Changes to come for parking infringements in Shepparton

By Ashlea Witoslawski

The parking inspectors you have come to recognise across town are no more with Greater Shepparton City Council making the decision to outsource the service to a third-party provider.

A review of the council’s parking service and delivery took place in January this year and recently concluded with the last of the four council-employed parking inspectors finishing up on Friday last week.

Council chief executive Peter Harriott said the aim of the review was to look at providing a better level of service to the community as well as better monitoring.

This process involved consultation between all necessary staff members and union representatives.

Mr Harriott also said an administration staff member with the infringements team had been redeployed into a different role.

He said council would put a contract for the service out to tender, with interim arrangements being organised.

‘‘It’s fair to say we’re moving to put in place interim arrangements before putting out a contract for these services,’’ Mr Harriott said.

This change comes at a time when external parking contractors are under scrutiny in Victoria.

The City of Kingston and Monash Council had to repay millions of dollars to motorists after their fines were illegally reviewed by external parking contractor Tenix Solutions.

According to Victorian Legislation, external contractors who process fines are not permitted to conduct fine reviews when motorists appeal.

The Victorian Ombudsman is set to launch a broader investigation into the use of third-party parking contractors in councils across the state because of the costly blunder.

When asked if Greater Shepparton City Council was looking at Tenix Solutions, Mr Harriott said a decision had not been made.

Mr Harriott said it would be at least another three months before anything would be finalised.

‘‘We want to make the process as seamless as possible,’’ he said.