‘Wipe them or leave them’: Renewed calls to dump $667 fines
A RENEWED push to dump "unfair" $667 parking fines levied on Christmas holiday makers will be launched at Sunshine Coast Council's ordinary meeting this week.
Division 4 Councillor John Connolly said the fines were higher than the basic weekly wage and ridiculous in their scale.
"We live life trying to be fair," he said. "This is not fair."
Cr Connolly said he was hoping to convince a further two councillors to put up their hands and vote with greater empathy for the impact the fines had on families visiting the region for the day.
His attempts to quash the fines at the last Sunshine Coast Council general meeting were defeated by two votes and led to an ugly exchange with Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer, who accused Cr Connolly of using the issue for election purposes.
Cr Connolly said colleagues had support two of the three elements of his previously defeated motion - that parking fines be tiered, and that adequate signage be erected to ensure motorists knew where they couldn't park.
He said even the parking officer who had issued the fine had to go away and check before determining the Cotton Tree park at the centre of the stoush was under council tenure.
A community meeting Cr Connolly attended, where those present spoke of what they called the unfairness of the fines, prompted him to have another crack at providing relief for those impacted.
The council legally can't reduce the level of penalties already imposed but it can vote to scrap them entirely.
"We have to wipe them or leave them," Cr Connolly said.
"Everything is not black and white.
"We live in the grey."
Future parking fines would be tiered, so that fines like those handed out to 13 people in Cotton Tree at Christmas won't be repeated.
"I just need two more councillors to put their hands in the air to do the right thing," Cr Connolly said.