Delivery drivers feel the parking pressure

COUNCIL parking police have been accused of overkill by suddenly ditching an unofficial "blind-eye" to delivery vehicles in Murwillumbah during construction of town's new multi-storey car park.

So heavy-handed have been some rangers that one courier driver delivering a parcel to Tweed Shire Council's own headquarters in Tumbulgum Road copped a fine while he was rushed inside the building, says Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber president Phil Youngblutt.

The crackdown has also led Mr Youngblutt and his chamber to fear proposed new council food police patrolling all food establishments such as cafes and licensed clubs in the Tweed will be just as heavily dealt with.

Mr Youngblutt said he had received several complaints that the council's "blue bombers" had begun booking delivery drivers who were promised flexibility with parking in the town at a premium during construction of the new three-level parking station.

The project near the council chambers and behind businesses in Wharf Street led the closure of the town's main public car park.

"Of late rangers are booking couriers and others delivering to business even though they were to waive those things," said Mr Youngblutt.

Mr Youngblutt warned the council stance indicated promised new food police to inspect all premises selling food or drink would also be heavy-handed.

He said proposed council fees to apply to nearly 500 food businesses in the shire ranging from several hundred to more than $2000 were already overkill.

"Other shire councils like Ballina have put a submission to the state government saying they don't agree with the two inspections a year and will cut the fees," he said.

"Tweed Shire hasn't because they are just an arm of the state government. They appear to be the least business friendly council in New South Wales that we know of."

A council spokesperson said parking officers had a duty to enforce the law "especially where an issue of safety or disabled zones are concerned".

She said there had been "no increase in the activity of parking officers in recent times".

"Council is unaware of the particular incident at the council offices, because no appeal or complaint has been lodged," she added.

"In any case, there are two-hour car spaces usually available within metres of the front of the building.

"No-one is above the law -- Council's own vehicles have been issued with infringements."



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