From not wearing two dog poop bags to having & # 39; healthy & # 39; trees outside their homes, Australians are beaten with hefty fines for seemingly harmless acts.
But some are fighting back against what they say the & # 39; ridiculous & # 39; ways in which city councils & # 39; get out of control & # 39; generate income – by refusing to cough up the money.
When pet owner Jo took her dog Cody for a walk outside her home in Melbourne, she was carrying a dog bag in case she had to clean it up.
Cody relieved himself on a natural strip – and Jo cleaned up the mess.
But then she was confronted by two Bay Side City Council officers who wondered why she didn't have a shit bag with her.
& # 39; They wanted to know where our dog was registered, they wanted to scan our dog. They said & # 39; & # 39; where is your poop bag & # 39; & # 39 ;, said Jo An ongoing case.
& # 39; We said: & # 39; we used our poop bag at the start of our walk & # 39 ;. And they said, "Well, where's your second bag?"
Jo said the officers told her she would be fired with a warning, but a month later she received a nasty surprise in the mail – a $ 200 fine.
Jo refused to pay and received a reminder in court, which she described as & # 39; bewilderment & # 39; and & # 39; wasting time & # 39 ;.
& # 39; The paperwork alone to compile this accusation sheet and summons would have taken many hours, & # 39; she said.
Strangely enough, Jo claimed that the Bayside City offered its legal advice to fight against the council and would be covered by ratepayers.
& # 39; That is someone else's money that can be used for roads, streets and potholes. & # 39;
Homeowner Jo (photo) refused to pay $ 200 for not carrying a second poop bag while walking her dog
Dr. Hamish Reid, director of Bayside Council for city planning and facilities, said the owner appealed the fine, which was denied.
& # 39; Our community expects pet owners to act responsibly and to pick up their dog's poop. Owners must have suitable waste collection equipment with them & # 39 ;, he said in a statement.
Dr. Reid said the case was settled prior to legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, Darren Shaw received a $ 1,000 fine from Melton City Council for using a backyard fire pit.
& # 39; I am scorched by the council, & # 39; said Mr. Shaw.
& # 39; I looked at it (the fine), sat down and just shook my head. This is unbelievable. This is ridiculous. Something is wrong with this system. The board can catch fire. & # 39;
Darren Shaw (photo) is fighting with his $ 1,000 fine for using his backyard fire pit
Mr. Shaw is determined that he will not pay – and says he will fight the fine all the way up.
& # 39; They should concentrate on repairing the roads and leave the residents alone & # 39 ;, he said.
Under the municipal law, a person may not light an open fire on a land of less than two hectares unless a permit has been granted.
& # 39; This is a common local law that applies to many local government areas &, according to a statement from the Melton municipality.
& # 39; Fire pits and the like may not be used unless food is cooking or a permit has been issued by the Council. & # 39;
Mr. Shaw tried to appeal the fine, but was rejected by the Melton City Council, which said it had received a number of complaints about incineration at the property.
Why cooking a few sausages on the barbecue during total fire bans this summer can result in a year in prison and fines thousands of dollars
Australians can be jailed and beaten with fines of up to $ 5,500 if they ignore total fire bans and use wood or coal fired barbecues this summer.
There is a total fire ban in New South Wales while dozens of deadly, uncontrolled forest fires burn through the state.
In NSW, people can get a $ 2,200 fine for using a non-gas or electric BBQ in a full fire ban, but if the case is brought to court and leads to a conviction, the sentences can go up to 12 years imprisonment and / or a fine of $ 5,500.
Sydneysiders could get 12 months in jail and be beaten with a $ 5,500 fine for using a barbecue during a total state-wide fire ban (stock image)
But the barbecue ban and fine is nothing compared to fines and imprisonment for starting a fire that spreads and destroys or causes injury, with those responsible for fines up to $ 132,000 and 14 years in prison.
The punishments in NSW – which are being confronted this week with the worst bushfire threat in history – are comparable in all Australian states.
Devastating fires killed three people and destroyed 150 homes, causing NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to officially declare a state of emergency.
There is a & # 39; catastrophic & # 39; on Tuesday. warning for the & # 39; s Sydney and Hunter regions, as temperatures of 37 ° C, 10% humidity and strong winds create the perfect conditions for more destructive fires.
Under the fire ban it is illegal to light, maintain or use open fire or to perform activities outside that are likely to cause a fire.
The use of an electric barbecue is permitted, provided that an adult controls it.
