Free parking in Melbourne has been scrapped as more people start returning to work.
The reinstatement of fines marks the end of a two-month hiatus in the city’s CBD announced on March 24 in response to the coronavirus lockdown.
Parking inspectors will resume checking meters across Melbourne’s CBD in Melbourne on May 11.
The City of Melbourne had waived parking restrictions for more than 8,700 spaces with green signs to assist key workers during the crisis.
The decision slashed a key source of revenue for the council, with Melbourne normally recording a million parking payments every month.
Free parking will end in Melbourne on May 11 as more people return to the city’s CBD for work
Penalties were kept in place for zones with red signs – such as disability parking, emergency services, and loading areas.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said parking fees were needed once again to move cars along and support city traders as more people flock back to work.
‘At the start of lockdown, Melbourne’s streets were empty and it was appropriate to have temporary unrestricted parking in areas with green signs to support workers who were still required at their workplace,’ the Lord Mayor said.
‘Vehicles are now returning to the city and traders and residents have called for greater turnover of car parks outside their homes and businesses to welcome customers and visitors.’
‘Parking enforcement is a necessary and important service to ensure that all drivers have fair access to car parks,’ she said.
‘While nobody likes to pay for parking or receive a fine, our experience tells us that most people understand the need for this system.’
Frontline workers from Victoria Police, Melbourne Assessment Centre and eight inner-city hospitals will be able to claim the permits with their employers.
The permits will be reviewed every month or until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Fines had been temporarily halted in the city for green zones from March 27 in response to the coronavirus lockdown
‘We are issuing green dashboard stickers for up to 8,000 frontline workers to recognise their role in responding to COVID-19,’ Ms Capp said.
‘From Monday May 11, you will need to pay to park in the city if you haven’t been issued with one of these permits.’
Darwin took charge of the initiative by waiving car parking fees and charges for CBD on-street parking on March 18 for a period of 60 days – although time limits were maintained.
Sydney followed Victoria’s lead, while Brisbane City Council switched off all of the city’s parking meters and reducing the fees at two major car parks on March 27.
Brisbane City Council told Daily Mail Australia the changes would not be lifted until the impacts of coronavirus lessen.
Sydney followed Melbourne’s lead, introducing a hiatus on parking fines from March 27
Similarly, the City of Perth created free one-hour parking in the CBD and announced cautions would be issued for traffic violations rather than fines.
A few days later, on April 1, Adelaide City Council introduced a new touch-free parking online service, offering a reduced cost of $8 all day across city’s nine UPark locations.
Canberrans have been permitted to park for 15 minutes for free in restaurant and café precincts to collect takeaway food and drink from April 3, however a $123 fine applies to anyone caught exceeding the allocated time frame.
The City of Hobart responded by issuing COVID-19 permits to specific customers or service organsiations for use within Argyle Street Car Park.
It is yet to be announced when the measures will end in Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra.