Are you a driver? Do you live, or have you been in Melbourne anytime between 2012 and now? Did you park in the city and get a parking ticket? You may be about to get some cold hard cash put back in your pockets. The City of Melbourne has announced it will be refunding around 35,000 parking tickets – totally somewhere in the vicinity of $3.2million – that were found to have been given illegally during the period between 2012 and 2014.

Before you get all uppity about parking inspectors abusing the system and gung-ho rent-a-cops and smashing the system and the like, here’s why it’s happening. The refunds are the result of a series of administrative errors that Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle called “a perfect storm.”

The story goes that at some point in 2012, two parking officers had their authorisation to reissue parking notices accidentally revoked, seemingly without anyone noticing. The authorisation should not have been taken away in the first place, and the fact that no one – from administration all the way through every layer of the organisation – didn’t notice meant that the two officers carried on as per normal. The fines they handed out were legitimate and valid, but they unknowingly didn’t possess the legal authority to issue them.

This means that every fine issued by the two officers during that period is null and void. The people who paid the fines will be contacted by the Melbourne City Council to arrange their refund.

Melbourne Councillor Stephen Mayne, digging into that over-heaped pile of the complete obvious – stated that the City was not blaming the parking inspectors, musing “At the end of the day it is a windfall for those people that parked in the city illegally and can now get away with it.

So some people who copped a whack in the city are soon getting a little bit of extra cash back into their pockets, whilst everyone else simply has to continue putting up with exorbitant parking rates within the CBD. Or, if they’re clever enough, they get a believably shitty looking car and park wherever they damned well please – as long as they leave the hazard lights on and the bonnet up as they leave.

Photo: Oli Scarff via Getty Images.

via The Age.