LEONGATHA’S Chamber of Commerce is toasting an amazingly successful Daffodil Street Festival on Saturday, with an estimated 3000 people partying in the streets.
But there was a sour note to an otherwise perfect event, and it came from the South Gippsland Shire Council’s Local Laws officers who all of a sudden appeared in town, issuing fines for parking infringements.
As Bair Street and other parts of the CBD were blocked to traffic, parking close by was at a premium.
It has been described as mean revenue raising exercise and it is understood the chamber of commerce will be lodging an official complaint about the matter.
The South Gippsland Shire Council has admitted there were no complaints that prompted the presence of the Local Laws officers.
“Local Laws attended pro-actively and without a request being made by the traders but the traders often request their presence nonetheless,” a council spokesperson said.
“Council officers endeavour to attend all events where there is a likelihood of need for their services.
“Local Laws try to ensure the safety of road users by patrolling red sign offences (no stopping, bus/taxi zones, loading zones) because when people illegally occupy these areas it means that the intended user usually has to park illegally to carry out their functions (deliveries, setting down passengers).
“Local Laws also try to ensure that parking areas are patrolled so all users have a fair go in the timed areas.
“This ensures that businesses get a turnover of customers and drivers get an opportunity to park and carry out their business.
“Only one vehicle was issued an overstaying infringement which means that the vast majority of users behaved legally.
“Disappointingly, there were four red sign infringements issued but when this is viewed in the context of how many people attended over the weekend council was happy with the overall result.”
See more about the event in our Daffodil pages on 24 and 25.