$424,094 in parking fines bolster Orange City Council coffers

PARKING FUNDS: Orange City Council raked in $424,094 in parking fines in the last financial year.

PARKING FUNDS: Orange City Council raked in $424,094 in parking fines in the last financial year.

ALMOST half a million dollars worth of parking fines flowed into Orange City Council coffers in the 2013/2014 financial year, nearly three times as much as neighbouring Bathurst, as Orange drivers continue to flout parking time limits. 

The council handed out 3765 parking fines which, on average is about 10 per day, or $1161 worth per day.

The fines totalled $424,094, which is $5712 less than last year’s bounty. 

The Office of State Revenue can also reveal Orange council booked nearly three times as many drivers as Bathurst and have consistently booked more drivers for at least the last eight years. 

In the 2013/2014 financial year, Bathurst Regional Council booked 1330 drivers that brought in $170, 961 - a mere 40 per cent of what Orange council reaped. 

Orange council spokesman Nick Redmond said in a statement the introduction of parking rangers using car-mounted, number-plate recognition technology in Bathurst was “presumably” because Bathurst council felt the need to “step up” the way it monitored parking infringements. 

However, since the introduction of the mobile technology in Bathurst, midway through March, Orange rangers are still fining more drivers than their Bathurst counterparts by up to 230 per cent. 

In March Bathurst fined 109 drivers compared with Orange’s 238, in April Bathurst fined 148 drivers compared with Orange’s 206 and in May 548 Orange drivers were booked compared with 165 in Bathurst. 

Mr Redmond said the funds raised were used for “CBD improvements”.

“It takes money to keep gardens and trees around the CBD looking attractive for locals and visitors and all the income from parking fines goes for that purpose,” he said. 

“The Orange community has time-limited parking zones so that the available parking spaces around our shopping districts can be shared fairly between all shoppers. Ensuring a steady turnover of parked cars is aimed at keeping a steady stream of customers coming through the doors of local shops and makes parking more convenient for shoppers.”

Orange City Council has three parking rangers. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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