Brisbane City Council Shame File # 53

Brisbane City Council needs to better maintain street signage.

Courier Mail, Edition 1 - First with the news
THU 14 OCT 2010, Page 023

Fine halved, costs soar

By: Robyn Ironside

A MAN who challenged his $100 parking ticket in court is now facing a $2871 bill after a magistrate halved the fine, but awarded costs against him.
Stephen Hall, of Cleveland, in Redland City, said he thought he had reasonable grounds to appeal against the ticket issued on January 17, 2009, after he parked his motorcycle in George St, in Brisbane's CBD.
A nearby sign indicated the area to the right of where Mr Hall had parked was a bus zone, but there was nothing to suggest the area to the left was off-limits.
``There were five or six bicycles nearby and two trucks parked (in the mall) on the other side of the street. I saw no reason why I couldn't park there,'' Mr Hall said.
When he returned to his bike to find a Brisbane City Council (BCC) inspector issuing a ticket, Mr Hall was told the area was a
no-standing zone.
``Soon after I told the council I would fight the ticket, a new sign went up over the old one, stating the area was no standing.
``If that had been there in the first place, I wouldn't have parked there,'' Mr Hall said.
It took more than a year for the case to get to court, where Mr Hall was found guilty by magistrate Graham Lee after the city council's counsel argued the area was an ``extension of the Queen Street Mall''.
``There can't be signs everywhere,'' barrister Thomas Pincus told the court.
But in a ruling that dumbfounded Mr Hall , a former Victorian, his original fine was reduced to $50 and costs of $1821 awarded against him.
``You were new to town, you didn't know really the rules in Brisbane,'' ruled magistrate Lee.
``The amount of the fine I'm going to impose on you is less than what I would otherwise impose on you by virtue of the fact I'm going to order you to pay costs.''
Mr Hall said he could not believe the decision and immediately lodged an appeal in the District Court.
In a ruling handed down in August, Judge Kiernan Dorney upheld the magistrate's decision and added a further $1000 to the costs.
Although he is still convinced he was right to park where he did, Mr Hall said he would not be taking the matter any further.
``I wouldn't stand a chance, not against the Brisbane City Council,'' he said.

Caption: HUGE BLOWOUT: Stephen Hall and (above) the new no-standing sign, which was erected after he challenged his fine
Illus: Photo
IllusBy: Jono Searle
Section: NEWS

Article Copyright of The Courier Mail Brisbane



It's a shame that the BCC continues to allow this to continue happening.


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