A WOMAN who was fined for parking on council property during a funeral has had her infringement thrown out in court.
Monash Council already has a reputation for Melbourne’s most zealous parking enforcement officers, with each issuing an average of 16 tickets a day.
As reported by the Waverley Leader, Mt Waverley woman Maria Irminger was “incensed” by what she saw as the council’s heavy-handedness in issuing a $72 fine for parking at Clayton Town Hall during the funeral last year. She went to court on Wednesday
Ms Irminger told Leader she was one of 15 funeral-goers who was hit with a $72 fine in the carpark at Clayton Town Hall. She said the St Peter’s Catholic Church carpark was overflowing but the town hall carpark was empty, and a woman who answered the door confirmed the hall was not in use.
Parish priest Father John Quinn told Leader there appeared to be a “complete lack of compassion” from the council.
Ms Irminger waited at the Moorabbin Magistrates Court on Wednesday for nearly four hours only for the case to be thrown out by the magistrate.
Ms Irminger said the council had wasted ratepayers’ money on taking the case to court.
“I hope council sees the stupidity of their behaviour,” Mrs Irminger said.
Ms Irminger said the council should allow people to park on council property during funerals.
But Monash Mayor Geoff Lake denied the magistrate’s decision would set precedent for other drivers.
“The restrictions are in place for a reason, to allow everyone a fair go at parking near where they need to go,” Cr Lake said.
Monash Council has nine parking officers and they issued 51,802 infringement notices in 2012-13 — at an average of 5756 per officer, earning the council a whopping $4.4 million in parking revenue.
Monash Mayor Geoff Lake told the Herald Sun in March: “We make no apologies for running an efficient operation. This is partly the reason why our rates are lower than any other council in Victoria.
“It is very simple in Monash — if you disregard parking time limits or no-standing signs, you will most likely get a fine. Our parking officers are doing a great job.……………………………”