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NSW Revenue Agency Pursues Nearly $40 Million In Unpaid Hotel Quarantine Fees

New South Wales’s revenue collection agency, Revenue NSW, has withdrawn nearly $40 million in unpaid hotel quarantine fees from people’s bank accounts.

As the pandemic forced international travellers into mandatory hotel quarantine, more than 17,000 individuals have failed to pay the required $3,000 fee.

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To recover these unpaid fees, the agency has issued over 5,000 “garnishee orders” on debtors’ bank accounts. 

NSW Premier Chris Minns has defended this action and said that individuals with overdue fees had received multiple warnings over the years to fulfil their payment obligations. 

The hotel quarantine system was initially introduced to enable the return of Australians during challenging circumstances.

“Those people were warned many times,” Mr Minns said.

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“The system was put in place so that we could allow people to come back into Australia in extremely difficult circumstances, and the quarantine payment issue could be sorted at a later date.

“Well, that date is today, and unfortunately the government needs that money to run essential services in the state.”

A spokesperson for Revenue NSW also defended their communication process, stating that they consistently tried to notify customers of unpaid fees. 

When travellers checked into a quarantine hotel, they were required to provide contact details and were issued a written notice regarding the obligation to pay quarantine fees. 

The agency then used these contact details to pursue payment.

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