Workers forced to stand in busy lines at Centrelink for hours after losing their job in the corona virus fear parking attendants will hunt them while waiting for benefits
- Angry resident slams parking patrols on ticket streets near Centrelink
- Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland says they issue warnings, not fines
- Waverley Council, NSW, says it has told officers to use “discretion and compassion.”
- Welfare queues stretch for hours, some returning to wait again the next day
- You will still be fined for parking in places with disabilities or compromising security
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Parking inspectors have been seen mapping cars near flooded Centrelink offices, where people left unemployed by the coronavirus shutdown have to queue for hours.
Resident Michelle Jaynes watched in horror as parking inspectors patrolled the Maroochydore Centrelink area of Queensland as hundreds of shocked people who had just lost their jobs were waiting patiently in line on Monday morning.
It was just hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s speech to the nation on Sunday night closed entertainment and dining options and lost hundreds of jobs in an attempt to curb the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Two municipalities, one in NSW and one in Queensland, have taken pity on the issue of parking tickets at Centrelink offices due to the extraordinary circumstances
Queue from the Hollywood Avenue Centrelink office in Bondi Junction around the corner to Ebley St and over a block on Tuesday. Parking police was two blocks away at Officeworks. Waverley Council has instructed parking attendants to use compassion
The queue at Bondi Junction was so long that it could not be captured in one photo
Ms. Jaynes said that at that time, the council should not have chipped cars.
“It just wasn’t the right time to do it,” Jaynes told Sunshine Coast Daily.
“I just don’t know what’s going on with them.”
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said no real parking tickets have been issued near the Centrelink this week and only two announcements have been issued in the region of the town since Monday.
Instead, parking attendants issued warnings rather than breaches, the spokeswoman said.
Tickets would still be issued for parking unauthorized cars in disabled areas or for anyone who affects public health and safety.
In Bondi Junction, NSW, on Tuesday, the parking police were observed outside the Officeworks car park on Ebley St, two blocks from the Centrelink queue.
A man in line on Tuesday said he waited all day Monday to see the center close when he was at the door with four people.
“The police came to close him,” he said.
He brought a camping chair to sit in line, which stretched a block and a half down Ebley St on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Waverley Council said it was not prey for people trapped in the Centrelink queues.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Waverley Council has instructed its officers to use their discretion and compassion to enforce parking measures,” said a council spokeswoman.
“However, we ask that drivers continue to adhere to our existing parking restrictions for the safety of all drivers and pedestrians and to ensure fair access to parking availability.
“There will be no tolerance for blocking driveways or parking areas that endanger safety.”
People line up outside Centrelink in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, Australia on Monday. Thousands lost their jobs overnight after the closure of nightspots by the corona virus