Firies fuming over fines
KINGSCLIFF firefighters are seeing red after one was booked by a council ranger and others warned not to park outside their fire station even in an emergency.
After complaints from the fire crew, Tweed Shire councillors decided to move the “no stopping” signs on Marine Parade in front of the station but baulked at providing specific parking for “fire brigade business only”.
And the question of whether the $200 fine issued to a firefighter for parking there in a recent emergency will still be imposed still hangs in the air.
Yesterday station commander Brett Gray said the council decision to move the signs would “resolve a few issues”.
“It's certainly not a fix to the problem but I'm grateful,” he added.
Commander Gray said specific parking for firefighters who had to rush to the station when called for an emergency was still needed.
He would also continue to try to have a fine “of around $200” issued to one of his crew while attending an emergency at Cabarita Beach waived.
“Our thoughts and hopes were that we could get something similar to signs in front of the Kingscliff police station which say something like 'police business only',” Commander Gray said.
“Our fire station operates where members have to park quickly to attend incidents.
“I know in certain city locations there are signs that say 'NSW Fire Brigade vehicles'.
“The signs would assist on days when the markets are held or other things go on around the town.”
Councillors last week unanimously voted in favour of a recommendation from the council's traffic committee to relocate the “no stopping” signs on the west side of Marine Parade between Kingscliff Lane and the fire station entrance to enable parking outside the station.
But they took no action on providing specific parking or waiving the fine.
In a written plea for a change the council was told: “In the past few months the sign has created some problems for the effective response of crews to incidents in the Kingscliff and Tweed districts.”
“Due to the nature of the street in front of the station there is limited parking for crews. Crews are required to respond with haste to any call out requiring close-to-station parking.
“A council ranger attended the station and informed staff that if they parked outside the fire station in the confined area that they would receive a parking fine.”
The traffic committee was asked to consider changing the sign to read “fire service personnel only” as firefighters' cars are identified by a NSW Fire Brigade emblem. Council officers said that was “not in accordance” with relevant guidelines.