Debt recovery office has a heart afterall

Further to your recently published letters in forum, I personally received a parking fine in Sydney City, but it was issued one hour before my parking ticket expired, so I appealed and they cancelled it, so errors do occur.
Afterwards, I was on the Parramatta City Council Parking Fine Appeals Committee for six years, and as a founding member of the Committee, we received thousands of appeals, and had the power to dismiss appeals based on error or humanitarian reasons.
We were the first Council to have an appeal committee, and what we discovered was that the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) had no interest or authority to cancel fines, as they were a Debt Recovery Office and not an appeals or admin office.
Their role was to recover money.
During the years, we had to report the reason for each dismissal, and essentially, we taught the SDRO how to adjust their policy, and eventually, the SDRO learned that errors and natural justice was being denied unknowingly, as Officers had no way of knowing the circumstances behind a vehicle being parked in a particular spot, for example the pregnant woman whose water broke and thus parked in a no standing zone receiving a $350 fine.
We subsequently dismissed the fine.
A car stolen and parked in a no stopping zone.
An elderly person who had lived in a country town with no parking meters and was their first time to Sydney.
We dismissed their fine given benefit of the doubt.
Also dismissed were fines on the basis of poverty or financial hardship, good driving record, and sometimes on compassionate grounds due to sheer human error.
I would therefore encourage people to write in and appeal politely outlining the reasons and don’t criticise the Officer for issuing the ticket.
We always took a dim view of indignant or arrogant requests.
State the reasons or circumstances, humbly requesting leniency.

Email, Jun 16
Craig Hall, Harris Park

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