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"Ruined our trip": Mum shell-shocked by $130k fine

<p>A mother has been slapped with a hefty fine after her children were caught in a seemingly innocent act while on a beach holiday. </p> <p>Charlotte Russ took her five kids on a trip to Pismo Beach in California, where her children started enthusiastically collecting what they thought were ordinary seashells. </p> <p>"My kids they thought they were collecting seashells, but they were actually collecting clams, 72 to be exact,"  Russ told local news outlet <em><a href="https://abc7.com/post/fresno-woman-fined-88k-after-kids-collect-clams/14859295/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener">ABC 7</a></em>.</p> <p>Clamming is highly regulated in California, meaning if you don't have a fishing license, you cannot catch the small sea creatures. </p> <p>She received a citation right there on the beach and was later notified she has to pay close to $89,000, or $133,000 AUD, for her kids' seemingly innocent treasure hunt. </p> <p>"It made me really sad and depressed, and it kind of ruined our trip," said Russ.</p> <p>Department of Fish and Wildlife's Lieutenant Matthew Gil defended the fine, saying there are rules in place for a reason. </p> <p>"The reason we got it we have these regulations is because we have to let them get to 4 and a half inches so they can spawn so they can have they can have offspring every year, and they have juvenile clams," said Lt. Gil.</p> <p>Russ said her kids have learned their lesson, saying, "They know now at the beach don't touch anything, but they know now what a clam is, compared to what a seashell is now, I've had to explain that to them."</p> <p>The mother was able to plead her case with a San Luis Obispo County Judge, who reduced her fine to $500 dollars, and after she "won" her case, Russ got a shellfish tattoo to commemorate the incident.</p> <p>"It was definitely one expensive trip to Pismo, unforgettable," said Russ.</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC 7</em></p>

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Motorist fined $387 for "handling wallet" while driving

<p>A motorist has collapsed after receiving a fine for $387, in which the fine claims he was holding his phone while driving. </p> <p>Sydney man Husni Tarmizi opened the infringement notice with his 62-year-old dad on Tuesday and admitted he was both "surprised" and "panicked" by the fine, leaving Husni to pick his father up off the floor after he collapsed from shock. </p> <p>Husni was confused by the fine, which also cost his dad 10 demerit points, as his father is rarely on his phone, and decided to take a closer look at the image captured by the mobile detection camera. </p> <p>"I went to the computer and downloaded the image and I could see clearly that it's a wallet [in his hand], you can see his phone is in the cradle," he told <a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/driver-fined-387-and-cops-10-demerit-points-for-handling-wallet-while-driving-073557336.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo News</em></a>.</p> <p>"In his left hand you can see the wallet and his right hand he's holding a $50 bill."</p> <p>Husni continued, "He was quite panicked, especially with the 10 demerit points... and I was scared a bit because he has a heart condition."</p> <p>The 62-year-old man said he recalls holding onto his wallet and the $50 note to pay for petrol over the Easter long weekend, which explains the hefty loss of demerit points.</p> <p>Tarmizi confirmed he has already appealed the infringement and is awaiting a response after people urged him to dispute it.</p> <p>"I've also written an appeal, it's called a review request, we'll see how that goes," he said.</p> <p>"For the older generation where they don't understand the technologies and stuff, it's scary."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Husni Tarmizi</em></p>

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Woman fined after paid car park gets set up around her parked vehicle

