Now a council insider, who used to manage a team of parking rangers, has confirmed what we've always suspected - that parking fine quotas do exist and are enforced.
Former council boss Nick Seremetis has turned whistleblower, accusing his council of pressuring rangers to fill a quote of parking tickets every day - ten per ranger.
"It is a money grab - an outright money grab. The statistics will show it," Seremetis said. "I'm talking about an endemic issue within council using rangers as a form of revenue raising."More stories from Today Tonight
Seremetis started as ranger services manager for Sydney's Mosman council in May this year. The expensive North Shore suburb is one of the smallest council areas in the country, yet Seremetis supervised thirteen rangers whose performance and pay reviews were linked to the number of tickets they wrote.
So was he told he had to have a quota of parking tickets?
"What I was told was I had to counsel staff who were low-end users, being staff who were not issuing enough penalty notices," he said.
Seremetis was let go by the council, which he claims was due to not forcing his rangers to write up enough tickets.
Mosman pulls in about $1.6 million a year in parking fines alone.
"A minimum ticket today is about $99, and that can go to $1500 depending on the severity of the ticket," Seremetis explained.Parking fines are a major source of income to cash-strapped councils nationwide:
- New South Wales councils pulled in $163 million in the past financial year;
- Victoria made $120 million;
- South Australia raked in $12.8 million;
- Western Australia earned $16 million;
- Queensland could not provide any parking fine figures.
This reporter is on Twitter at @RichoTT7