Dr Katarina Arandjelovic copped a whopping parking fine on Monday
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has hit out at mean spirited parking inspectors who continue to fine essential workers across the City of Melbourne.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, Mr Andrews said it made no sense that parking inspectors continued to roam the streets of Melbourne fining people.
‘Should parking inspectors be an essential worker at the moment? We have a lot of other industries shut down completely. It doesn’t seem to make sense,’ he said.
The premier’s comments follow a Daily Mail Australia campaign highlighting the City of Melbourne’s penny pinching antics dating back to August 3 when stage four restrictions went live across Melbourne.
On Tuesday, it was revealed Dr Katarina Arandjelovic, an anaesthetics registrar at Royal Melbourne Hospital’s intensive care unit, was among those fined by Melbourne parking inspectors.
Victorian Daniel Andrews suggested a review on the status of parking inspectors in Melbourne may be in play
A City of Melbourne parking inspector dishes out another $83 of misery to a Melburnian in the CBD
Parking inspectors continue to wander the streets of Melbourne fining confused and vulnerable Melburnians in their darkest hours
After working 56 hours over four days and taking care of ‘some of the state’s sickest patients’, Dr Arandjelovic finished her gruelling shift at 10pm on Monday to find a $99 fine on her windshield.
Taking to social media, the doctor branded the inspectors ‘perverse’ for slapping her with a massive fine while she was at work battling to save lives.
‘It is not easy, but every single person in that building is working their butt off right now. It is inspiring. We make sacrifices and turn up – day in, day out, to serve you,’ she said.
‘So I guess @cityofmelbourne and @SallyCapp, slapping fines on our cars is one hell of a thank you.’
Responding to questions about why parking inspectors were deemed ‘essential workers’, the premier indicated he would review the situation.
‘Let me follow up on that matter. I don’t think someone who is in there literally saving lives, at considerable risk to themselves, should be the subject of a parking ticket,’ he said.
‘I will follow that up. In relation to parking inspectors, though, as I think you know, they work for the city of Melbourne and other local governments.’
Mr Andrews said he was unsure if parking inspectors were continuing to operate within other municipalities, but offered a commitment to find out.
Melbourne has become a city deserted of practically all life – except the long arm of the law.
Mr Andrews said there had been a massive reduction in the number of people parking in the city since stage-four lockdown was introduced.
‘I think the traffic data I reported to you before was in the order of – well, it is down 40, 50 per cent at least, if not more,’ he said.
‘They don’t work for the Victorian Government, but their status can be determined by us, and I’m more than happy to chase that up.’
Mr Andrews said the lockdown had offered a new meaning to the term ‘essential worker’.
After working 56 hours over four days and taking care of ‘some of the state’s sickest patients,’ Dr Arandjelovic finished her gruelling shift at 10pm on Monday to find a $99 fine (pictured) on her windshield
Three cars in a row along Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne’s court precinct have $83 fines placed under the windscreens
‘Given the meaning of the term has been fundamentally changed throughout the course of the year, there are a lot of workers in the economy we know are essential now – we perhaps didn’t regard them that way – but we know they are,’ he said.
On Monday, as the midday bell echoed down a near empty Bourke Street Mall at lunchtime, police, soldiers and parking inspectors continued to patrol what now resembles an apocalyptic disaster zone in Melbourne’s CBD.
Daily Mail Australia watched teams of flouro-wearing inspectors fining the limited number of Melburnians who actually had a reason to be in town.
On Monday, they had attached $83 fines to car after car along the Flagstaff Gardens near the CBD’s court precinct.
Round the gardens themselves, the only people appearing to get any exercise were the police and their team of soldiers, who continued to march about the city.
Daily Mail Australia watched parking inspectors fine a delivery van, which had parked too long in a 10 minute zone.
They walked up and down William Street, along Lonsdale, Queen and Collins streets fining motorists.
One man could hardly believe his eyes when he saw a ticket on his windshield.
‘I mean what the hell,’ he said as he peeled the fine from under his wipers.
‘There is no-one in the city. It’s a ghost town except for these blokes.’
Lurking in the shadows: Inspectors pop out onto Lonsdale Street like spiders upon unsuspecting prey
A City Of Melbourne parking inspector hard at work on Monday in the CBD
Bourke Street Mall at midday on Monday resembled a ghost town. The bells echoed down its empty streets
Along Lonsdale Street – a hot bed for parking inspectors under normal conditions – the inspectors continued to lay waste to those that dared overstayed their welcome, or simply believed they were able to park in the city for free.
One inspector was seen lurking down an alleyway like a spider ready to pounce on his prey.
Dr Arandjelovic said healthcare workers must avoid public transport so as to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
It means many medics are forced to drive to work meaning they need to find a parking space by the hospital.
‘The day before lockdown, my bike was stolen from outside this hospital,’ she said.
‘In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital? It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks.
‘So when you send a parking inspector to Parkville, know that it is these people you are targeting.’
Dr Arandjelovic issued an emotional plea to parking inspectors to avoid from hospitals when handing out fines.
‘We cannot work from home. We come here, and we sweat it out under our gowns, our voices muffled under masks, learning to ‘smile with our eyes’,’ she said.
‘We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic. We do not see our families for weeks.’
Dr Arandjelovic issued an emotional plea to parking inspectors to avoid from hospitals when handing out fines
Parking inspectors continue to swarm Melbourne’s completely deserted CBD
A man dashes to the parking meter after learning that restrictions still apply in Melbourne CBD
During Melbourne’s first lockdown in March, Melbourne City Council lifted parking restrictions altogether, allowing motorists to stay in parking spots as long as they liked in any ‘green zone’.
The same happened in Sydney, Brisbane and every other city in Australia.
The City of Melbourne, which includes the CBD and suburbs like Carlton, Docklands and Southbank, collected $93 million in parking fees and fines collected in 2018-19.
In an act of kindness, the council – headed by Lord Mayor Sally Capp – said it would waive fines issued on August 6 and 7 due to the closure of off-street commercial car parks.
The move followed widespread criticism by the construction industry, which had been forced to park on the streets.
‘I don’t know how these guys are essential,’ one worker told Daily Mail Australia after he was fined last week.
Melbourne City Council remains unapologetic about its penny pinching antics against a city decimated by COVID-19 lockdown laws.
‘(It’s) to make sure there is adequate turnover of car parks and people can access essential services where required. We understand this is a challenging time and will apply a reasonable grace period,’ its website states.
‘We’re mindful of the need to ensure vehicle turnover to support traders who are allowed to open, people needing to access essential services and the residents who live nearby.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews continues to come under fire for all of Victoria’s problems, including parking fines
A young driver cops an $83 fine in the CBD on Monday
Police continue to patrol Melbourne CBD looking for people breaking stage-four loc
‘Parking officers are still patrolling, both for safety reasons and to ensure parking is shared equitably between drivers. We understand this is a challenging time and will apply a reasonable grace period.’
The council claims its 8000 free temporary parking permits it issued to frontline health and emergency services workers responding to COVID-19 in April still apply.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted City of Melbourne for comment.