Drivers were slapped with $83,000 worth of parking fines in just one day when penalties resumed after COVID-19 lockdown.
Brisbane City Council issued $22.3 million in parking fines in the 2019 to 2020 financial year despite pausing paid parking during the height of the pandemic.
Penalties resumed on May 18 and over $3.5million worth of fines were given in the following six weeks, equalling $82,914 a day or $3,455 per hour.
Brisbane City Council collected an average of $70,000 in daily parking fines prior to the hiatus and motorists were issued with a total of 182,350 penalties.
Drivers in Brisbane’s CBD and nearby South Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill and Newstead received the most penalties.
A council spokesperson said the increased rates did not reflect a change and showed the ‘natural ebbs and flows in annual parking enforcement’.
‘There has been no attempt to recover revenue post the COVID relaxed enforcement period.
‘Dividing a value of fines by time periods does not give an accurate reflection of Council’s daily management of illegal and dangerous parking.’
‘If you compare 18 May 2020 to 30 June 2020 to the same period in 2019 there were 179 less infringement notices issued,’ she explained.
Stopping in a no stopping zone was the most common parking mistake and saw 18,152 drivers penalised.
Brisbane City Council handed out 9,845 fines for parking dangerously over a yellow line and 9,479 fines for parking in a taxi zone.
At least 12,103 motorists also failed pay for parking after leaving their car in a metered space.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said ‘selfish parkers’ harmed local businesses and those following the rules.
‘Our businesses need customer turnover to thrive, and it’s more important than ever as we try and rebuild or economy following the coronavirus pandemic that customers easily come and go from their local businesses.’
‘This kind of behaviour is not fair to all of the people doing the right thing,’ he said.
Parking fines issued by City of Sydney Council totalled over $14 million in the last financial year.
Fines decreased dramatically during the coronavirus lockdown period with 1,835 fines issued in April compared to 8,895 in May.
Sydney drivers were penalised an average of $24,239 per day in parking fines across May and June.
‘Any revenue the City collects from parking fines becomes part of its general revenue, which is invested into infrastructure that benefits everyone,
‘Upgrading roads, building parks, maintaining our buildings, caring for the vulnerable and supporting the city’s cultural life,’ a council spokesperson said.
The City of Adelaide also issued 7,203 parking fines in June compared to 414 in April.