Council staff asks for fine waiver

A BUNDABERG man has fears of council corruption, after he received misdirected mail from a Bundaberg Regional Council staff member asking for their parking fine to be waived.

The $10 fine, which had also accrued a $15 late fee, was attached to a memo asking for the fees to be waived as the council worker was in a meeting when the ticket was issued.

“That’s corruption on a small scale,” the man, who did not want his name published, told the NewsMail.

“It makes you wonder what other special favours are being done for staff members. This week it’s ‘can you take care of my parking fines’, next week it’s ‘can I get a discount on my rates’.”

The man said the excuse of “being in a meeting” was not good enough.

“It’s just $10 — why can’t they pay it, like anyone else would,” he said.

“It should have to go before a public council meeting before they can waiver them, not just another council employee where they can favour their mates.”

But the council’s director of health and environment Greg Savage said everyone was entitled to apply for a parking fine waiver, if they could prove they were unable to move their vehicle for reasons out of their control.

“The same rules apply to everyone,” Mr Savage said.

“If a staff member received a ticket while they were in a meeting and asked for a waiver, that request would go to an officer who would review the case,” he said.

He said the facts of the claim would be investigated, including whether the person was realistically able to leave the meeting.

“If we go to their management, and they say that they could have asked to leave and move their car, then they would not automatically get the fine waived,” Mr Savage said.

“Members of the public can also do this — we get requests all the time.”

He said the council issued about 600 fines each month, and received an average of 12 requests for the penalty to be written off.

“Our parking inspectors are strictly instructed to give tickets to everyone who breaks the rules, even if they are council vehicles,” he said.

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