<p>Josephine Williams had been leaving her car in a gravel clearing at Westgate in Auckland, alongside other commuters to catch the bus into the city for months. </p> <p>The New Zealand woman was left with a "nasty surprise" when she returned from work on Monday to find a NZ $85 ($77) fine sitting on her windshield. </p> <p>"To my unfortunate surprise - and many others - I was greeted by an $85 parking ticket for a breach and a flyer from Wilson Parking saying paid parking had started that day," Williams told <em>Stuff</em>.</p> <p>"But what breach exactly was made? How was I supposed to know paid parking started that day when there was nothing at all displayed anywhere in the car park?"</p> <p>Williams claimed that the Wilson Parking car park had been set up around her already parked car, even providing dash cam footage that showed her pulling into the gravel clearing at 7.45am, with no paid parking signs or Wilson branding in sight. </p> <p>By 6pm, a large red and white Wilson sign had been put up at the entrance, with "12 hours for $4" written on it. </p> <p>"Wilson deliberately put their sign up sometime after 9am and then took it upon themselves to fine every single car that was already parked there from the morning," Williams said.</p> <p>"$85 is a lot of money - it would have been two weeks' worth of grocery shopping for me," she added. </p> <p>"I'm lucky that I know the law and my rights, but some other people might not. What about students or the elderly or people who don't know English well?"</p> <p>She estimated that there was usually around 50 and 100 cars in the gravel clearing. </p> <p>Wilson argued that the carpark was always there and they had just added more signage, but have since waived Williams' fine after she lodged a request to have it reviewed by Parking Enforcement Services. </p> <p>Wilson Parking also said that they had started to set up the car park and installed a "clear signage" on April 22. </p> <p>"It was not set up around parked cars on 29 April as suggested," a Wilson spokesperson said.</p> <p>"Several payments were made by customers via the Parkmate app from 22 April proving that signage on the site was clear and effective," they said.</p> <p>They added that on April 29 more signs were added to all entry points of the car park. </p> <p>"In acknowledgment of the increased signage added on the 29th at the entry we've made the decision to refund all payments made until 30 April and waive any breach notices issued up to this date."</p> <p>They also denied issuing any breach notices before the signs were put up.</p> <p>"Payment options were available and signed from 22 April - but no infringement notices were issued prior to the 29th."</p> <p><em>Images: Stuff</em></p> <p> </p>

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Woolies faces up to $10b fine after pleading guilty to 1000 charges

<p>In what seems like a cascade of misfortune for Woolworths, the retail giant has found itself embroiled in yet another controversy.</p> <p>A week fraught with bad press took a turn for the worse when outgoing CEO Brad Banducci <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/last-chance-mr-banducci-woolies-ceo-threatened-with-jail-time" target="_blank" rel="noopener">faced the threat of jail time</a> for his refusal to address questions in a Senate inquiry probing supermarket price gouging. Now, the company is grappling with the repercussions of admitting to underpaying over a thousand former Victorian employees for their long service leave entitlements.</p> <p>The admission, made in a Melbourne court, revealed that Woolworths fell short in compensating at least 1,235 former workers, amounting to a staggering $1.24 million in underpayments spanning from November 2018 to January 2023. While some employees were owed only modest sums, others were deprived of significant entitlements, with figures reaching up to $12,000 in the most severe cases.</p> <p>The Melbourne Magistrates' Court learned that Woolworths, alongside its related company Woolstar, breached Victoria's Long Service Leave Act on a startling 1,227 occasions. The revelation came to light during an internal audit of the company's IT systems, prompting Woolworths to self-report the discrepancies to Victoria's Wage Inspectorate.</p> <p>Woolworths' barrister, Saul Holt KC, highlighted the company's commitment to rectifying the situation, after discovering the discrepancies during an audit of its IT systems and self-reporting it to Victoria's Wage Inspectorate. "That's just the right thing to do," he said.</p> <p>However, the gravity of the breaches places Woolworths at risk of facing a potentially astronomical fine, with a theoretical maximum exceeding $10.25 billion. While such a penalty could spell financial catastrophe for many, including a corporate behemoth like Woolworths, legal experts suggest that a more realistic figure would be capped at approximately $480,000, in line with typical penalties in Victorian magistrates courts.</p> <p>The magistrate presiding over the case, Nahrain Warda, has deferred her decision until Wednesday, April 24, leaving Woolworths in a state of uncertainty. In addition to the impending financial penalty, Kathleen Crennan, representing the Wage Inspectorate of Victoria, advocated for Woolworths to be convicted, denouncing the underpayments as inexcusable. "There's really no excuse for this to have happened in the first place," she said.</p> <p>In the face of mounting legal challenges and public scrutiny, Woolworths' reputation as an employer is under scrutiny. Despite assertions of being an "exemplary employer", founded on principles dating back to 1924, the company's track record is marred by repeated instances of underpayment scandals. </p> <p>As Woolworths awaits the magistrate's verdict and braces for the fallout from its legal battles, the spectre of underpayment casts a long shadow over the company's corporate governance and raises broader questions about accountability within the retail industry.</p> <p><em>Images: Woolworths</em></p>

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Homeowner fined just $667 over fire that killed six people

