Party people fined in Elwood parking blitz

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parkingLOCAL councils are raking in more than $100 million a year in parking fees and fines as metropolitan roads become more congested.

The City of Melbourne earned more than $44 million in fines in 2010-11, up almost $3 million on the previous year’s take.

Port Phillip Council, which includes St Kilda, South Melbourne and Elwood, reaped $25 million in fees and fines last year and issued 178,000 parking tickets.

The windfall was 12 per cent up on the previous year and was almost 20 per cent of the council’s income.

Other councils that earned big bucks from parking fees and fines included Stonnington and Boroondara, according to a Herald Sun analysis of municipal annual reports.

Ratepayers Victoria president Jack Davis said councils were desperate for revenue, as they expected to be hit hard by the carbon tax.

“Parking fees are getting out of hand,” he said. “It’s all about getting some revenue in.”

But the Melbourne City Council said fines were needed to ensure that parking in the city was fair and accessible to everyone.

The revenue was used to pay for council services such as child care and recreation centres, a spokesman said.

“Thousands of people come into the City of Melbourne every day to shop, dine and go to major events – a big part of coming into the city is being able to access a car park,” she said.

Port Phillip Mayor Rachel Powning said there was heavy demand for parking in the municipality, and the increase in revenue was mainly due to upgraded ticket machines and higher fees last year.

“The number of parking infringements issued in the City of Port Phillip has been relatively stable on a year on year basis,” she said.

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