Nathan Hicks, New Lambton
I was recently fined while parking up at Byron beach, something I have done for 20 years. I had a surf for an hour, returned and went to a job for two hours or more and returned for another surf.
In total I spent two hours in a four hour parking zone yet I was fined. I was even in two totally different parks.
I went to Byron Council offices where I was told I could only chase up the matter with State Debt Recovery.
I wrote my letter explaining I was only there in total two hours. They replied saying the ranger has upheld the fine as he chalked my tyres so ‘I must have been there more than four hours’, basically implying that had I lied.
I then chased Council as I had three witnesses willing to sign statutory declarations as to my whereabouts and that of my car. I tried to call Council, write emails and even approached a ranger on the street.
When I spoke on the phone I was told that there is some zoning rule that parking in the same street twice in one day is punishable by way of a fine. Nowhere on the street signs in Byron Bay or on entry to Byron Bay is this rule displayed. It has not been gazetted in a public forum such as a newspaper, by public meeting or letter drop.
I just spent an hour perusing the RTA website http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/usingroads/roadrules/index.html nowhere, at least nowhere obvious, is the rule that the ranger has been trying to rudely point out. If I cannot find it when directed to look for it how can anybody know about this rule? I think Council may need to change their practices to be in line with laws your council claims are there for public knowledge.
Furthermore I have spent approximately five hours or more chasing up this ridiculous scandal. I have been called a liar, talked to like an idiot who may not remember that I went to the job without my vehicle, brushed off and finally I have had the fine dropped – as far as I know.
Now I would just like people to know they can fight these infringements. It may take a while but if you have been wrongly fined, don’t give up.