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Council accused of playing favourites

14 Dec 2017

Council accused of playing favourites Image

The City of Melbourne has been accused of turning a blind eye to a local car hire business’s alleged habit of leaving its vehicles parked for hours over the allowed parking limit.

Local resident Jeremy Wee told Southbank Local News that he had been monitoring vehicles owned by Clarendon St-based business Europcar on Clarendon and Haig streets since the start of the year.

Mr Wee alleges that Europcar vehicles, both cars and commercial vehicles, are consistently parked both on the Clarendon St footpath, as well as in the three one-hour parking spaces throughout the week for hours on end.

He accused the council of giving preferential treatment to businesses over residents.

“Often, the same vehicles are left there for the entire day and through the night,” he said. “I walk past them multiple times a day and have never seen an infringement notice on any of them.”

“I’ve seen parking officers around the area patrolling Haig St and issuing infringement notices to other private cars, but they never seem to ever issue infringement notices to the Europcar vehicles sometimes parked there for the whole day.”

In November, Mr Wee reported the issue to the City of Melbourne on numerous occasions.

In the first instance, Mr Wee was told that a parking officer had visited the area but the offending vehicle appeared to have left and that it had now closed his request.

Mr Wee said that the same vehicles remained in all three spaces throughout the day. After following up with council again, Mr Wee was told that officers had not had time to attend despite having previously closed the case.

Following his initial report, Mr Wee submitted three more reports, as well a complaint with pictures of offending vehicles to council only to receive similar responses on each occasion.

“My study overlooks these parking lots and the same three vehicles are still parked in these spots throughout the day,” Mr Wee said. “I can’t help but ponder on why they constantly get away with this all the time.”

City of Melbourne spokesperson Brodie Bott told Southbank Local News that, in light of the complaints, it had since increased patrols in the area and fines had been issued.

“We are aware of the matters raised by the customer and have increased officer patrols, which resulted in parking fines being issued,” he said. “We have spoken with the customer and will increase patrols even further over coming weeks.”

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