By ERWIN CHLANDA
A town council ranger gave a 75-year-old pensioner a parking ticket while he was trying to deal with injuries he suffered in a fall in the CBD.
He had been helped to his car by a tourist, drove it to the library, parked it in a place for disabled and went inside “to assess options for treatment on the net.
“I came out to the notice of infringement,” says the pensioner, Trevor Shiell.
The $135 fine blew out to $241 when the council forwarded the debt to the NT government’s collection agency as Mr Shiell was making a case for the fine to be withdrawn.
He says he had “a very swollen and painful knee” and was trying to work out how to deal with his situation, an injury dating back to playing football as a young man.
He says the council clearly was not moved by medical certificates he presented in support of his request to have the fine waived.
He says the accident happened outside business hours and there was no possibility of getting a temporary permit as suggested later by the ranger unit: “It was not something that could be anticipated and planned around.”
He paid the fine this morning, doing so “against my better judgement,” as he says he told Mayor Damien Ryan in an email.
“Sophie (his wife) has insisted that I pay this infringement. It has caused a significant rift in my family, and a lot of conscience searching for me personally.
“I have been assured that a legal case against the Alice Springs Town Council would have around 90% success rate … but that the costs might run into thousands and as a 75 year old part pensioner I simply cannot afford to run it because of my belief in a principal of fair play.”
The council did not respond to a request for comment made by the Alice Springs News Online early on Tuesday.
By ERWIN CHLANDA