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What A 'Fine' Mess - Gawler Council To Refund Expiation Notices

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Gawler / Light Electorate

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  • By Tony Piccolo
  • Aug 27, 2018
What A 'Fine' Mess - Gawler Council To Refund Expiation Notices

 

With Local Member of Parliament, Tony Piccolo MP who is holding a copy of the expired agreement are local residents (from the front) Amber Sweet and Connie Lydiksen (and daughter Hayley) who are pleased that their expiation notices will be withdrawn.


The Gawler Council could be forced to refund hundreds of parking fines they have issued at the Phoenix Plaza Shopping Centre (Target) after it was found that they lacked the authority to impose them.

The discovery has come about as a result of investigation undertaken by local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo.

Mr Piccolo said that six local people had approached his office, angry that they were issued expiation notices because they had parked in a ‘reserved’ car parking space for a business that had not operated in the centre for over four years.

“I thought the expiation notices were harsh and unreasonable in the circumstances, so we went into bat for the local residents”, said Mr Piccolo.

“The Council took a very inflexible stand which motivated me to look further and deeper into the issue, because I thought it was unfair.”

Under the Private Parking Areas Act shopping centres can grant the local council, through a legal agreement, the power to enforce parking rules on private property.

Mr Piccolo said this was a reasonable and normal practice, and ensures safety in private carpark areas and car parks are used in a fair and reasonable manner.

“Furthermore, the shopping centres pick up the cost of the inspectors undertaking the work,” said Mr Piccolo.

Mr Piccolo sought copies of the agreement and council polices regarding the review of expiation notices to ensure the council had complied with the law and its own policies.

“I have had concerns about council’s review and complaints process for some time, because I wasn’t sure how independent and robust they were,” Mr Piccolo said.

“After some time, council provided copies of the documents requested and to my surprise, the copy of the car parking agreement I had been supplied with had expired two years earlier.”

Mr Piccolo then sought copies of current agreements or letters that updated the agreement.

“After an exchange of some emails seeking clarification about the situation, Council reluctantly admitted that they had no agreement in place and would waive the fines,” said Mr Piccolo.

“While I am pleased that council has agreed to waive the fines for the six cases we have brought to their attention, there are probably hundreds of other people who have been caught up in this issue who may be eligible for a refund.”

Mr Piccolo said Council should be doing more than waiving the fines, sincethe expiation notices were issued without authority, they should be withdrawn.”

“If any person thinks they may have been caught up with this ‘fine mess’ they should contact me at my electorate office and we will be happy to have their matter reviewed, to see if they are eligible for a refund.”

 

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