The Victorian government has approved fining children for failure to wear a mask.
According to the Fines, enforcement and reporting section of the official government website, children will be fined for violating mask mandates and Covid health orders.
Children under 15 will receive fines of $40 if they fail to wear a face mask without a lawful exemption. For children between 15 and 18, that amount increases to $80.
Adults receive $200 fines for the same offence.
Under the provisions set out by the Daniel Andrews government, children risk even larger fines for breaches of Covid-19 health directions.
A child under 15 could receive a maximum penalty of $181.72 or $726.96 for those aged 15-18.
This poses a challenge for parents trying to enforce face mask rules on young children in public spaces. New South Wales has identical fines for children that violate mask requirements. However, children under 12 are exempt from mask mandates.
“Different fines consider that children generally have less ability to pay for fines than adults. Younger children may have even less ability to pay. Lower fines make sure that penalties for children are fair and do not overly punish young people,” said the government, when explaining the fines issued to children.