Council refuses to lower parking fines

Last year Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced the NSW Government would reduce the 10 most common parking fines by 25 per cent.

However, the Government only issues about 10 per cent of all parking fines in NSW, with the rest issued by local councils.

Councils raked in about $172 million from parking fines in the 2016/17 financial year, while State Government-issued fines totalled $15 million.

The Northern Beaches Council voted not to change parking fines.Source:istock

As a result, Mr Perrottet urged all NSW councils to follow his lead and lower minimum parking fines from $110 to $80.

“Fines should be a deterrent to an offence, but they also should be fair and not used as an easy option to build a bankroll for whatever project is flavour of the day,” he said.

Despite the Treasurer’s plea, the Northern Beaches Council voted not to lower parking fines.

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan told State Government revenue wouldn’t be affected in the same way as the council’s if fines were reduced.

“The State Government has recommended council budgets take a hit by reducing the cost of parking fines without the State Government taking a share of the cut themselves,” Mr Regan said.

“A fixed portion of each fine goes to State Government revenue, and despite recommending council reduce our revenue by 25 per cent, the State Government have not reduced their portion one cent.

“This means the State Government can look like the champion of the community without any impact to their own bottom line.”

Mr Regan said the council would be “happy to consider fine reductions when the State Government does the same”.

Earlier this year, the Council did agree to introduce a 10-minue grace period for people who overstay their paid parking time, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The State Government urged councils to reduce fines by 25 per cent.

The State Government urged councils to reduce fines by 25 per cent.Source:News Limited

A few Sydney councils have followed the Government’s advice, with Liverpool, Blacktown, Hills Shire and Fairfield some of the councils that have taken the suggestion on board.

Western Sydney, Charles Sturt, Newcastle, Macquarie and Wollongong universities have also chosen to slash fines.

Some of the fines that have been cut include parking for longer than permitted, parking without a ticket and stopping in a restricted area.

Last year, when the Government announced the proposal to reduce fines, NSW Business Chamber chief executive Stephen Cartwright said it would be telling which councils followed suit.

“It will be pretty clear now which councils want to work with their residents and businesses and which ones are simply interested in revenue raising,” he said.

“(People who) make honest mistakes due to confusing messages, or are delayed by a couple of minutes while they complete their shopping, should not be penalised by huge fines.”


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