Peace breaks out

The Manly Daily

Saturday 18 May 2002

By John Morcombe

PENINSULA car owners have three months to learn new parking rules before Pittwater Council resumes its enforcement of the laws.

A three-month period of education rather than prosecution was the main point of agreement from a meeting between the council and the Pedestrian Council of Australia yesterday.

PCA chairman Harold Scruby said “peace had broken out” between the two parties after his face-to-face with Pittwater Council general manager Angus Gordon.

But peace has come too late for dozens of motorists hit with $63 fines after being booked in several Palm Beach and Avalon streets two weeks ago despite cars having been parked in the same manner for decades.

One of those booked, Avalon resident James Ricketson, has said he is so incensed at the fine he will go to jail rather than pay it.

The council and the PCA have pointed the finger at each other in recent weeks following the parking blitz in Pittwater, with the council saying its hand had been forced by the PCA's many complaints and warnings that it could be subject to liability claims.

Both have now blamed the RTA for not supplying guidelines to the Australian Road Rules, especially relating to changes to parking rules, despite those rules being introduced in 1999.
Both organisations said they had made repeated requests to the RTA to release the guidelines and yesterday both agreed to renew their demands.

Mr Scruby denied the PCA had forced the council's hand on illegal parking but said he “didn't deny lobbying hard”. Pittwater Council has received at least 100 complaints on illegal parking from the PCA since 1999. “We don't deny lobbying hard for change but we deny allegations we've forced them to do it,” Mr Scruby said. “I expressed my concern about the blitz and there could have been better ways of doing it without blaming the PCA.”

Mr Gordon said: “We felt that insistence on enforcement was not the way to go but the PCA felt we should have enforced more and earlier”.

Mr Scruby said he felt the recent confrontation between the parties had been beneficial.
“The good thing about this is that it has brought it to a head and made people discuss the issues,'” he said. “I know some people are hurting from it but at least now they are talking about it.” Both organisations will contribute to the campaign to educate car owners about the changes to parking made under the Australian Road Rules.

Mr Gordon said the education program was not a moratorium and that repeat offenders would be booked.
Related articles:
"Crackdown fury" - Manly Daily - 8 May 2002
"Blame game over bookings" - Manly Daily - 11 May 2002
"Crossing Scruby" - Manly Daily - 18 May 2002
"Meeting helps to clear the air" - Manly Daily - 18 May 2002