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Council denies parking quotas

11 Jun 2015

Council denies parking quotas Image

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle called a special press conference in May after an anonymous City of Melbourne parking officer alleged that inspectors were being pressured to meet infringement quotas.

The unnamed parking inspector made claims to The Herald Sun last month that the City of Melbourne had used tally boards and Sesame Street symbols to pressure he and his colleagues to increase the number of fines they issued.

The claims were backed in the report by the parking inspectors’ union, the Australian Services Union, which claimed its members were being forced to meet quotas of 4.5 tickets per hour.

However, the Lord Mayor firmly denied the existence of any such quotas and said the tally boards were used merely as a means of measuring performance.

“I must make the point that there are no quotas at the City of Melbourne,” he said. “A quota is a number that you must reach and there is no such thing.”

“The City of Melbourne is a business and you’d expect us to forecast and track our expenditure and our revenue and that’s actually what we do with parking fines like anything else.”

“You do look at the performance of the different teams given that they’re all paid the same, they all work in the same areas over a long period of time and they’re expected to perform about the same and that seems reasonable to me.”

In its annual 2015-16 draft budget released last month, the City of Melbourne stated that total parking fine revenue was expected to increase again by $1.52 million from the previous year to $42.23 million.

The reports have raised fears that the alleged targets are pressuring inspectors to fine motorists in unfair situations when they don’t deserve a penalty.

It comes after a number of Southbank residents told Southbank Local News in May that they had been unfairly fined for parking out the front of their own residential buildings as a result of temporary, clipped-on signage (pictured).

Southbank resident Julie Cowley has since informed Southbank Local News that the City of Melbourne had ruled that it wouldn’t revoke any fines issued as a result of the signage and said she and other residents would consider pursuing further action through VCAT.

The Lord Mayor said the person responsible for leaking the story hadn’t done the reputation of parking inspectors, who were simply doing their job, any favours.

“Let’s remember that these parking fines are issued because people have infringed and they’ve overstayed their time in the city,” he said.

“Whoever did leak this story to the newspapers hasn’t really done our parking inspectors any favours.”

“These are people that cop enough abuse as it is and my concern is that this story will just mean that they cop more abuse and that is not fair given that they just go about doing their job.”

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