TWO MPs are doing something right in pushing for a law change to allow Victorian magistrates to order defendants to donate to worthwhile charities and organisations.
Bill Tilley and Bill Sykes will ask Attorney-General Robert Clark to restore the tradition of people being ordered to put money in the court poor box.
Supreme Court Justice John Dixon has ruled that, as a result of recent reforms to sentencing, the magistrates had lost the power to make such orders.
His ruling came when the City of Melbourne challenged a magistrate’s order that a man guilty of breaching the Food Act pay $2500 to St Vincent de Paul’s food van service.
Commonsense tells us that, while the judge might be right, he has found a flaw in the system.
Apparently it simply means a legislative amendment to bring the old rule back.
After all, many organisations have received help from the court fund over the years, more than 3000 donations being ordered statewide in 2010-11.
The practice has certainly benefited groups and individuals in the North East and Border — even the Mercy Millions appeal in Albury was a beneficiary.