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‘Just doing our job’

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council has rejected criticism of its parking enforcement during the Leongatha Daffodil Festival’s inaugural street festival on September 2.

The Star was contacted by many people unhappy with fines being issued during the street festival, which saw Bair Street closed for a market and other festivities.

Council’s local laws coordinator Bruce Gardiner said no one came to council refusing to pay a fine, despite The Star being informed to the contrary.

While council issued five parking fines on Saturday, September 2, a further 26 infringement notices were issued in two hour areas in the Leongatha CBD during separate patrols by two officers on Friday, September 1.

Mr Gardiner said he was unaware of any negative feedback other than that expressed on The Star’s Facebook page last week.

“It’s incredibly unfair for people to criticise or berate our staff for simply doing their job. Our officers get no joy from issuing infringement notices to fellow members of this community,” Mr Gardiner said.

“For them to be held up to public ridicule and abuse in such circumstances is unconscionable behaviour by those that participated.

“The easiest thing in the world to avoid is a parking infringement. Our signs are clear and tell drivers what is expected of them when they park their vehicle. In times when there is the highest demand for parks sometimes people have to park a little further away and walk to the event.”

Mr Gardiner said on Saturday, September 2, one infringement notice was issued to a driver overstaying in a one hour area in McCartin Street.

A further four infringement notices were issued to drivers who had parked in no standing, loading and taxi zones.

“When people park in such areas they force the legitimate users (delivery drivers, taxis, etc) to stop in dangerous areas to undertake their business,” Mr Gardiner said.

He said local business owners praised council for patrolling parking areas as the turnover of traffic was good for business.

The Star was told a visitor to the area who was fined said she would never come back to Leongatha.

“Our understanding is that the only person fined for overstaying on Saturday was a local resident. If someone parked in a no standing or loading zone they should not be surprised they received a ticket,” Mr Gardiner said.

In the wake of community concern about parking fines issued during the Daffodil Festival, council local laws officers will be releasing “educative materials” about parking in the coming months, leading into the busy Christmas shopping period.

“Parking spaces are a limited resource. We can’t simply install more of them so we have to share the ones we have,” Mr Gardiner said.

“Our traffic engineers engage with the community and make decisions on what signage is appropriate and then our officers are required to enforce these rules.”

He said parking officers would continue to attend high profile events in an effort to reduce offending. These visits will target parking, littering, animal management, obstructions to roads/footpaths and the like.

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22535

Posted by on Sep 12 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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