Victoria's police boss has revealed 2000 more fines for COVID-19 breaches have been cancelled than paid in full.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton revealed only a fraction of the fines have been fully paid off in a public accounts and estimates committee hearing into the government's response to the pandemic on Wednesday.
Of the 39,985 coronavirus-related fines dished out over the state's lockdown-dominated year, Mr Patton said 2806 had been paid in full while 4869 were withdrawn or cancelled.
There have been 1553 issued to teenagers, but the police boss insists that figure doesn't include younger children.
"We have not issued infringements to children under 14," Mr Patton told the committee.
"If, by default, anyone had by accident that would have been withdrawn.
"The number of fines issued to children have been ... only because of deliberate, obvious and blatant breaches."
The Greens, lawyer advocates and Liberty Victoria have been agitating for youth offenders to be spared the fines, suggesting many likely come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mr Patton acknowledged there was scope for the penalties to be withdrawn, with officers assessing if they "pass the common sense test" and the implementation of "more flexible" review process guidelines for both children and adults.
"In the past, it's been they had to admit the offence to be cautioned. Now it's just they don't have to deny it," he said.
"We don't want them in the justice system if they're willing to admit 'I made a mistake'."
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy told the committee on Tuesday that $1 million a day was flooding into government coffers under the current fines system.
Appearing alongside Mr Patton, Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said fine rates mirrored the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases across the year.
"As cases numbers really dropped, so did VicPol's use of infringements as the tool to ensure compliance," she said on Wednesday.
"But as case numbers grew, so did their enforcement again. That shows police did the right thing. They got the balance right."
As the third minister appointed to oversee the state's politically charged hotel quarantine program, which sparked its deadly second wave, Ms Neville was pressed on the new-look program.
Under a worst-case scenario, she said it was now fit to accommodate up to 490 infected returned travellers.
"That's when we're taking more passengers than we are now," Ms Neville said.
Since the program restarted on December 7, seven international travellers have tested positive and are being monitored at the Novotel "hot hotel" in Melbourne's South Wharf.
Several other non-infected Novotel guests with complex health needs had been transferred to Alfred Hospital because their condition deteriorated, Ms Neville said.
Victoria has now gone 47 days without a locally acquired case of COVID-19, with no new infections reported in hotel quarantine or the community on Wednesday.
Australian Associated Press