'I think it's so mean of the council': Parking fine shock
A STRUGGLING grandmother who stopped outside a charity store to purchase discounted food has been stung with a $130 parking fine.
Unemployed and caring for four grandchildren, Mel Duckett was dropped off at the Ipswich Foodbarn to collect desperately needed food to make ends meet.
She was dropped in a "no stopping" area which Ms Duckett, due to her poor eyesight, believed was a loading zone.
"We were actually loading and putting food in the car," she said.
An Ipswich City Council camera enforcement vehicle captured the car, leading to a nasty surprise in Ms Duckett's letterbox a few days later.
Stung with a $126 fine, Ms Duckett said the council had targeted people struggling to make ends meet.
"We're down here because we can't even feed ourselves," she said.
"We're not there because we're rich, we're there because we're struggling."
Ms Duckett said the council should provide more disability and short-stay parking in the area or stop collecting parking fines.
"We only need to be there for 20 minutes tops to get fruit and vegetables," she said.
"I'm there because I'm struggling. I think it's so mean of the council."
The carer of four said her grandson needed a kidney transplant while she had her own health problems.
"I feel overwhelmed with all the medical stuff, bills and now I've got a fine on top of this," she said.
"We're being prosecuted, I feel, because we're already struggling and this fine is a real kick up the arse."
A spokesman for the Ipswich City Council said there was an option to review fines within 28 days of being issued.
"Regulation of parking is clearly signposted and designed to improve safety through specific restrictions on type of vehicles and time restrictions to assist local businesses with a turnover of parking bays and customers," he said.
"Council is sympathetic to Ms Duckett's concerns and conducts regular reviews of CBD parking.
"In this instance, we encourage Ms Duckett to lodge an application to review her particular circumstances."
Ms Duckett said her previous parking fine had been waived on compassionate grounds by former mayor Paul Pisasale.
"I would have gone to the mayor but I don't know if we have one," she said.
The council spokesman said Ms Duckett could visit the council's customer service centre or phone 38106666.