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Parking fines to be cheaper

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has decided to “opt in” to the NSW Government’s decision to reduce parking fines.

The government has “recently announced legislative changes … [to bring parking fines] into line with other states and to reflect community opinion that parking fines are excessive”, the report to the December 11 CVC meeting stated.

At the moment, a parking fine attracts a $112 penalty, of which CVC retains about $85.

The proposed reduced fine will be $80 and will be able to be implemented by councils from March 1, 2019.

From January 31, a 10-minute “grace period” for paid parking of more than one hour will be introduced, too.

The report to council noted that the reduced fines “may also lessen the, albeit relatively rare, occurrence of fines being challenged”.

However, the report also pointed out that there will be a reduction “in overall income received from parking fines … in the order of a $25,000 to $28,000”.

“That reduction will mean that the efficiency saving component embedded in the budget estimate for parking fine receipts will not be met,” as a result of councillors unanimous support to opt in to the government’s legislative changes.

“The decision for [councillors] comes down to community expectation versus income generated.

“Based on the likely community expectation, it is recommended that council opt in to the reduced fee structure.”

Dozens fined for overnight parking in Yamba and Angourie

Meanwhile in an unrelated issue but still involving parking infringements, 50 people have been issued with $112 infringement notices after breaching overnight parking restrictions in Yamba and Angourie since the holiday season started.

Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and community director, Des Schroder, said rangers issued the notices after pre-dawn patrols in the coastal illegal camping hotspots.

Mr Schroder said council introduced parking bans between 12.30am and 5am in parts of Yamba and Angourie in order to manage illegal camping and rangers were actively enforcing the bans.

“In addition to the fines we have moved on scores of people who were camping in car parks after 5am,” he said.

“Each of them was provided with a copy of council’s Happy Camping Guide brochure for legal camping sites.

“The patrols will be ongoing.”

Copies of the Happy Camping Guide are available at