- Moonee Valley City Council
The parking availability at Moonee Ponds Central is causing hardship to people in the area. The carpark provides for two and three-hour parking only, unless a permit is obtained, but there are a limited number of permits available. Due to the parking restrictions, people who contribute to the local economy, through their labour, enterprise and consumption, are experiencing hardship in the form of fines and other stresses. The fines are issued by the Council, but the carpark is privately owned. Whilst this has been potentially impacting a great many people, workers and business people are finding it particularly harsh. Outside of the Moonee Ponds Central complex, there are no viable alternate parking facilities within a safe and convenient walking distance.
Some of the many examples include:
Rita- who works in the building. Out of necessity, Rita drives to work every day and must move her car every two or three hours. This can prove difficult given her break times. Rita was fined once for failing to move her car within the required time due to delays brought about by her working duties and scheduled rest break times. She contested this fine unsuccessfully. On another occasion, Rita received a final notice for a second fine she was unaware of. Rita telephoned to contest the fine and was informed there was photographic evidence of the issued fine on her car’s windscreen. She was told that, if she paid the fine immediately, they would waive the final notice penalty of $20.00. Rita felt she had no choice but to pay the fine. In addition to the financial hardship this has caused Rita, it has also caused her stress and anxiety and has the potential to preoccupy her during her employment and during her rest breaks at work.
Anthony- generally works 8 hour days for a retailer in the area. Whilst his employer is supportive of his need to take his breaks on time, so as to avoid fines, this is proving to be difficult as he may get stuck with a customer for longer than expected. He has received two $76.00 fines. The stress of having to constantly be going back and forth to move his car can be tiring. Anthony explains that there are no viable parking options in the area and finds the fines to be very harsh, as he says, he ‘would rather put the $76.00 towards the benefit of his three year old son’.
Maeve- was working a five hour shift during the busy Christmas period. She parked in a three hour zone and hurriedly went to move her car on her one and only rest break of fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, due to the busy time of year, the carparks limited capacity and her being conscious of the need to return to her work duties, Maeve was unable to find an alternate spot and stayed parked in the same position. She returned at the end of the shift to discover she had been fined $76.00. Feeling she had no control over the matter, Maeve reluctantly paid the fine. The fine was almost equivalent to her wage for that day’s work.
Bec- works in the area. In order to avoid a fine, she takes public transport to work. Apart from the extra effort involved in catching public transport, she is often concerned about the walk from the tram stop to her house when she finishes work late at night. She would drive if there were viable parking options.