Before you dispute a fine or infringement notice

The following scenarios provide situations where Council may, or may not withdraw a fine or infringement. If your appeal relates to one of these scenarios, read the information prior to making your submission to Council.

Circumstances where Council may consider withdrawing an infringement notice

Below is a list of common scenarios in which Council may consider withdrawing a fine/infringement if the appeal is accompanied by sufficient evidence. Should you not provide evidence in support of your appeal, Council may not withdraw the infringement.

Serious medical circumstances

Serious medical circumstances include situations such as accident and emergency hospital attendance, family death, giving birth and palliative care. Should you wish to submit an appeal related to a serious medical circumstance, Council will require evidence including, but not limited to, a letter from the attending doctor or hospital detailing time and date corresponding to the offence.

Mechanical breakdown

If you have received a fine or infringement following a mechanical breakdown and you can demonstrate that all reasonable attempts were made to ensure the vehicle was stopped in a safe location and moved as soon as possible from the restricted area, Council may withdraw the fine or infringement. If you wish to submit an appeal related to a mechanical breakdown, evidence including but not limited to a tow truck or RACQ receipt or a mechanical report stating the date, time and nature of the incident should be submitted in support of your appeal.

Faulty Parking Meter

If you have attempted to pay for parking via a parking meter and believe that the meter is not working and you have reported this to Council, evidence of the report that was made along with statements of each attempt that was made to pay should be provided in support of your appeal for Council to consider withdrawing the fine or infringement.

Not displaying disability parking permit

If the driver of the vehicle who received the fine or infringement has a valid disability parking permit that was not on display when the fine or infringement was issued, Council may withdraw the fine or infringement if a copy or a photo of the valid disability parking permit and identification details for proof of ability to use permit is provided as evidence with the appeal.

Incorrect details or administrative error

If the fine or infringement that you have been issued contains incorrect details or you believe that there has been an administrative error in the issuing of the fine or infringement, you should include with your appeal evidence showing the correct registration details (copy of registration certificate) or a photo of the vehicle nominated as committing the offence, or other evidence to show proof of incorrect details. Note that the fine or infringement may be reissued with correct details.

Sign missing, damaged or faded

Should your appeal be in relation to a missing, damaged or faded sign, you will need to supply photos of the missing, damaged or faded sign clearly showing the surrounding area to identify the area as the location of the offence.

Infringement notice issued in error or incorrect offence stated

Relevant photos and other information to support the appeal that the offence did not occur will need to be provided for Council to consider whether the fine or infringement should be withdrawn.

Circumstances where Council is not likely to consider withdrawing an infringement notice

Below is a list of common scenarios in which Brisbane City Council is unlikely to consider withdrawing a fine or infringement. This includes common scenarios for parking fines, animal fines, and other fines (including environmental offences). Note, not all possible scenarios are depicted.

Parking fines

Council is unlikely to withdraw parking fines in the following most common circumstances.

You did not operate the meter correctly

Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 it is an offence to park a vehicle in a designated parking space unless the parking meter installed for the space indicates that the required parking fee has been paid for the duration the vehicle intends to be in the metered location, or the person has done what is required by an authorised system that applies to the space.

When using a Pay by Plate parking meter to pay for parking or request 15 minutes free parking, the customer must follow all instructions displayed on the meter to allow for the transaction to be completed and the payment accepted, or request for 15 minutes free parking to be accepted. Should all these steps not be followed, including confirming all information by pressing the OK button at each stage, after approximately 20-30 seconds the meter will assume that you do not wish to proceed with the transaction. If the transaction is incomplete, the requirement for paying for parking or registering for 15 minutes free parking has not been met. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all directions of use are followed. If the transaction has not been completed, the motorist has not complied with the authorised system for that parking space and an infringement notice can be issued.

You misread a parking sign or didn’t see a parking sign and/or you were unfamiliar with the area

Finding a sign confusing or forgetting to check it isn’t grounds for Council to withdraw your fine. This is because it is the responsibility of all licensed drivers to remain up to date with the Queensland Transport Operations(Road Use Management — Road Rules) Regulation 2009. In the normal course of driving, a motorist is expected to take note of many things including speed limit signs, traffic signals, directional signs, other traffic, pedestrians, etc. As such, it is your responsibility as a licensed driver to observe all parking requirements of an area prior to leaving your vehicle unattended.

Your appointment ran overtime and were late returning to your vehicle

It is reasonable to assume meetings, appointments, and work commitments may not always run on time.  Council offers a variety of parking spaces throughout Brisbane – please ensure you locate parking that allows time to include unexpected delays. 

You needed to stay longer in a metered area, so you re-fed the meter, bought another parking ticket, or started a new CellOPark session 

Section 106 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management Act) 1995 provides that during the fixed hours, a person must not park in a parking space for longer than the maximum time indicated on the official traffic sign installed for the space. Section 205(1) of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management — Road Rules) Regulation 2009 provides that a driver must not park continuously on a length of road, or in an area, to which a permissive parking sign applies, for longer than the period indicated on the sign. 

This requirement is also found in the Parking Meter Terms and Conditions which state that “vehicles need to be relocated to another area after the prescribed time limit has expired. If the parking space is not vacated upon expiry of the permitted maximum time, the user may be fined”. If you wish to park for longer than the time permitted, you need to find a metered space which allows longer periods of parking, such as a zone signed as 8P Meter, 9P Meter or 12P Meter. 

