Parking fine blitz a 'rampant attack' on Coast residents

Reese Gerhard was one of several Coast residents caught up in the parking fine blitz. He was fined by the council for parking over the legal boundary of his driveway.
Reese Gerhard was one of several Coast residents caught up in the parking fine blitz. He was fined by the council for parking over the legal boundary of his driveway. Warren Lynam

CALOUNDRA MP Mark McArdle is the latest to take aim at the council over its policy in issuing parking infringement notices, with the community parking workshop drawing near.

Mr McArdle has backed his fellow MP, Jarrod Bleijie, in a spat with Mayor Mark Jamieson following claims the surge in parking fines issued by the council was due to State Government legislation.

The blitz sparked a community outcry, with several residents, protest groups and political figures calling on the council to ease its heavy-handedness. But the council stated that it was simply following State Government legislation in regulating parking policy.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson announced the council would hold a community workshop aimed at addressing the issue.

Cr Jamieson also penned letters to the Coast MPs inviting them to make submissions detailing any actions they had taken to "influence the shape of the State legislative framework" surrounding parking fines.

It infuriated Mr Bleijie, who, in a letter to the Mayor, said state MPs had nothing to do with the council's "overzealous" method of "revenue raising".

"Not surprisingly, you have publicly blamed state legislation and no doubt at the workshop you will blame state members of parliament," he said.

He then took to Twitter and wrote directly to Cr Jamieson: "You relied on my support to get the Mayor gig, you relied on LNP volunteers to hand out your support cards. What a disappointment you have been."

Mr McArdle agreed the council's stance blaming the State Government was wrong.

"A review of the legislation does not disclose a direct obligation imposed on council to enforce the terms," he said.

"The overwhelming media coverage of this matter highlights quite clearly what can be described as a rampant attack by overzealous parking inspectors without any thought to whether or not the action they are taking is indeed in the public interest."

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said: "Council thanks Member for Caloundra Mr McArdle for making a submission and looks forward to the issues being discussed by a wide range of stakeholders at the parking workshop on Monday.

"It is important that Mr McArdle understands that in the quarter ending December 2017, council received four times the number of complaints about drivers parking on verges than the number of fines issued."

The workshop will be held at 9am, Monday at Lake Kawana Community Centre.

Topics:  fine parking fine parking infringement notice state government sunshine coast sunshine coast council

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