<p>A homeowner has been slapped with a fine for smoke alarm failure after a house fire killed six people. </p> <p>The 61-year-old woman has been forced to pay just $667 for failing to install legally required and compliant smoke alarms, after a father and his five children died in the property due to a deadly house fire. </p> <p>Donna Rose Beadel was the owner of the home on Russell Island where Wayne Godinet, 34, and his five sons were residing in August 2023. </p> <p>The house was engulfed in flames, also destroying two neighbouring homes and leaving several people needing treatment for minor burns and smoke inhalation, while the children's mother Samantha Stephenson, and another woman survived the blaze. </p> <p>Cleveland magistrate Deborah Vasta handed down the maximum fine of $667.25 to Ms Beadel for failing to comply with smoke alarm legislation, saying, "It seems a pittance, however it's not for me to comment on the laws."</p> <p>"It's absolutely no excuse that she failed to keep abreast of the laws required of an investment property owner in having the premises legally wired with smoke detectors after January 2022," Vasta said.</p> <p>The fine comes just weeks after the children's grandmother claimed her daughter had "begged" their landlord to <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/major-claim-in-investigation-into-deadly-house-fire-that-killed-five-children" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fix</a> the smoke alarms in the house.</p> <p>When Ms Beadel was charged for her involvement in the tragedy, Rebecca Stephenson claimed that her daughter had spoken to the landlord about updating the smoke alarms in the property just one week before the fire. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine</em></p>

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Police share wild seatbelt pic after fining driver for bizarre DIY fix

<p>A driver has copped a $387 fine over their bizarre seatbelt fix during a random stationary test at Richmond in Sydney's northwest. </p> <p>A photo shared by NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol showed the shocking state of the driver's seatbelt, which was tattered and held together by duct tape. </p> <p>The police department have warned other drivers to make sure their seatbelts are in good condition, otherwise they too might cop a fine and demerit points.</p> <p>"Seatbelts help to save lives, except for this one...."  they wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. </p> <p>"Hawkesbury Highway Patrol were recently conducting random stationary testing on Londonderry Road at Richmond when they spoke with a driver about his seatbelt.</p> <p> "Not only was the seatbelt not being worn, an inspection of the seatbelt found it to be dangerously defective," they added. </p> <p>"He was issued a defect notice and infringement in the amount of $387 and three demerit points. Please ensure your seatbelts don't look like this."</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/03/SeatbeltNSWPolice.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>Many commenters were baffled as to how the vehicle passed the eSafety check, also known as a pink slip inspection, which is required for vehicles over five years old in NSW to be deemed roadworthy. </p> <p>"And who passed the Pink Slip? That’s where I’d be heading,"  one wrote. </p> <p>"I wonder who did the rego check on this vehicle," another added. </p> <p>"How does it even get to that stage," a third questioned, while others agreed that the seatbelt was no longer safe. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, NSW Police Force</em></p>

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"Unfair" parking fines could soon be a thing of the past

<p>In recent years, road users in one Australian state have found themselves at the receiving end of unwelcome surprises in their mailboxes.</p> <p>An experimental parking fine process, initiated with the aim of streamlining administrative procedures, has instead garnered significant backlash from unsuspecting motorists.</p> <p>However, relief seems to be on the horizon as the New South Wales Government steps in to rectify the situation.</p> <p>The issue revolves around the introduction of ticketless parking fines, a system that was implemented with the intention of simplifying the issuance of penalties for parking violations. Under this scheme, parking officers could send details of fines directly to Revenue NSW, which would then dispatch infringement notices either by post or through the Service NSW app.</p> <p>However, what was meant to be a simple and streamlined modernisation effort has led to a surge in revenue from fines and a subsequent erosion of trust in the system.</p> <p>Concerns about the fairness and transparency of ticketless fines have been mounting, prompting action from the NSW government. Reports indicate that Finance Minister Courtney Houssos has written to all 128 local councils in the state, urging them to halt further adoption of the ticketless parking fine system. Instead, councils have been instructed to revert to traditional ticketing methods and ensure that drivers are promptly made aware of fines at the time of the offence.</p> <p>The move comes in response to a range of issues highlighted by critics of the ticketless system. One major concern is the lack of immediate notification, which diminishes the deterrent effect of fines and makes it difficult for motorists to contest them effectively.</p> <p>Without receiving timely notification, drivers may struggle to gather evidence or address issues such as inadequate signage, hidden signs, or other circumstances that could warrant a review of the fine.</p> <p>Organisations like the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) have been vocal opponents of the ticketless scheme, labelling it as "unfair" and criticising its impact on transparency.</p> <p>According to NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury, the system reduces the ability of drivers to contest fines, thereby undermining their rights and contributing to a loss of community trust in the administration of fines.</p> <p>The NSW government's intervention signals a recognition of these concerns and a commitment to restoring confidence in the fines system. By prioritising immediate notification for drivers, authorities aim to address the shortcomings of the ticketless parking fine process.</p> <p>The decision to reverse the experimental system comes amid staggering revenue figures, with nearly $140 million generated from ticketless fines in 2023 alone. While the financial gains may be substantial, they come at the expense of public trust and fairness, prompting a much-needed course correction.</p> <p>As Minister Houssos asserts, providing immediate notification to drivers is not only the right thing to do but also a crucial step towards rebuilding community trust. By ensuring that drivers are promptly informed of fines and have the opportunity to contest them, authorities can strike a balance between effective enforcement and procedural fairness in managing parking violations.</p> <p>As road users await the reinstatement of traditional ticketing methods, they can take solace in the prospect of a fairer and more transparent fines system in the future.</p> <p><em>Images: City of Sydney</em></p>

