Three Melbourne councils will have to refund almost $20 million in parking fines after it was found they were unlawfully issued.
Glen Eira, Port Phillip and Stonnington councils will refund more than 200,000 fines after the Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass found they acted “contrary to law” when they outsourced the review of their parking fines to a private contractor between 2006 and 2016.
“The legal issues have not been tested in court, so I cannot definitely determine the lawfulness of the councils’ actions,” Ms Glass said today.
“But I can express my opinion, which is that the three councils acted contrary to law.”
The councils, which take in popular areas including St Kilda and the Chapel Street shopping precinct, have disagreed with the Ombudsman’s findings but have agreed to pay back the money anyway.
It comes after Kingston and Monash councils announced last year that they would repay 46,000 fines impacted by similar issues $4.9 million.
Glen Eira has more than 36,000 affected fines valued at $3.67 million.
Port Phillip has more than 87,000 affected fines valued at $8.8 million. Port Phillip noted that, when other administration costs were included, the total cost to the council would be $10.83 million.
Stonnington has almost 81,000 affected fines valued at around $6.9 million.