Work & Development Permit Scheme

The Work & Development Permit Scheme (WDP) is a scheme designed to enable disadvantaged and vulnerable people with a means by which to pay off their fines debt.

First Step has been an accredited member of the WDP since its inception in 2017.

What does this mean for clients of First Step?

It means that provided you satisfy one of the requirements listed below, you can address your outstanding fines by applying to First Step to sponsor you into the WDP scheme. 

You must be experiencing (or have experienced) one of the following:

  • have a mental or intellectual disability, disorder or illness
  • have an addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
  • be experiencing homelessness
  • be experiencing acute financial hardship, or
  • be the victim of family violence.

The types of activities that a person can undertake in order to reduce their fines debt include the following:

  • unpaid work
  • treatment given by a doctor, nurse or psychologist
  • courses, including educational, vocational or life skills courses
  • counselling, including financial or other types of counselling
  • drug and alcohol counselling, and
  • mentoring (for a person under 25 years of age)

In some circumstances fines are NOT eligible for the WDP.  Those circumstances include the following:


  • when a person has been served a seven day notice in relation to the fine and the seven day notice period has expired
  • the person has been arrested
  • property has been seized in relation to the fine, or
  • the fine is a court fine

First Step is accredited to address fines incurred in both Victoria & NSW.

If you would like to know more about First Step's involvement in the WDP and how it might benefit you, please contact Lauris O'Hanlon on ph: 03 9537 3177