Councils' infringement - Bid to take over parking

The Daily Telegraph

Thursday 27 January 2000

By MARK SKELSEY and WILL TEMPLE

PARKING offenders should be hit with higher fines and docked licence points
under a submission from NSW councils.
 
Local government also wants to take control of handing out infringements
across the State.
 
The Local Government Association (LGA) last week lodged a submission with
the State Government, which is conducting a review of parking enforcement.


 
An Auditor-General’s re-port released in November found that the State
Government’s parking police, who began operating in 1945, were inefficient.


 
The report found that the 320 State parking officers is-sued 50 per cent fewer
tickets per officer than 40 years ago and took among the highest number of
sick days of any public sector employees.


 
The LGA submission said councils should control parking - citing the exampIe
of the country town of Scone which only had one parking police enforcement
carried out In the past year.


 
The submission said that in six months to July 1997, Manly parking police
issued 1000 infringements while Manly rangers issued1500 a month.


 
The LGA submission also calls for increased penalties for parking across a
drive-way, which carries a $61 fine, and for heavy trucks In local streets, now a
$68 fine.


 
Higher penalties for dangerous parking offences near pedestrian crossings,
now $200, and on footpaths, now $60, as well as a new offence for leaving
trailer bogies on public roads, should be introduced, it said.


 
The submission also said: “For the law to be effective, some form of meaningful
deterrent (loss of demerit points in relation to a licence or registration) needs to be implemented.”


 
Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby welcomed the LGA’s
submission, saying police re-sources should be freed to investigate criminals.


 
“Every taxi driver in Syd-ney knows they will not be booked for parking Illegally,
they will just be warned,” he said.  “The parking police do not want confrontation.


 
“They just want to book parked cars with expired me-ters and protect their patch.”


 
But a State parking offi-cer said the unit’s numbers had fallen from 320 to 218.


 
“The council rangers will simply be revenue -raisers,” the officer said.


 
The match-up

 
MANLY RANGER:

-Issues 150 parking tickets per month.

-Earns $30,000 a year.

-Total tickets issued by councils up from 79,837 in 1994/95 to 150,077 in 1997/96.

 
PARKING OFFICER:

-Issues 170 tickets a month.

-Earns $31,000 a year.

-Total tickets issued down from 736,507 to 690,084.