ORANGE City Council will need to reduce parking fines or be accused of revenue raising, according to one councillor ahead of Tuesday's debate on the issue.
The council is likely to ask the state government for research into whether easing parking fines from $112 to $80 would still deter motorists from doing the wrong thing as it considers sacrificing $1.1 million in fines income during the next five years.
The report to councillors said if the council wished to reduce fines, it needed to opt in by April 1, but it was unclear whether it was possible to opt out down the track if the changes negatively affected compliance, safety and business trade.
In the three months to October, the council charged $110,000 more in fines than the same period the previous year, totalling $387,000.
It would be a strong indication the council isn't looking at it as a revenue raiser.Councillor Russell Turner
By comparison, Bathurst Regional Council reported collecting $117,000 during the same period, an increase of $32,000.
City of Orange Traffic Committee chairman and councillor Russell Turner said while he would like to see whether fines for other offences, such as parking in a no-stopping zone, would also come down, he still supported a fine reduction.
"It would be a strong indication the council isn't looking at it as a revenue raiser, rather as a way of distributing parking spots in as equitable way as possible," he said.
"You would have to support a reduction purely and simply on that, and council would have to handle the reduction in revenue."
He reiterated his earlier position an $80 fine for parking longer than the allowed time would still be a deterrent.
"There's the monetary value and the embarrassment," he said.
The report said the state government had not provided any evidence to show how cutting parking fines would improve compliance and not lead to more rule-breaking.
It also suggested asking the government to clarify how the impact on community services would be managed if revenue dropped.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...