Gas barbecues can also be used provided that there is adult supervision, nothing is flammable within two meters and there is a water source nearby.
The gas barbecue must also be placed near a house on a designated picnic area and approved by the council.
Total fire bans are declared during extremely hot weather and when forest fires occur (photo: a fireman fights a fire in a home in Torrington, near Glen Innes, NSW)
In the green suburb of Malvern in eastern Melbourne, Barton Jennings was accused of damaging trees outside his home.
Stonnington Council claims that Mr. Jennings damaged the trees during the construction of his house.
He said the trees & # 39; perfectly healthy & # 39; goods.
The medical specialist was fined $ 4,000 – $ 2,000 for each tree.
& # 39; We rated them (the trees) as healthy & # 39 ;, said Mr. Jennings.
& # 39; So we are still faced with this very large fine for damaging the trees. It doesn't seem so fair. & # 39;
He fought against the fine, which was reduced to $ 2,000 and has now agreed to pay.
A spokesperson for the city of Stonnington said a tree keeper was inspecting the trees and concluded that there was damage due to construction work.
In 2018 alone, the council earned $ 14,651,000 in fines.
Barton Jennings (photo) was fined $ 4,000 after being accused of damaging trees outside of his property
Gideon Rozner from the Institute of Public Affairs said councils use their power unfairly.
"Councils are getting out of hand, losing sight of the basics and really forgetting what their core mission is, namely waste, tariffs, roads and basic services," he said.
& # 39; I think there is a problem in this country in which ratepayers recommend bullying. Certainly, you get that feeling when you see fines that are imposed for little to no reason for technical reasons.
& # 39; What happened to a polite warning? I think that many people charged with enforcing these fines need a little judgment and common sense. & # 39;
Driver is beaten with a $ 112 fine after parking at a gas station to buy a meat pie – and his car unlocked and windows down
A man who stopped at a gas station for a few minutes to buy a meat pie was shocked when he found a $ 112 fine when he returned to his car.
Ben Judd was on his way to work in Woollahra, on the eastern outskirts of Sydney, on Friday morning when he stopped at a gas station for a few minutes.
& # 39; I was on my way to work and stopped at the BP servo because I get breakfast almost every morning & # 39 ;, he told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; I parked in a designated parking space in the servo fairly close to the front doors, ran in for no more than a minute. & # 39;
A man who stopped at a gas station for a few minutes to buy a meat pie was shocked when he found a $ 112 fine on his return to his car (photo: the fine)
When he returned to his car, he said he was surprised to see that a police officer had parked him and was standing next to his vehicle.
& # 39; The first thing he said to me was: & # 39; Is there a reason you left your windows behind? & # 39; I replied: & # 39; I just came running to grab a cake & # 39 ;, & # 39; said Mr. Judd.
The police officer had him perform a breath test and a random drug test, both of which returned negative.
& # 39; Then he started choosing my LED lightbar (he was determined to pay me for everything he could), & # 39; Mr. Judd said.
Ben Judd (photo) was on his way to work in Woollahra, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, on Friday morning when he stopped at a gas station for a few minutes
The police officer then gave Judd a $ 112 fine for leaving his windows and the car unlocked.
& # 39; As he let me go, he noted that & # 39; if he saw me again he would convince me & # 39 ;, since I did nothing wrong, I thought that was a bit much, & # 39; he said.
Judd was stunned by the fine because he had never heard of the rule and said he was parked in a gas station instead of on a road.
The police officer then gave Judd a $ 112 fine for leaving his windows and the car unlocked
& # 39; I had no idea of the law, I understand it is appropriate on a main road, but at a gas station … almost every car parked there has at least one window down, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; The majority of the people I spoke to had no idea of the law, and the few who knew it found it ridiculous in a gas station. & # 39;
Although Judd is encouraged to contest the fine online by supporters, the obscure traffic rule is a reality throughout Australia.
According to the Australian Road Rules, it is a violation to have a car unlocked or with windows down.
The law states that if a driver is more than three meters from the nearest part of the vehicle, he must turn off the engine, remove the ignition key, lock the windows and lock the doors.
Judd was indignant at what happened because he believes his car was on private property because he was in the gas station instead of parked on a road.
Many people on Facebook agreed with his indignation, with one person saying: & # 39; That must be a sting & # 39 ;.
& # 39; A daily wage for some for a damn cake im (sic) so sorry for you (sic), & # 39; another woman wrote.
Judd was indignant about what happened because he believes his car was on private property because he was in the gas station instead of parked on a road
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