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Driver fined over "six-second stop"

<p>A driver has been fined $387 for making "six-second stop" at what he thought was a 15-minute parking zone, and now he is fuming as he believes he is a victim of a cash grab.</p> <p>Sydney resident Michael was dropping off his partner in a quiet street on Darling Harbour and was shocked to receive a hefty fine and two demerit points for his quick drop-off. </p> <p>Revenue NSW reportedly told him that he had stopped within 10 metres after a crossing, which was a "serious" safety risk. </p> <p>Michael said that he was unaware he needed to pull in and believed he was allowed to stop where he did, as he was adjacent to the parking bay. </p> <p>"It's a flawed set up with the crossing being so close to the 15-minute parking," Michael told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>.</p> <p>"If I was a metre over in the vacant bay I would have avoided the fine. But the signage is just not clear.. and that bay itself is within 10 metres of the crossing, so how does that work?"</p> <p>The photos supplied by Revenue NSW, all time-stamped 8:23am, showed Michael's vehicle in different positions of the Zollner Circuit, which he has argued is not sufficient evidence to prove that he stopped.</p> <p>The photos also showed no visible pedestrians, other than Michael's partner who had just gotten out of the car, and Michael argued that he was allowed to stop since there was the 15-minute parking sign. </p> <p>While Darling Harbour is located in the City of Sydney LGA, the area is managed by government-run Place Management NSW.</p> <p>"It is an offence to stop on or near a pedestrian crossing," a spokesperson stressed. </p> <p>Michael questioned why there was no leniency, with such a large fine particularly amid a cost-of-living crisis, but it is reportedly because those who clearly breach road laws would not be granted any. </p> <p>"There's no one around and I was there for six seconds... it just feels like someone was having a bad day and waiting to make a name for themselves," Michael argued.</p> <p><em>Images: Yahoo News Australia. </em></p>

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"It's just not fair": Driver slams council for misleading parking fine

<p>A furious motorist has taken aim at a Sydney council's parking solution that resulted in an "outrageous" and "unjustified" fine. </p> <p>Ben drives to the Campbelltown train station in South West Sydney every day for his workday commute, and has recently been forced to find alternative parking plans due to a major disruption. </p> <p>A multi-deck carpark is being built near the station to accommodate the influx of traffic, but while the site is under construction, a makeshift parking lot has been set up. </p> <p>While the new car park will add 500 parking bays when completed, residents have claimed the council has drastically reduced the number of spaces in the meantime.</p> <p>Ben told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-parking-rules-drivers-outrage-over-tiny-detail-in-parking-fine/4cfe4d45-c311-4587-b68a-fc1d017675fc" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9news.com.au</a></em> parking had become "a nightmare" since the temporary lot opened, leaving many motorists with no option but to park along the fence line. </p> <p>It's this act that saw Ben receive a $129 parking fine in the mail. </p> <p>He was outraged when he was issued a fine on February 9th for "not stand vehicle in a marked parking space" when he had no other parking option. </p> <p>"They've advertised that the temporary car park is the same amount of spaces lost during the construction, which is severely incorrect," he said.</p> <p>"I can only assume they are fining loads of drivers as that space along the fence line is always full of cars parked the same as mine was."</p> <p>Along with the fine itself, ticket inspectors supplied Ben a photo of a wordy and confusing sign located near the entrance to the lot, which only added to his frustration with the local council.</p> <p>He said while there were no marked bays along the fence line, signage was not clear enough to indicate to drivers they weren't allowed to park there.</p> <p>"I mean it's just not fair. It's a temporary gravel parking lot," he said.</p> <p>"They've created this mess and now they are targeting innocent commuters fighting to just leave their car somewhere to catch public transport into work."</p> <p>A spokesperson for Campbelltown City Council told <em>Nine News</em> they understood the construction of the new car park would "create some disruption".</p> <p>"A temporary 113-space parking lot has been opened adjacent to the existing parking lot in order to offset some of the parking loss," they said.</p> <p>The council was "actively monitoring and reviewing the current parking and signage arrangements as well as community feedback, to identify any further improvements that could be made and inform any additional community notification required".</p> <p>"While this review takes place, vehicles will only be fined where a safety risk to both other vehicles and/or pedestrians is identified," the spokesperson said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News</em></p>

