News

Bentley site a goldmine for parking fines

SAY THANKS: Bentley protesters provided Richmond Valley Council with a big parking fine windfall.
SAY THANKS: Bentley protesters provided Richmond Valley Council with a big parking fine windfall. Doug Eaton

PARKING fines issued around the Bentley blockade site are likely to reap Richmond Valley Council an unexpected windfall of $16,000.

With fines of $236 issued for parking illegally by the side of the road, about 70 cars were fined over the three months of the blockade.

General manager John Walker said it was all about safety.

"We were asked by the camp (organisers) and others to put in 60 km/h speed zones, no stopping signs to protect pedestrians and people driving through," he said.

"Those who ignored the no stopping signs and parked willy-nilly on the hill or in front of the gates were causing danger and in breach (of the law) and even their own request that we do something."

Mr Walker said the council had not taken a tough position on parking matters, and had in fact had been soft on enforcement.

"There would regularly be five or 10 or even 20 cars illegally parked, and it's not like we went out and did a bust. We had rangers driving past and if they saw danger, they acted appropriately."

In 2012/13 Richmond Valley Council issued no parking fines, but it was tourists in Evans Head rather than protesters at Bentley that changed the council's position on this.

Mr Walker said the council had reviewed its position about not enforcing parking regulations about a year ago after a particularly busy holiday season at Evans Head.

New parking times were introduced in both Evans Head and Casino, with all one hour parking areas in Casino upgraded to two-hour zones and a change of policy from the council to start enforcing this.

Mr Walker also said that the cost to the council at the Bentley camp site would be around $100,000, excluding staff time.

Topics:  council csg parking fines



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