Penalty units

Fines for some offences in Queensland are based on a system of penalty units. A penalty unit (PU) is a set amount of money used to work out each fine. The fine is calculated by multiplying the value of one (1) penalty unit by the number of penalty units set for that offence.

Following recent amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2005, the value of a penalty unit will increase from $121.90 to $126.15, effective from 1 July 2017. The increase is applicable to both State legislation and City of Gold Coast's local laws. The increase will only apply to offences committed on or after 1 July 2017.

It is important to note that when the penalty unit value is applied to offences enforced through the issuing of a prescribed infringement notice (PIN), the amount of the PIN is to be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar. For example:

  • If an infringement notice prescribes a penalty of 1 penalty unit the monetary value of the penalty is $126.00 (rounded down from $126.15);
  • If an infringement notice prescribes a penalty of 2 penalty units the monetary value of the penalty is $252.00 (rounded down from $252.30);
  • If an infringement notice prescribes a penalty of 3 penalty units the monetary value of the penalty is $378.00 (rounded down from $378.45).

The State Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience has also informed that the penalty unit value may increase by 3.5% per annum or another rate determined by the Treasurer (to be published in the gazette by 31 March each year).

The table below provides a summary of penalty unit values for common state and local law offences.

1 PU = $126.15
PU Full amount ($) Adjusted amount ($)
1 126.15 126.00
2 252.30 252.00
3 378.45 378.00
4 504.60 504.00
5 630.75 630.00
10 1261.50 1261.00
15 1892.25 1892.00
20 2523.00 2523.00
25 3153.75 3153.00
30 3784.50 3784.00
50 6307.50 6307.00
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