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Parking fine fury: Aussie driver slams tiny detail in $116 infringement

The man has branded the fine 'a joke'.

An Aussie driver is seething after copping a parking fine while on a long weekend escape to one of the country's top tourist hotspots. Christian France and his partner Sara had driven to Queensland's Sunshine Coast at the end of October to celebrate Sara's birthday. What they didn't expect was a message in the post from Noosa Council five weeks later.

"I had a drop of the heart because I knew the only reason I would be getting a letter addressed to me, especially from Noosa council, would be due to a fine," the 27-year-old told Yahoo News Australia. "They're not sending me a 'how did you enjoy your trip' letter are they?"

Fined Queensland driver Christian and his partner Sara on a beach and kayaking
Christian and Sara received a parking fine in the mail weeks after their trip Noosa. Source: Supplied

He was right. In the infringement notice, dated November 26, Christian was fined $116 for being "stopped in a No Stopping Zone" while at the main beach in Noosa Heads. An accompanying photo pictured his white Nissan X-Trail parked under trees, but the motorist still couldn't see what he'd done wrong, having "parked off the road and in one of the free carparks".

Missed detail brought to light

Sharing his frustration on social media, the driver asked Noosa residents if there was any way he could contest the fine, saying he doesn't remember seeing any signs that said "no stopping". It was then that locals flagged a tiny detail Christian had overlooked. "There is a yellow line there," one observer pointed out. "It's a s**t rule, but they've been getting people like this for years".

"I honestly didn't see the faded yellow line, which is barely visible from the picture they provided. It's so faded I hadn't noticed it when I was there," Christian, from Springwood, south of Brisbane, told Yahoo. He said he was "annoyed" as others had also parked under the trees lining the entrance to the car park.

The infringement notice from Noosa Council stated Christian had parked in a no-stopping zone. Source: Supplied
The infringement notice from Noosa Council stated Christian had parked in a no-stopping zone. Source: Supplied

Driver calls parking fine 'a joke'

"There was no parking [available] in the entire area. Pretty much everywhere was full. They [Noosa Council] expect tourists but don't provide the parking. They have to choose between actually providing decent parking facilities for tourists or them not coming. I won't be returning to Noosa anytime soon. $100 plus for parking on some dirt out of the way of anyone is a joke."

Christian also confirmed he would be contesting the charge, which many online supported but some claim he doesn't stand a chance. "Nothing you can do, yellow line means no parking and you parked there, pay the fine," one person responded. "A garden is not a parking space," added another.

Council addresses confusion over fine

Speaking to Yahoo, Noosa Council confirmed that "officers fined the vehicle for being stopped in a no-stopping zone. The vehicle was in a natural area amongst trees, clearly signed a no-stopping zone," a spokesperson said. "There is also a solid yellow line in place, further indicating that it is illegal to park in the location.

The spokesperson went on to add that the council has received numerous complaints about illegal parking in this area and the damage it's causing to vegetation. "Council asks that drivers do the right thing and park responsibly," the spokesperson said. "Officers will continue to conduct patrols to ensure that the area is safe and accessible for everyone."

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