Parking funds approved

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KINGSTON Council has voted to note that a provision of over $2 million has been made to refund parking fines to ratepayers.

Earlier this year, council announced it would refund fines to residents after finding that their appeals process may have been improper. Kingston Council had outsourced their appeal process for fines to an external agency between 2006 and 2016, a process that council later believed was in violation of the Infringements Act 2006.

On 22 July, Kingston Council voted to “note that appropriate provision has been made in the financial statements for the 2018/19 financial year and long term financial strategy, $2,048,920.73.” Council also voted to “receive a further report in July 2020 regarding the effectiveness of the Parking Infringement Reimbursement Scheme.”

The mayor Georgina Oxley said earlier this year that “it is common for councils, and potentially some state agencies, to outsource the issuing of infringement tickets to an external contractor, however there have been concerns raised that the legislation may not allow external agencies to conduct appeals.” 

“In 2016 we received advice that, although the wording of the act wasn’t clear, our processes were acceptable. We wanted to remove any confusion and since 2016 have conducted all reviews ourselves. However, we recently received updated advice and council now believes that the introduction of the act meant the final decision of the review should not have been outsourced, and that council rather than its contractor should have undertaken the review,” she said.

“For that reason, we want to be fair and transparent and therefore will be refunding appealed fines during the 10 year period,” she said (“Parking fines will be refunded, The News, 6/3/19)

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 31 July 2019

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