Two months ago Cessnock Councillors voted to change the city’s parking policy, the biggest change was the three metre rule which allowed residents to park on the nature strip providing there was a 3 meter gap between the vehicle and the fence line.

This change would bring council parking rules in line with the NSW road rules which prohibits a vehicle to park on a nature strip.

There has been much discussion in the community with many people unhappy about the changes to parking on the nature strip with many complaints about narrow roads, if two cars parked on either side of the street it could block emergency service vehicles from responding.

The rules are pretty straight forward, and the council even provided a little visual aid for the community to give everyone a very simple overview of the parking policy.

See below which clearly shows where you can park when you live in pleasentville with gutters,foot paths, no pot holes or grass overgrowing the edge of the road.

Council held a meeting earlier this week which started with a Mayoral Minute where councillors voted for a parking policy workshop because some councillors did not understand the policy they voted for and have not been able to explain to residents how the parking rules could affect them in some situations.

These Councillors obviously did not look at the handy, simply visual aid Cessnock Council published on their website that explains where you can and cannot park.

If councillors don’t understand the parking policy, how on earth are you meant to?

Councillors argued they needed a workshop to educate themselves on how the policy would affect certain streets and situations in their wards, however the policy they voted for clearly states it’s not the purpose of this policy to explain every possible parking situation.

Many streets and roads throughout the Local Government Area do not have a clear delineation between where the road ends and the nature strip or footway starts. It is not the purpose of this policy to describe or explain parking requirements for every possible street configuration, however it remains the
responsibility of the vehicle operator to comply with the Road Rules.

Snippet from Cessnock Councils Parking Policy

It’s up to you the driver of the vehicle who should know where the imaginly line is drawn to where the nature strip or footway starts when there is no gutter or footpath or face hefty fines according to their own parking policy.

Did Councillors read and understand the policy they voted for before they voted for it? I’ll let you be the judge on that.

How can councillors vote on things they do not understand and how often does this happen? The council needs to be held accountable when they clearly vote on the policies they simply have not read and do not understand.

In this case the parking policy should be torn up, thrown in the bin before rangers start handing out fines for parking on the wrong side of the imaginary line.

All councillors voted in favor of the parking workshop except for Councillor Ian Olsen, who was dumbfounded as to why Councillors who voted on a policy two months ago needed to be re-educated on what they voted on. The workshop is not intended to bring changes to the policy, but to simply educate councillors on the current policy.