Parking Fines and Appeals

city parking

How Parking Fines are collected

Parking tickets are officially called Infringement Notices. How they are enforced is regulated by State law and is the same for all Councils. A parking ticket can be handed to you, left on your car's windscreen or you can be sent the ticket in the mail.

During the course of an enforcement matter, as authorised by legislation, a vehicle registration can be supplied to third parties, requesting the registrant's information to be shared with Council.

The personal information collected  is used solely for the purpose of  issuing an infringement notice and any subsequent legal action. The personal information will be held securely and used solely for this purpose.

Council may disclose this information to the Magistrate’s Court, Sheriff’s Office or its legal advisers, or other organisations where required by law.

Your other options

If you believe there is a good reason for you not to pay the fine, you can: 

  • Ask for the fine to be withdrawn - your reasons need to be one of the following; contrary to law, mistake of identity, exceptional circumstances or special circumstances. To request a review please read and complete the appeal form available for download at the bottom of this page. A copy of the form is also available at Wangaratta Government Centre from Customer Service.
  • Have the case heard by a court - you can tell the Council you want to dispute the fine before a magistrate. You will then receive a summons telling you the date, time and place of the hearing. If you succeed at the hearing, the fine will be dropped; but if you are not successful you will have to pay the fine, plus additional court and Council costs; or
  • If you believe that you are not responsible for the vehicle at the time of the offence - You can complete the relevant Owner Statement (see below) and return it to Council within 28 days of the date of the infringement.

Copies of these owner statements can also be obtained by contacting Council's Customer Service staff at the Wangaratta Government Centre, corner of Ford and Ovens Streets, Wangaratta or by calling (03) 5722 0888, and are also available for download at the bottom of the page.

Payment Options

Payment of Parking Infringement Notices may be made at the Municipal Offices, 62-68 Ovens Street, Wangaratta via the following methods:

  • Cash
  • EFTPOS
  • Money Order
  • Bank or Personal Cheque
  • Bankcard, Visa or Mastercard

Please note: Parking Infringements can be paid by credit card via the telephone.

Council can also offer a 'Payment Plan' to assist in paying this infringement.  An application for a Payment Plan can be obtained by contacting Council's Customer Service staff at the Wangaratta Government Centre, corner of Ford and Ovens Streets, Wangaratta or by calling (03) 5722 0888.  An application for a Payment Plan is also available for download at the end of this page.  

Appealing Fines

There are some important things you should know about making a request for a review:

  • May be made by you or by somebody acting on your behalf with your consent.
  • Must be in writing.
  • A request for a review must state the grounds on which you consider the decision should be reviewed.
  • You must provide your current address and Infringement number.
  • To avoid additional costs and enforcement action being taken against you, a request for a review should be made prior to the due date listed on the Infringement Notice.

 The following are not considered valid reasons for withdrawal of parking infringements:

  • Poor visibility due to weather.
  • Not noticing a sign.
  • Reading only part of a multi-panel sign.
  • Being unable to read the sign from the front seat of the car.
  • Forgetting to read the sign because you were concentrating on other things.
  • Not noticing that a sign/restriction had been changed.
  • Being new to the area and unfamiliar with the restrictions. This applies regardless of whether the driver is from Victoria, interstate or overseas

The Review Process

Council’s Infringement Review Panel, who review all appeal applications for all infringements issued by Council, meet on the second Wednesday of every month. Once you have submitted your appeal documentation in writing to Council you will be issued with a letter of aknowledgement, it may then take up to 45 days before correspondence is issued advising the outcome of your appeal.


Defences

The only statutory defence to leaving your vehicle standing illegally is that you were forced to do so to avoid conflict with pedestrians or other vehicles. 

  • Emergencies - Drivers of emergency vehicles are exempted from prosecution for certain infringements committed while responding to an emergency.  This does not apply to private citizens.  If a genuine emergency caused you to get a ticket and you believe you should not have to pay, you can write to the Council or elect to argue your case before a magistrate (Note: 'emergency' does not mean running late for an important appointment or dinner date!).
  • Moving the car before the ticket was written is not a defence - if a traffic officer witnesses or has evidence of an infringement, they can issue a ticket, even if you move the car before the ticket is written.  The notice does not have to be attached to your car to be valid.  It can be sent to you at the car's registered address.

Broken Meter or Ticket Machine

If the meter or ticket machine is broken and cannot show how long you have been there, you are still only entitled to park for the prescribed length of time.  If a patrolling officer has noted the time you parked, they can give you a ticket for overstaying even if the meter is broken.  If the meter won't accept your money and you get a ticket for parking at an expired meter or for not paying your parking fee, note down the number on the meter and report the fault to Council at once.

What happens if you don't pay

There are three stages in the collection of overdue parking fines.  At each stage statutory costs are added to the fine.  But at each stage you have the chance to pay the fine (plus costs), ask for extra time to pay, or object to the fine.  It is never too late to pay the fine.

Step 1.  Courtesy Letter: 28 days to pay Fine plus Costs

After 28 days, you'll be sent a reminder called a Courtesy Letter (it may also be described as Reminder Notice). Costs* will have been added to the fine at this stage. The letter will give you three options:

  • pay within another 28 days
  • return the enclosed Statutory Declaration with the reasons you object to the fine
  • choose to go to the Magistrates Court
Step 2. Enforcement Order: 28 days to pay Fine plus Costs plus more Costs

If you don't respond to the Courtesy Letter in 28 days, the ticket will be sent to the PERIN** section of the Magistrate's Court. PERIN will issue an Enforcement Order requiring you to pay the fine plus the first lot of costs plus a second lot of costs*. This is a court order and should be treated seriously. If you want to object to the Enforcement Order, complete the Statutory Declaration that comes with the Order.

Step 3. Sheriff's Warrant: 7 days to pay Fine plus Costs plus Costs plus more Costs

If you don't respond to the Enforcement Order in 28 days, PERIN will issue a warrant. Warrant costs* will be added. The warrant authorises the Sherrif to demand payment of the fine and all costs or seize your goods as security. If you haven't paid in 7 days:

  • your property can be sold, or
  • if you have no goods to seize, you can be imprisoned.

* Statutory costs are reviewed and increased regularly.

** PERIN is a centralised administrative system for collecting overdue fines. The PERIN Court is a section of the Magistrates Court;  its decisions have the force of court orders but you cannot appear before a PERIN court. If you want to dispute your fine before a court you have to go to the Magistrates Court itself.

During the course of an enforcement matter, as authorised by legislation, a vehicle registration can be supplied to third parties, requesting the registrant's information to be shared with Council.
  The personal  information collected  is used solely for the purpose of  issuing an infringement notice and any subsequent legal action. The personal information will be held securely and used solely for this purpose.
Council may disclose this information to the Magistrate’s Court, Sheriff’s Office or its legal advisers, or other organisations where required by law.

PDFOwner Statement (94 KB)

PDFApplication for Infringement Review (92 KB)

DOCXParking Infringement Basic Information (718 KB)

DOCXGeneral Parking Information (751 KB)

PDFApplication for Payment Plan (145 KB)


Last Updated: 16-09-2016

Send Us Your Feedback
Was this information useful?
 
Not Useful   Very Useful
 
 
  Please enter your email address.