You parked in a “free 15-minute parking” zone but didn’t enter your registration details at the meter

To take advantage of Council’s free 15-minute parking option available at selected parking meters, motorists must enter their registration number at the meter and select the “Under 15 min – free” option, otherwise the vehicle will not be legally parked and subject to a fine. Motorists must return to their vehicle within 15 minutes, and either pay for further parking up to the total time allowed by the permissive parking sign (e.g. pay for another 45 minutes to park for a total of one hour in a 1P meter zone) or move out of the metered zone. A motorist must not stay in a metered zone for longer than the time stated on the permissive parking sign. 

You parked longer than permitted in a Traffic Area or Parking Control Area because you didn’t see or understand the boundary signage

Council is unlikely to withdraw a fine or infringement issued for overstaying the area wide limit in these areas due to not observing boundary signs. This is because all road entries into the traffic areas are signed. This requirement is in accordance with Section 102(3) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995. The traffic area extends until you pass another sign indicating the end of the area, or you enter another traffic area. Signs have been placed at each street entry to the boundary of the traffic areas (and not necessarily in each street within these areas). 

Section 102(6) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 provides that a person parking anywhere within a traffic area is taken to have notice of the contents of the official traffic sign installed at the road entries to the traffic area. Therefore, by State legislation, motorists are taken to have had notice that parking restrictions apply within the traffic area. 

Traffic areas within Brisbane contain suburbs not specific to the traffic area’s name, such as the Dutton Park Parking Control Area (DPPCA), the Gabba Traffic Area (GTA), the Lang Park Traffic Area (LPTA) and the Brisbane Central Traffic Area (BCTA). Each of these traffic areas contains numerous suburbs due to their size. It would be impossible for Council to display each suburb on every sign. 

Traffic areas are not unique to Brisbane and can be found in many states and regional areas. 

You were only briefly stopped in a No Stopping zone, on a yellow edge line, or in a Clearway 

No Stopping zones (including yellow edge lines) and Clearway zones are installed with the safety of all road users in mind. The Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009 provides that a driver must not stop on a length of road, or in an area to which a No Stopping sign applies, must not stop at the side of a road marked with a continuous yellow edge line, or where a Clearway sign applies. An offence is committed as soon as a driver stops, regardless of the length of time, or even if the driver remains in the vehicle with the engine running.  The legislation does not require Council to test whether a vehicle has inconvenienced other motorists or pedestrians, or caused traffic congestion before an infringement notice is issued.

Financial hardship

The inability to pay a fine is not considered grounds to withdraw a fine or infringement. If the penalty amount is less than $200, you may contact Council by telephone to request to pay the penalty amount by instalments. If the penalty amount is $200 or more, you may request in writing for the penalty amount to be paid by instalments (this will be administered by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER)).

Your preferred method of payment not being available at a parking meter

You are not entitled to park for free simply because your preferred method of payment was not available. Payment for metered parking can be made by credit card or via the CellOPark app. The app can be downloaded and an account set up prior to arriving in a metered zone.

Animal fines

Council is unlikely to withdraw animal-related fines in the following circumstances: 

Your dog was off-leash in an on-leash (or public) area

Unfortunately, Council has recently experienced an increase in dog attacks. Responsible pet ownership is at the core of this issue. All animals, regardless of their size or temperament, are required to be under effective control while in public.  All public areas are on-leash areas unless signed otherwise.

You didn’t know you had to, or didn’t have the time to register your dog

There is an obligation to register a dog with Council within 14 days after starting to keep the dog in the Council area.  This obligation is set out under section 44 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008. This is State legislation and applies throughout Queensland, not just in Brisbane.  Therefore, the onus to register a dog is on the owner of the dog.  

Your dog escaped from your home

Council places a very high level of responsibility on the keepers of animals and is committed to protecting the community against the risk of injury from wandering or uncontrolled dogs.  Council’s Animals Local Law 2017 is clear in its intent that a keeper of an animal must maintain an enclosure to ensure that the dog is contained to the property at all times. This includes complying with the minimum fencing requirements and taking all reasonable and practical measures to prevent the dog from wandering.

You didn’t receive a registration renewal notice

Section 57 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 places the onus on the owner of the dog to advise the local authority of any information that has changed, including a change of address, and to pay the registration renewal before the registration expires whether or not a renewal notice has been sent by the local authority. That is, regardless of whether you received a renewal notice by mail, it is your responsibility to pay the registration renewal prior to the expiry date.

Other fines including environmental (littering) offences

Council is unlikely to withdraw fines in the following circumstances:

You could not see a bin nearby

It is your responsibility to place rubbish in an appropriate receptacle while in public, or hold onto your rubbish until you find a bin. 

You didn’t know littering/ removing protected vegetation/illegal dumping was an offence because you’re new to Brisbane or Australia 

As a new resident or visitor to Brisbane it is your responsibility to make yourself aware of and abide by the local laws and legislation that applies. Lack of knowledge of the local laws and legislation is no defence against an infringement notice.

It is your first offence

Council enforces all laws it is responsible for in a transparent and considered manner. Officers enforce regulations in a manner that is friendly, firm and fair, with regard to the safety and amenity of residents and visitors to Brisbane. The legislation applies to all people equally, regardless of whether or not you have committed an offence in the past.

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