Calls mount to address illegal parking in East Melbourne

Calls mount to address illegal parking in East Melbourne
Brendan Rees

Calls are being made to increase the amount of the parking officers patrolling East Melbourne as illegal parking continued to upset residents.

Rsidents have previously expressed frustration of cars blocking their driveways and nature strips as well as using local parklands, which had significantly damaged grounds, particularly during game days and events held at the MCG.

The East Melbourne Group (EMG) said while it was pleased some concerns had been addressed including the closure of Vale St to non-residents during event days, it saw the under resourcing of parking officers as a “bigger issue”.

“Two officers on game days are not enough to deter those who park illegally. Anecdotally, some will just get a carload of four to six people and share the fine as part of the cost of going to the football,” the EMG’s planning convenor Greg Bisinella said.

“More thought needs to be put into how to manage this. The deterrence of the current fine structure is not enough, particularly considering that in some cases people don’t even receive a fine.”

Julie, a resident who lives near the MCG, said she was fed up with cars parking within the grounds of her apartment building, blocking their garage door.

“When our private parking space is taken from us, we have to search the entire suburb looking for a space,” she said.

The issue was raised at the council’s August 16 meeting after a resident submitted a question asking if the council could provide a “greater focus” on the compliance of parking sign rules as the availability of parking for locals had been “adversely impacted”.

In response, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said like all inner-city areas, on-street parking in East Melbourne was “indeed under strain” due to a high volume of resident parking, visitors to the hospital and sporting precincts and works/trades vehicles.

“The parking compliance team is aware of this and makes East Melbourne a high focus of its compliance operations - parking officers patrol in East Melbourne seven days a week with a bespoke patrol strategy for the area, and we roster on additional officers to assist during AFL matches,” she said.

“Officers use a mix of technology and on-foot patrols to detect parking offences and issue fines to illegal parkers, to encourage them to modify their future parking behaviour.”

Cr Capp noted the council’s director of parking services had met with the EMG to discuss parking concerns. •

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