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"Stuff youse": Pensioner who's never owned a phone fights mobile detection camera fine

<p>A pensioner from New South Wales has disputed a fine he was issued for using his phone while driving, despite never owning a phone. </p> <p>Frank Singh, 77, was captured on a mobile phone detection camera while driving on the Pacific Motorway last September, and was issued a fine for $362. </p> <p>Mr Singh has refused to pay the fine, claiming that he was holding his wallet when the image was captured. </p> <p>He also claims to have never owned a mobile phone or a computer in his life, wondering how the camera made such a mistake. </p> <p>The senior man decided to appeal and take Revenue NSW to court, despite the risk of paying thousands in legal fees if he lost the case.</p> <p>"Looks like I'm guilty on it, but I'm not," he told <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p>"I thought, what the bloody hell is this all about, I don't own a mobile phone. I've never used a mobile phone. What a load of s***."</p> <p>When questioned what the item could be, he said, "I think it could be my wallet."</p> <p>While Mr Singh admitted he can't specifically remember what he was doing at the time, he believes he was possibly placing his wallet on the passenger seat after paying for fuel. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the review of the fine was rejected and Frank was ordered to pay the $362, but he has not given up. </p> <p>"Then I thought stuff youse, I'm not guilty, I don't own a bloody phone," he said.</p> <p>While preparing to appeal the fine once more, Revenue NSW revoked the fine after issuing a letter to Mr Singh saying he would not be required in court following an investigation by the government body. </p> <p>"We have decided to cancel the fine," the letter read. </p> <p>"You little bloody beauty, how good's that," Mr Singh said on hearing the news, before planning to celebrate the win with a beer at his local pub. </p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair </em></p>

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Woman sparks debate after copping $116 fine for "absurd" rule

<p>Shakira Coldwell, 21, has sparked debate online after copping a $116 parking fine for an "absurd" rule she claims she didn't even know existed. </p> <p>The Aussie woman took to TikTok to share her confusion, and asked if anyone else was aware of the rule. </p> <p>“Was I the only one that didn’t know you can get a parking fine for parking nose in, like the front of your car goes in first instead of backing into a car park?” she asked. </p> <p>She then asked whether the rule was only enforced in Noosa, saying that she was "pretty sure" you could park in any way as long as you stay between the lines. </p> <p>Coldwell then shared a photo of how she parked her car when she received the fine and said that she was “clearly” within the parking lines but hadn’t backed into her space like the car next to her.</p> <p>“Does that not just seem a bit absurd, a bit bizarre?” she said.</p> <p>She also said that she was only just made aware of the fine, as she had been travelling, which means that she may be copping even bigger fees as her payment was now overdue. </p> <p>“I’ve asked a couple of people about this and they literally had no idea that rule even existed. Like, I’m within the lines, it doesn’t matter how I’m parked,” she continued. </p> <p>According to the Brisbane City Council website, failing to park as indicated by an angle parking sign will result in a $116 fine, but Coldwell claims that she didn't see any signs. </p> <p>“So I am a bit confused. Is this just Noosa rule or does everyone know this because I literally did not know this was a rule. And low key $116 for a parking fine that's a bit absurd, given I was within the lines,” she said.</p> <p>Many commenters were quick to inform her that it was actually a common parking rule that wasn't restricted to Noosa. </p> <p>“As someone who lives in Noosa I can 100% guarantee there was a sign saying you had to back in,” one person wrote. </p> <p>“Being within the lines literally has nothing to do with it lol,” another said.</p> <p>A few others said that parking the wrong way in angled spots can make it “dangerous” when backing out into traffic, with one commenter claiming “everyone knows this”.</p> <p>However, a few others were just as baffled as the 21-year-old. </p> <p>“I’d be challenging that. I have never heard of it and there should definitely be signs so if you can go and check the signage,” one said. </p> <p>“Never heard of this before I wouldn’t pay it tell them where to go,” another wrote. </p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/community/local-laws/parking-regulations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Noosa Council website</a>, rear-in angle parking is enforced in certain areas to “ensure a safer parking experience for everyone in the area," and to prevent cars from crossing into oncoming traffic as they try to exit the parking bay. </p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

