LOCALS will have to fork out an extra $20 if they receive a parking fine, with the City of Gold Coast raising prices.
It’s the biggest shake up of parking fines since 2011, with a proposal to drop fixed prices for a variable penalty point regime.
Another big change is the fine for incorrectly parking in a disabled parking bay, with an increase from $150 to $300.
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However, City of Gold Coast is sticking by the price rise, saying it was not brought in to add further burden to locals and they have full backing of disability advocates.
Mayor Tom Tate said the existing fine was not acting as a strong enough deterrent to people who were inconveniencing those with disability and mobility issues.
“These changes send a strong message that we are an inclusive city and will not tolerate those who impact on the quality of life and access to services of the disabled,” Cr Tate said.
The Mayor added that linking fines to the penalty unit regime would mean that any future increases to general parking fines would be minimal.
“The actual dollar value of a penalty unit typically increases very slowly and mostly to keep up with inflation,” Cr Tate said.
“This is a much better approach for the community which would otherwise have seen large and unexpected jumps when council is finally forced to act.”
Cr Tate hopes to see the number of fines issued dramatically drop from next year when new meters are installed, which will allow residents to “top up” from their smartphones.
“I believe strongly that our rates system needs to be fair and equitable, and that applies to the way in which we collect fines too,” said Cr Tate.
“Our new parking technology will give residents every opportunity to do the right thing so that only those who disadvantage businesses and their neighbours are caught out.”