In October 2016 Dr Joshua Mann was issued with a $91 parking fine by the Sunshine Coast Council for allegedly “parking on a nature strip, adjacent to a length of road in a built-up area”.
Dr Mann was, (presumably), unimpressed.
While visiting his wife, Dr Mann had parked on a grassed area on the Mudjimba esplanade, across from a hotel, after being invited to do so by management of the hotel, because the hotel had no available car parks.
After attempts by Dr Mann to reason with the Council were unsuccessful, Dr Mann decided to contest the fine in the Caloundra Magistrates Court.
Dr Mann represented himself at trial.
The law and evidence
The relevant part of the transport regulation in issue provided that a driver must not stop on a nature strip adjacent to a length of road in a “built-up area”.
The definition of “built-up area” in the regulation provided:
Built-up area, in relation to a length of road, means an area in which either of the following is present for a distance of at least 500m or, if the length of road is shorter than 500m, for the whole road –
- buildings, not over 100m apart, on land next to the road;
- street lights not over 100m apart.
The evidence at trial was that the road in question was 1,300m long, and that there were hotel buildings in the area which were less than 100m apart, but that the buildings did not continue for 500m.