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Tourist slapped with a fine while in a coma

<p dir="ltr">An American tourist has been slapped with a fine while fighting for his life in a coma, after being involved in a devastating collision. </p> <p dir="ltr">Rod and Barbara Maroney, an elderly couple from Phoenix, Arizona, were holidaying in Sydney and strolling down George Street, when Rod was hit by an e-bike riding down light rail tracks. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 64-year-old retired aerospace engineer was crossing the light rail tracks in September 2023 and did not see the electric vehicle coming, with the collision causing him to fly into the air.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rod had to undergo emergency brain surgery from his injuries and then spent the subsequent weeks in a coma. </p> <p dir="ltr">Even now, in the weeks after the accident, Rod is still struggling to recover.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the 64-year-old recovered in St Vincent’s hospital, Barbara was shocked to see a fine for $86 being shoved into the letterbox of her AirBnb by NSW police.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the fact that E-bikes are not permitted on the footpaths of Sydney’s CBD, and are also banned on the light rail corridors, Mr Maroney was the one who was slapped with the fine. </p> <p dir="ltr">The letter stated that Rod had committed the offence of “moving into rider’s path”, despite the fact that riding a bike along light rail tracks is not permitted, NSW Transport confirmed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Barbara, who is a semi-retired lawyer herself, decided to get the help from a lawyer who contested the fine, and as a result, it was withdrawn.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Him serving me while my husband is in the hospital in a coma was outrageous,” she told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/ebike-rules-regulations-in-australia-tourist-fined-coma-sydney/f4f8fcde-1698-4aa6-a1b6-a30d6a1910d0">9News</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In the US, that would not be good service of process because my husband never lived at the Airbnb.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“If he really wanted to serve the citation, he should’ve gone to the hospital and dropped it in my husband’s unconscious lap, I guess.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After their ordeal, the couple wants authorities to take action over e-bikes in Sydney.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We shed a lot of tears at night together, both of us grieving for our loss of the man he was,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why is Sydney’s council allowing silent, deadly bikes? Given the speed of the bike, Rod could have been killed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Why are e-bikes not regulated like vehicles?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-351f33a9-7fff-f7ec-f7a1-5efccc27e302"></span></p>

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Tourist fined after posting this one photo on social media

<p>A man has been fined after flouting the rules to get the perfect photo with a quokka at Rottnest Island. </p> <p>The tourist was visiting the popular nature reserve, off the coast of Western Australia, when he was tracked down by authorities after posting a photo of him holding the marsupial on Instagram, despite signs saying not to touch the vulnerable animals. </p> <p>"Feeding and touching quokkas is not permitted for the safety of visitors and the welfare of the animals," A Rottnest Island Authority spokesperson told <em>Perth Now</em>. </p> <p>The unnamed tourist copped a $200 fine and an infringement was issued over the weekend, but the spokesperson said he was not evicted from the island.</p> <p>The Rottnest Island website also clearly states the rules against touching the furry animals.</p> <p>"It’s important, for their safety and yours, that you don’t touch the quokkas," the website read. </p> <p>Tourists are also warned that touching the marsupials can make them sick, spread disease and cause mothers to abandon their young if they carry an unfamiliar scent. </p> <p>Samuel Cornell, a research fellow from UNSW, told <em>Yahoo News Australia </em>that these rules exist for a reason. </p> <p>"The rules are there usually to protect people's own safety, first and foremost. And then secondly, of course, we enact rules to protect the environment," Cornell said. </p> <p>"They are still wild animals, but because they're plastered all over social media and people are used to seeing pretty pictures with them, I think people then have this interpretation of them that they're just some fluffy, safe creature that you can just go up to and pick up."</p> <p>Cornell added that tourists flouting the rules is not just an issue in Rottnest Island, but "a problem across Australia," including popular tourists destinations like K'gari (formerly Fraser Island), Babinda boulders, and Wedding Cake Rock in Sydney. </p> <p>"Some people do just ignore rules or signs because they think they know better or they really want a photo in a certain place," he explained. </p> <p>"But there are a subset of people that will claim 'oh, I didn't actually see the sign or I wasn't really aware'".</p> <p><em>Images: PerthNow/ Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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"Pathetic" fine for killer of beloved 40-year-old blue groper

