Fine for back-seat feed

Coun­cil re­ver­sal late, but for the breast

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - SALLY COATES

A GOLD Coast mother was slapped with a $78 park­ing fine while breast­feed­ing her baby in the back of the car, and it took two months and go­ing to the me­dia to have it over­turned by the city coun­cil.

Mu­si­cian Nicky Con­vine says she was on her way back from Casino on Septem­ber 30, when her nine-month-old son River be­came dis­tressed in the back seat. She pulled over into what turned out to be a me­tered bay on Con­nor St, Burleigh Heads, and got into the back to feed him.

She said within 10 min­utes a park­ing in­spec­tor had put a $78 fine on her wind­shield – while she was in­side the car breast­feed­ing. “We were al­most home and he was in­con- solable. It’s painful for me to hear my baby cry­ing when he needs me,” she said.

“You do what­ever you can, your mother’s in­stinct kicks in.

“I didn’t see any­one around un­til the ticket went un­der my wiper. I had to jump out and he seemed re­ally apolo­getic, but said he couldn’t re­verse it and that I would have to ap­peal.

“He seemed so un­der­stand­ing so I thought it would be an easy thing to do,” she said.

Two days later, Mrs Con­vine emailed coun­cil ex­plain­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

On Wed­nes­day she re­ceived a re­sponse, say­ing her ap­peal had been de­nied be­cause her case did not fit within the pol­icy guide­lines.

The coun­cil Penalty In­fringe­ment No­tice (PIN) Re­view Pol­icy stated that one ground for re­quest was “the af­fected per­son was un­able to com­ply with the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of the law, due to a cir­cum­stance out­side of their con­trol”.

Yes­ter­day, a coun­cil spokesman said that while it stood by its de­ci­sion to de­liver the fine, it had now with­drawn it on com­pas­sion­ate grounds.

Nicky Con­vine and son River.

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