Council slammed over fines outside Aussie theme park – but who's right?

Many visitors who parked outside the theme park on the weekend received a nasty surprise when returning to their vehicles.

Dozens of families enjoying a day out at a theme park in Victoria were fuming after finding they had been slapped with parking fines totalling $4000.

Around 40 visitors to Funfields Theme Park in Whittlesea had parked outside the park’s gates on a large nature strip and – despite no signage being displayed out the front – returned to their vehicles to find the unwelcome surprise. Whittlesea Council parking rangers had left a total of almost $4000 in fines, according to 9News.

Cars are parked inside the grounds at Funfields Theme Park in Victoria
Dozens of vehicles were fined for parking on the nature strip outside the gates of Funfields theme park in Victoria. Source: 9News

Whittlesea Council told the news outlet cars parked on the nature strip are a safety issue and have caused at least one accident.

According to VicRoads, cars must not park on a footpath, nature strip or reservation — unless the vehicle is a motorcycle or bicycle.

One guest was “annoyed” after discovering a fine on his car, prompting Funfields to make a generous decision.

“We don’t want families leaving with a sour taste,” Funfields’ Managing Director Angelo Dinardo said. “We’re a family business right, and we take it to heart.”

He revealed the park will be paying for all of the infringements, and encouraged affected guests to come forward.

Councillor hits back at critics

The park’s kind gesture still couldn’t overshadow the fines for some, with many locals calling the council “greedy”.

“This is just petty money grabbing, even more embarrassing from the council to make up a stupid excuse as to why they were fined instead of cancelling them all,” one furious man wrote.

Angelo Dinardo from Funfields theme park stands in front of a waterslide.
Angelo Dinardo said the park will pay for the parking fines – a move that has earned the park praise. Source: 9News

“They are greedy and will do anything especially something like this to raise revenue!” a woman said.

“The council thieves at their best again. Good for Funfields to set them straight,” another added.

Others, however, came to the council’s defence – including City of Monash Councillor Josh Fergeus.

“Parking restrictions don’t magically disappear because you’re attending a particular event,” he wrote on Twitter. “Don’t want to get fined? Obey the same rules as everyone else.”

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