Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

The Call That Led to Windfall; Council Responds to Feedback

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

The Call That Led to Windfall; Council Responds to Feedback

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould

IT WAS the phone call that has led to a $577,790 windfall for Ipswich residents who broke parking laws.

Yep, Ipswich City Council is waiving 6170 unlawful parking fines totalling $577, 790.

But that show of good faith is the result of what happened in September of 2014 when a woman from Springfield Lakes rang Cr Paul Tully in his Goodna office when her husband had received an on-the-spot parking ticket outside a school.

Her husband wasn't driving the car so the lady asked for advice on how he could avoid paying the fine.

"I said what you have got to do is get him to sign a statutory declaration saying he was not the driver of the vehicle at the time," Cr Tully told the QT

"She said, 'How do I do that?'

"I said, 'On the back of the ticket is the information about filling out a stat dec'."

The lady had the ticket and turned it over and told Cr Tully she could not see the information.

Cr Tully asked the lady to fax him a scanned copy, but it was not clear when it came through on his own fax.

When Cr Tully viewed the original he was stunned to see it did not have Option 4 on it, which is the section where the receiver of a parking fine can tick a box and elect to lodge a statutory declaration to say they were not the driver of a vehicle.

"On the spot fines became legal in Queensland in 1957, so this council would have been issuing them for over 50 years," Cr Tully said.

"The right to sign a statutory declaration has been embedded in the Queensland Traffic Act since 1957, but as it turned out it wasn't on this ticket."

Cr Tully made the enquiries into why that was the case.

"I was told, and the head of the (regulatory services) department was told, that it was a one-off situation by an old ticket roll in an old machine which had been called into use because the ticket machine being used by the officer needed repairs."

Council waived that ticket because Cr Tully said "the legislation requires a number of elements to be included in the ticket", namely the election to lodge a statutory declaration.

In November of last year an anonymous caller, a lady, called to alert Cr Tully of a similar situation where a fine had been issued and Option 4 was once again not on the ticket. …

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