Kingston & Monash City Councils are facing the prospect of having to repay millions of dollars to motorists because their method of reviewing parking infringement complaints has been deemed to be in breach of the Infringements Act 2006. It is likely that this crisis will also involve other councils which have used similar processes.
This is a crisis entirely of their own making.
By outsourcing enforcement duties such as parking infringements and the investigation of complaints that come from them, these councils have handed over control to companies concerned only with profit. Profit that is often maximised by slashing the wages and conditions of the council staff who previously performed the work.
If councils such as Kingston & Monash, and others like them, didn’t engage in a race to the bottom they wouldn’t be in this mess.
Bring the jobs back
It’s been reported that these councils are attempting to get the state government to retrospectively amend the relevant legislation so they can continue to duck their responsibilities. However they try to spin it, it’s clear they want to continue to contract out the investigation of these complaints. This is not the answer.
These councils should bring those functions back in house and in that way ensure a better service to ratepayers, better wages and conditions for staff, and compliance with the act.
For profit companies have no place in the investigation of complaints from ratepayers. Council staff should impose fines and council staff should oversee any complaints.
Companies like Tenix Solutions have no place in providing these important services that should be performed by council employed staff. Staff, ratepayers and drivers all deserve better.
The ASU is writing to Attorney General Jill Hennessy to demand that the state government does not give in to pressure from these councils and allow them to continue to flout proper employment standards and proper governance. We are also contacting local councils across Victoria to let them know that our members want these services, and all parking infringement services, to be conducted by directly employed council staff getting decent wages and conditions.
For more information contact:
ASU Member Contact Centre | 1300 855 570 | firstname.lastname@example.org