Fines not very char­i­ta­ble act

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By DENISE S. CAHILL

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL fines im­posed on peo­ple parked at char­ity events and a penalty im­posed on a man for al­legedly park­ing on a street for more than 24 hours have prompted a re­view of the park­ing fine regime in Mos­man Park.

“A new regime was in­tro­duced whereas we were try­ing to change the way our roads were used,” Mayor Ron Nor­ris said about the man’s fine at the meet­ing last Tues­day.

On Fe­bru­ary 14, res­i­dent Michael Hood was fined $75 for al­legedly park­ing his Jaguar for more than 24 hours in Ec­cle­stone Street.

Rangers claimed they had is­sued a cau­tion and marked tyres with chalk five days ear­lier so streetsweep­ing ve­hi­cles were not ob­structed.

At the meet­ing, Mr Hood said it was in­cor­rect for the coun­cil to as­sume the car had not been moved be­cause he worked at his Bal­catta milk de­liv­ery busi­ness from 9.30pm to 3.30am and of­ten re­turned to the same park­ing spot.

De­spite as­ser­tions that chalk marks on the tyres were un­touched, coun­cil­lors waived the fine.

But al­leged il­le­gal street park­ing and the coun­cil’s fail­ure to use dis­cre­tionary power at a se­ries of char­ity events caused greater de­bate.

On March 18, six vol­un­teers and mu­si­cians were fined by rangers for park­ing at a char­ity fundraiser hosted by Melissa Karl­son at an­other Saun­ders Street home, at­tended by Curtin MHR Julie Bishop.

The fines fol­lowed about six guests be­ing fined about $600 for park­ing at a char­ity event at the house on De­cem­ber 8, lead­ing to con­cerns the street was be­ing tar­geted by rangers.

The coun­cil sub­se­quently or­gan­ised al­ter­na­tive park­ing for fu­ture events but Mr Karl­son spent about an hour out­side the house redi­rect­ing guests’ cars in the hour be­tween their ar­rival and 7pm, when the day­time park­ing ban on the street no longer ap­plies.

Mr Nor­ris said the new park­ing ar­range­ments for the event “un­for­tu­nately” did not in­clude park­ing for peo­ple work­ing at the fundraiser.

Af­ter in­ter­ven­tion by deputy mayor Jenna Ledger­wood, who said the Town had pre­vi­ously en­cour­aged char­ity events, it was agreed a pol­icy be de­vel­oped for the chief ex­ec­u­tive to sus­pend or al­ter park­ing rules for char­ity and com­mu­nity events.

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