Crackdown On Private Carpark Operators

The Andrews Labor Government will introduce new legislation to protect Victorians from misleading and unfair practices by private car park operators.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett, said some operators in pay and display car parks were issuing unenforceable payment notices which were dressed-up to look like fines.

The Road Safety Amendment (Private Car Park Operations) Bill 2015 (BAC), to be introduced in Parliament today, will abolish the right for car park operators to apply to the courts for access to people’s details through VicRoads.

On average each year car park operators request the details of more than 50,000 Victorians so letters of demand can be sent.

These fines can be between $80 to $100 per ticket and, if people don’t pay these so-called fines, debt collectors are sent after them.

Some Victorians have told the Consumer Action Law Centre that the companies, their lawyers and debt collectors were using harassing tactics in pursuit of questionable demands for payment.

Recent decisions from the Supreme Court and VCAT have found that some private car park fines were unenforceable because the damages did not reflect the actual losses suffered by the operator.

This new law will ensure Victorians are no longer harassed or intimidated by debt collectors as it will stop car park operators getting names and addresses of vehicle owners through the courts.

Quotes attributable to Mister for Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett

“For too long people have been intimidated into paying fake fines. This legislation stops this practice in its tracks.”

“These private car park operators have been clogging our courts, wasting tax payer’s money and ripping people off and this measure is about protecting Victorians.”

“This crackdown is overdue and is all about giving people a fair go.”

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