<p>In a shocking act of disregard for both marine life and the law, a 26-year-old individual has plunged a spear into the heart of Sydney's Cronulla community by illegally spearing and killing the beloved blue groper known as Gus.</p> <p>Blue gropers, revered for their non-aggressive nature and inquisitive demeanour, have been the official fish of New South Wales since 1996, enjoying legal protection against spearfishing and commercial exploitation.</p> <p>After visiting and entertaining locals in the area for over 40 years, Gus, affectionately named by the community, met a tragic end at Old Park in Cronulla, a well-signed no-spearfishing zone. The incident has left the local community seething with anger and grief, prompting demands for harsher penalties and increased community education.</p> <p>A local Facebook post on the incident quickly garnered more than 100 comments and 500 reactions, reflecting the collective outrage of concerned locals. One individual expressed their frustration, saying, "Omg what an a**hole! I've been trying to find that groper for ages, and now I'll never get to see him. I hope this guy gets a massive fine."</p> <p>Witnesses to the distressing incident, including Tenielle Piek, reported the callousness of the spearfisherman to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/outrage-over-fishermans-pathetic-punishment-for-killing-iconic-blue-groper-in-cronulla/news-story/7dec503e9b95ec1fd8d7e7b0f8438036" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a>, who proudly displayed the lifeless groper. Piek lamented the loss of the "Labrador of the Sea" and the vulnerability of these tame and curious creatures to spearfishing. She fears that future generations may be deprived of the opportunity to experience these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat along the shores of Cronulla.</p> <p>Despite the gravity of the crime, the spearfisherman was initially handed a meagre fine of $500, sparking outrage among locals who believed the punishment to be woefully inadequate. NSW Fisheries then tacked on an additional $300, and while the culprit displayed remorse during the interview with fisheries officers and was a first-time offender, the community clearly still feels shortchanged by the leniency of the penalty.</p> <p>A spokesperson from the Department of Primary Industries claimed that the individual was provided with education and awareness material to understand the rules of spearfishing. However, the paltry $300 fine out of a potential $11,000 seems insufficient to deter future acts of this nature.</p> <p>As the investigation appears to conclude, the Cronulla community remains on edge, grappling with the inadequacy of the penalties issued. The tragic fate of Gus demands justice and a resolute commitment to preserving the delicate marine ecosystem. Anything less than a substantial deterrent risks further harm to these innocent creatures and the cherished natural beauty of Cronulla's shores.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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“This doesn’t make sense": Mum fined for parking in own driveway

<p>A Gold Coast mum couldn't believe her eyes when she found an almost $200 fine in her mail for parking in her own driveway. </p> <p>“I got a lovely fine from Gold Coast City Council for parking in my own driveway,” Megan Pass told <em>7News</em>. </p> <p>“This doesn’t make sense.</p> <p>“Everybody I’ve shared this with is going, ‘What the hell?’”</p> <p>The council claims that part of her driveway is located on council land so she was breaking the law by parking on it. </p> <p>The mother-of-three said that she has lived in the house for seven years and parked her car there every day and has never been fined before. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/Planning-building/Development-applications/Development-application-types/Driveways-vehicular-crossings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">council website </a>states that there is an important difference between someone's driveway, which "ends at the property boundary", and a vehicular crossing, which is the section of  the driveway between the boundary and the road. </p> <p>The local law prevents people from parking over council land for more than two minutes, so Ms. Pass got fined $193. </p> <p>People took to social media to share their thoughts on Ms Pass' situation. </p> <p>“What a joke - revenue raising at its best,” one user tweeted. </p> <p>While another said: “Yip I got one of those fines lol. Just paid it. Don’t have time spare to go court to be told… you broke the law… pay the fine." </p> <p>“Will the mayor mow the footpath once a week and water it? That bloke’s a goose,” a third added. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Legal

