Work and Development Order

WDO’s are made by the State Debt Recovery Office which allows eligible people to satisfy their fine debt through unpaid work with an approved organisation like the Albury Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau. Unpaid work on behalf of our organisation pays $30 per hour worked, to a maximum of $1000 per month, breaks not included. If a WDO is granted, no further enforcement costs will be applied, as long as you comply with all of the conditions.

You could be eligible for a WDO if you:

  • Receive a Centrelink benefit,
  • Are in serious financial hardship,
  • Are homeless,
  • Have a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or other substances,
  • Have a mental illness,
  • Have an intellectual disability,
  • or have cognitive impairment (such as autism, a brain injury or dementia).

The different activities you can do for a WDO include:

  • Unpaid voluntary work,
  • Education, training or life skills courses,
  • Counselling (includes case management),
  • Financial counselling,
  • Medical or mental health treatment programs,
  • Drug and alcohol programs,
  • or mentoring programs (for under 25s)

Murray River WDO assistance

Luckily for the people of Albury-Wodonga and the Murray River region, we have a few dedicated WDO sponsors who really help make people’s lives better.

The Albury-Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau (VRB) are a case in point. Over the past three (3) years the VRB have helped people in this region to clear over $44,000 in fines debt. The VRB links people wanting to clear their fines with a range of volunteer organisations. These include aged care services, charities and op- shops, Men’s Sheds, the NSW Volunteer Fire Service. The VRB also, as a community assistance service, will enter WDOs for people attending at other organisations for programs (eg parenting, Domestic Violence or mentoring programs) or to attend for counselling or psychiatric care with a health professional.

For example, Frank who lives in Yarrawonga had a $660 fine that on Newstart allowance he was finding difficult to pay. He made contact with Lindee at VRB and she said if he could find somewhere to volunteer his time and get them to call her she would enter the WDO for him. Frank made contact with the Mulwala Men’s Shed who were happy to confirm the hours that Farouk attended. With Lindee’s help Frank managed to clear his fines through a few weeks of attendance at the Men’s shed, while making new contacts and learning new woodworking skills.

Also John who had spent some years in gaol had decided to turn his life around. He was regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings every week for two hours. Lindee gave John a timesheet and asked him to get the group coordinator to contact her to confirm that he was happy to sign off on John’s attendance. The group mentor contacted Lindee and after some initial concerns about John’s privacy and anonymity, was happy to confirm attendance. Because of this arrangement, every month John was able to clear his fine debt by $1000 while ensuring that he keeps alcohol free and on track with his new health regime.

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