Tweed man overturns Byron parking fine
BY Gary Chigwidden email@example.com
HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars in parking fines collected by Byron Shire Council at Byron's Main Beach car park may have been collected illegally, according to a visitor to the town who challenged his $77 fine and 'won'. Reg Clough, who battled the council and the Debt Recovery Office for more than a year, said the council should pay back all fines issued since paid parking was introduced.
Mr Clough, from Tweed Heads, claimed the council had failed to follow mandatory requirements for paid parking specifically laid down by the Roads and Traffic Authority.
As such, he said, it was not entitled to charge for parking at Main Beach.
His battle with the council started in July last year when he visited Byron Bay for the first time with his school-age daughter and was fined for not having a parking ticket. Mr Clough appealed on the grounds signage at the parking area was inadequate.
He contacted the Roads and Traffic Authority, who directed him to a 36-page manual outlining the obligations of councils when establishing paid parking schemes.
He said it was mandatory for councils to follow the manual to the letter, or they couldn't charge for parking.
In a letter to Mr Clough, the RTA also confirmed the council had not completed a mandatory audit of the parking scheme.
"Their signs were nothing like the standard required. The whole thing is a shambles," Mr Clough said.