is a matter for the courts and not for the AEC."

The AEC spokesman said the AEC initiates court action where required, and may prosecute non-voters who have failed to respond to penalty notices from the AEC, or cannot provided a valid and sufficient reason and have declined to pay the $20 penalty.

A second notice of $50 was sent to non-voters and went unpaid before the matters were escalated to court proceedings.

The 2013 Federal Election saw 94.53% of Hinkler electorate voters have their say, with 5168 of the 94,495 enrolled failing to vote on September 7.

Topics:  election federal vote

Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Invisible threat adds burn to heatwave

You can't feel it or see it but UV radiation is what's causing sunburn and it's at extreme levels.

UV radiation more than five times safe limit during heatwave

The cheap local servo drivers cross town for

KEEPING IT LOCAL: Liberty Service Station, Bargara.

Owners pride themselves on "keeping it local”

Mammino Ice Cream creator joyful to the end

THE FUN ONE: Anthony Mammino, pictured on his macadamia farm, was "always encouraging mischief”.

Family opens up on ice cream creator's lymphoma battle

Local Partners

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

New Coastline Realty owners have wealth of experience

COASTLINE REALTY: Emma Bauer and Charlie Winten.

Passion, strong local knowledge and a commitment to the local region

Bundaberg market set for "steady growth” in 2017

CoreLogic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 9.6% to $249,000 and the median unit price fell 10.2% to $260,500 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 9.6% to $249,000 in three months

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!