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August 09 Edition Cover

Looking fine there, Docklands

31 Jul 2012

Looking fine there, Docklands Image

By Melissa Chen

When you’re a single mother with a six-year-old to tend to, feeding a parking meter is hard to manage. But by failing to do so, Docklands resident Franca Caradonna now has $2000 worth of parking fines and says she can’t afford to pay.

Ms Caradonna has been a resident of the Mariner in NewQuay for almost a year. She said her first few months in her apartment were great. However, parking tickets started to snowball after her first fine on February 7 this year.

Parking within the apartment block compound is reserved for residents on the seventh and eighth storeys. All other residents have to share eight bays on the street. These spaces are for two hours only from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm. Should there be no bays available, residents have to pay $15 for full-day parking or risk fines from the council.

The Mariner is mostly managed by Housing Choices Australia, which makes its accommodation available to lower-income tenants.

“I am trying to survive on my own means. I have my own small business and I have to look after my six-year-old. How am I supposed to pay these fines?” Ms Caradonna said.

The City of Melbourne is trying to encourage travel by public transport in its bid towards environmental sustainability. However, Ms Caradonna does not share council’s sentiments.

“How am I supposed to catch a tram into the city when I can’t stay for more than an hour because I have to rush back to feed the meter?” Ms Caradonna said. “

As residents, we should be able to come home and not worry about having to move our car every two hours or feeding the meter when it runs out.”

Ms Caradonna said the City of Melbourne operated resident parking permit schemes in all other suburbs, but not in Docklands.

“Every resident should have the right to park where they live,” Ms Caradonna said.

According to a council spokesperson, the City of Melbourne considers that on-street parking in Docklands should be managed in a similar way to the CBD. This is to meet the high demands for short-term visitor parking and the delivery and servicing of businesses and properties within Docklands.

There are approximately 500 on-street parking spaces in Docklands.

Ms Caradonna has contested every infringement notice with a written letter to the council.

The council’s generic reply states: “Your notice has now been reviewed and based on the information provided, we are unable to withdraw the infringement.”

Ms Caradonna is planning to move out of her Docklands apartment but does not plan to pack her infringement notices when she leaves.

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