Recently Channel 9 News published a list of local councils who have issued over $1 million in parking infringement fines. The Lane Cove Council made the list. In the last 10 months, they have issued $1 310 592 in parking infringement fines.
This amount is in keeping with the fines issued in the last three years. As you would be aware, parking zones and times have changed in the Lane Cove Village Area. The Lane Cove Council has also employed a ranger to specifically patrol the Lane Cove Village Area. Given these changes, it is surprising that the number of fines has not increased dramatically from last year.
The Lane Cove Council General Manager Mr Craig Wrightson has told ITC on numerous occasions the Lane Cove Council is not interested in generating revenue from parking fines. Their aim is to provide adequate parking for Lane Cove Residents to support local businesses.
The NRMA has put forward an idea that any Council that issues over 1 million in fines should have a community panel so that residents can contest fines. The community parking panels, would be made up of residents and council officers, so drivers can contest parking infringement notices they believe are unfair.
The NRMA also called for the money collected for fines to go towards local road improvements.
ITC spoke to Peter Khoury of the NRMA who said:
“Contesting parking infringement fines is frustrating and expensive. Situations arise where a fine should not have been issued because a sign has been blocked by a tree or a shrub. Community panels provide transparency and show that a council is not just interested in revenue raising.”
ITC followers have provided numerous examples to ITC where they have contested fines due to signs being obstructed or hard to read. In each case, the disputed fines were not waived.
One ITC follower sent us a before and after picture. The shrub obscuring the No Stopping sign was cut the day after the resident was told their fine would not be waived.
Probably one of the most contentious parking signs in Lane Cove recent history was the Seniors Parking in the Lane Cove Coles Park. The Seniors Only Parking sign was difficult to read as it was installed above eye line level. After ITC raised the issue, the Lane Cove Council painted Seniors Parking signs on the road.
The NRMA suggested a community panel to the Willougby City Council in 2015. The idea was rejected.
What is your view? Should there be a better system for contesting parking infringements?
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