OPINION: Motorists are being milked for all they are worth
I'M a motorist that doesn't mind being used as a cash cow as long as I see the money being spent on stuff I can use such as roads and infrastructure.
In NSW, apart from the money being spent on duplicating the Pacific Highway (and that is a joint federal and state responsibility), I don't see it trickling down to local roads.
Even the duplication of the Pacific Highway has taken many more years to complete than it should have and cost us more than ever imagined.
Today on Page 6 of The Northern Star we complete a three-part series on road and traffic fines.
It shows that across our five Local Government Areas parking fines totalled $1.74m in 2015-16.
By far the biggest contributor was Byron Bay with a whopping figure of $1.3m last year.
Byron's new pay parking regime is probably reaping the dividends and you can see some roads being worked on, but it's largely embarrassing the state of the roads in a place that attracts so many tourists a year.
Parking fines in NSW also seem way out of whack with other comparable states. RMS figures show the most common parking fine. over-staying the limit, carries a $106 fine in NSW compared to $30 in Victoria and $88 in Queensland.
Again, I wouldn't mind if all that money resulted in us having better roads than either of those two states.
Road Minister Duncan Gay has also rejected any calls to introduce a system of fines like Finland which uses a sliding scale according to your income. NSW motorists will continue to be milked for all they are worth.