WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook has called on the City of Perth to reconsider parking fines issued to hundreds of people attending the Anzac Day dawn service at Kings Park on Wednesday morning after a deluge of public criticism was directed towards the council.
Hundreds of people leaving the service returned to their vehicles to find they had been issued a $200 infringement for parking illegally.
One of those fined was Alan Nelson, 75, who told ABC Radio Perth he and his 86-year-old wheelchair-bound wife parked on nearby Ord Street, and was shocked to find their car and dozens more on the street received tickets.
He said he had thought it was a valid spot to park.
“It was half past three in the morning and there were other cars parked in front of us and beside us,” he said.
“The lady told us that they towed a lot of cars away and every car in that street got a ticket.”
Brendan Fisher told the ABC he had been going to the dawn service for the past six years and parked in the same spot, only this year temporary “no parking” signs were set up.
Mr Fisher conceded he had ignored the signs, but said he was still a little shocked so many people were fined.
“There’s not much I can do as I’m in the wrong, but it’s pathetic to target people paying their respect to the Anzacs,” he said.
Council defends dawn service parking crackdown
Mr Cook said he understood the City of Perth’s position, but questioned the need to issue fines on Anzac Day.
“I understand the City of Perth has a job to do in relation to parking fines, but people have come out today to acknowledge the human sacrifice and individuals who have served this country,” he said.
“Obviously we would like a situation where people weren’t slugged a fine for parking illegally, particularly if it’s not getting in anyone’s way.
“We don’t want people to park dangerously and inconvenience others unnecessarily, but this is a great day and we don’t want it to be sullied with fines being handed out.”
In a statement, the City of Perth said inspectors used their discretion in handing out infringements, which were issued to vehicles parked in “clearly identified tow-away zones only”.
“Given recent world events and Anzac Day being a mass public gathering event, security is a top priority,” the statement said.
“Furthermore, it must be noted given the spirit and importance of the day, parking officers used discretion towards hundreds of other motorists parked illegally on verges and across footpaths.”