Parking rules will be relaxed in some parts of Sydney during the lockdown as businesses are forced to close and only essential travel allowed.
But many councils are still rigidly applying paid parking and hour limits and deploying dozens of inspectors to hand out fines.
In last year’s lockdown, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said parking rangers would use their discretion and only issue fines where there is an imminent public or environmental health and safety risk.
The council said similar rules would apply for the City of Sydney under the new lockdown lasting until July 9.
‘As during the previous lockdown commencing in March 2020, the city will take a flexible approach to parking and other infringements with a focus on the safety of the community and its workforce,’ City of Sydney told Daily Mail Australia.
Sydney parking rangers are set to issue fewer fines in the city’s 14-day lockdown with some councils easing parking restrictions (file image)
‘We cannot let people park unrestricted, because we need to ensure there is parking space for essential workers and people accessing local businesses.’
The City of Sydney also noted parking fines can be disputed on the Revenue NSW website.
‘We will continue working to ensure those who need parking most have it available to them, and that parking spots are fairly distributed,’ it said.
The Inner West Council also said its parking rangers would take a flexible approach.
‘Council’s parking officers will prioritise public safety over other enforcement activity during the lockdown period,’ it said.
During Melbourne’s first wave lockdown in March 2020, Lord Mayor Sally Capp specifically directed that parking fines would not be issued in zones with a green sign, which are generally used for parking meters.
However, zones with red signs – such as disability parking, emergency services, and loading areas – continued to have fines be applied.
In Sydney on Wednesday, parking inspectors were still roaming the streets in Kirribilli in North Sydney Council and checking parking meters.
However, residents were told zones with 2P parking limits – or two hours – would be extended to three hours.
A group of parking inspectors were spotted preparing to patrol the streets of the Sydney CBD on Thursday morning
The local council of Canada Bay in Sydney is also allowing parking rangers to use their discretion saying they were doing ‘everything we can within our responsibilities to assist our community’.
‘Rangers are using discretion in residential on-street parking areas, but will continue to ensure parking turnover for our community in town precincts and carparks.’ it said.
‘Rangers will also be continuing to enforce illegal parking, including no stopping and other areas where safety is an issue.’
Waverley LGA – which includes Bondi – said it would continue to enforce restriction even on green zoned areas.
‘Parking zones are in place for the benefit of local businesses, residents and those using our parks and beaches,’ it said.
‘Council has enforcement staff on duty and we ask residents and visitors to adhere to parking restrictions for the benefit of all.
‘Residents displaying residential parking permits within scheme areas can continue to park legally for the entire day.’
In other inner city suburbs, parking rangers were spotted out in force on Wednesday morning.
‘I live in Surry Hills. I took my dogs out for a walk at 8am and I walked past four parking officers in the 20 minutes I was out,’ one person wrote to Twitter.
‘We are in a two-week lockdown and this is how the government helps us out?’
During 2020 lockdown in Melbourne, Mayor Sally Capp directed that parking rangers not issue fines for green zoned areas but those zones with red signs would be enforced as normal
Brisbane City Council – which is under a snap three-day lockdown – will continue to enforce parking fines as normal.
‘Parking rules remain in place in Brisbane, as was the case during other snap lockdowns imposed by the State Government,’ the council told Daily Mail Australia.
Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Darwin are all in lockdown in response to Covid outbreaks, with Adelaide teetering on the edge after five positive tests.
NSW tightened the rules for people travelling into the state if they have visited other regions under new restrictions, as numerous new venues across Sydney were named as exposure sites.
Fewer parking fines will be issued in Sydney as rules are loosened in latest 14-day lockdown lasting until July 9 (file image)
NSW Health said people from areas in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia now subject to stay-at-home orders should not travel to the state unless permitted to do so.
From Wednesday, anyone coming to NSW who has been in those areas in the previous 14 days must complete a declaration form. This is the same requirement already in place for people who have been in Victoria in the previous 14 days.
Meanwhile, NSW Health issued more than 20 new public health alerts for venues across Sydney visited by Covid positive cases, including gyms, restaurants, shops, clubs and hotels as well as some bus routes. All are listed on its website.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced another 19 Covid cases on Tuesday ahead of residents of Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions entering their fourth day of a lockdown on Wednesday.
The stay at home orders remain in place until at least July 9.