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"What am I missing?" Driver confused over hefty parking fine

<p>A woman has been left shocked over a $300 parking fine, for an offence she had no idea she was committing. </p> <p>The confused motorist was puzzled when she received a $305 fine in the mail, and decided to take to Facebook to ask her community if they could "help [her] understand the fine".</p> <p>The woman, from Sydney's inner west, posted photos of her parking job to a local Facebook page, which show her blue hatchback parked curbside outside a house, with no apparent signal nearby. </p> <p>"I got fined $305 and lost some demerits points. They said I parked parallel close to the dividing line/strip," she explained. "I don't see anything wrong with the pics. What am I missing?" she questioned alongside photos of offence.</p> <p>According to parking rules in New South Wales, drivers "must not park within 3m of any double dividing lines" and those caught doing so can be fined.</p> <p>In the photos, the double lines appear close to the woman's car on a seemingly narrow road.</p> <p>One person explained the rule on in the comments of her Facebook post, writing, "It's possibly because there is not enough room for cars to pass your car without partly crossing their car across the double middle lines — it's illegal for them to do that."</p> <p>So you can't park in a place where there isn't enough space between the double middle lines and your car for other cars to pass."</p> <p>The parking rule surprised many who admitted they "had no idea" the rule existed, with some concluding you "see it all the time".</p> <p>"Sorry you got those fines. Wow. You learn something new every day," said one driver. "I had no idea this was a road rule until now! I'm sorry you copped such a huge fine," said another, to which the driver concluded it an "expensive lesson learnt". </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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New fines of over $100k for owners of dogs that attack a person

<p>Queensland is taking a strong stance on dog attacks with the introduction of new legislation aimed at holding owners accountable for the actions of their pets.</p> <p>The proposed laws, set to be introduced into the state parliament, come as a response to the increasing incidents of serious harm caused by dangerous dogs. If passed, the legislation will not only significantly increase fines for irresponsible dog owners but will also enforce a ban on five specific breeds deemed as posing a higher risk.</p> <p>The breeds targeted by the legislation include Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier, and Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario. These breeds have been singled out due to their perceived potential for aggression and the severity of harm they can inflict. The legislation aims to mitigate the risks associated with these breeds by implementing strict measures.</p> <p>Under the proposed legislation, owners whose dogs cause death or grievous bodily harm and have not taken "reasonable steps" to prevent such incidents could face fines of up to $108,000. This marks a significant increase from the current fines outlined in the Animal Management Act. Additionally, the legislation introduces the possibility of a maximum three-year jail term for owners found guilty of negligence in preventing their dogs from causing harm.</p> <p>The laws assure that dogs of the prohibited breeds won't be euthanised. Instead, they will be "grandfathered out", meaning they will not be allowed to have puppies. Furthermore, the legislation puts a halt to the importation of these breeds into Queensland, aiming to curb the growth of the population of potentially dangerous dogs.</p> <p>Mark Furner, Queensland's agriculture minister, emphasised that these laws are designed to put dog owners on notice to be responsible. He pointed out that over the last decade, there has been a 64% increase in emergency department presentations due to attacks by dangerous dogs. Furner stated, "On average each year, councils in Queensland declare 500 dogs as dangerous," highlighting the need for a legislative framework that addresses irresponsible ownership.</p> <p>The new legislation is geared towards making the community safer by placing a heightened focus on the owners of dogs deemed irresponsible. Furner shared a harrowing incident involving a toddler girl who suffered severe wounds from a dog attack, underlining the urgency of such laws to prevent similar tragedies. Notably, 81% of dog attacks in Queensland on average are reported to involve children.</p> <p>In addition to the penalties for serious incidents, the legislation grants local council officers the authority to issue fines to owners who exhibit a "lack of control" over their dogs at off-leash parks. This provision aims to ensure that owners maintain control over their pets, even in public spaces where they may interact with other dogs and people.</p> <p>Queensland's proposed legislation marks a significant step towards promoting responsible dog ownership and safeguarding the community from the risks associated with dangerous breeds. If successfully passed, these laws could serve as a model for other regions grappling with similar issues related to dog attacks and irresponsible ownership.</p> <p><em>Image: Britannica</em></p>

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