Peter Pearce is going to fight an infringement notice he was given for parking on a yellow line.Elizabeth is being cared for by Peter and lives in the house the infringement occured.
Peter Pearce is going to fight an infringement notice he was given for parking on a yellow line.Elizabeth is being cared for by Peter and lives in the house the infringement occured. Warren Lynam

Council fines carer while wheeling client inside home

A GOLDEN Beach resident can't use her wheelchair access point without her carer copping a fine by the same council that approved the ramp.

Peter Pearce has been Elizabeth Ballantyne's carer for several years and had encountered no previous problems with parking on the yellow line out the front of the Landsborough Pde home, which was painted there before the access was built.

Ms Ballantyne's mobility issues have left her wheelchair bound for the most part with the Sunshine Coast Council approving an access ramp from her gate to her balcony about two years ago.

The 75-year-old can still stand and walk, but only for very short periods of time, according to Mr Pearce.

Several weeks ago, Mr Pearce was parked out the front of the home to put Ms Ballantyne in her wheelchair and take her inside when two council officers came over and told him he couldn't stop there.

Despite telling them about the approved access point, Mr Pearce said the officers left him a $115 fine while he was wheeling her into her home.

Mr Pearce claimed he's never parked in the spot for more than five minutes and will always "race out" to move the car when he's done.

After having no joy getting a traffic control officer to come to the home and look into the situation, Mr Pearce said he's preparing to take the matter to court rather than pay the fine.

"I've always had doubt in the back of my mind whether I can pull up on the yellow line, but I got no alternative," he said.

Do you think council should use more discretion when fining people?

This poll ended on 13 September 2017.

Current Results

Yes - they can be very heavy handed.

93%

No - rules are rules, no matter who you are.

2%

I think they do a good job already - there's no tougher job than being a parking inspector!

3%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"Unless I get a parking spot across the road, if I'm lucky and then I've got to walk through a maze of traffic with her.

"If I park across the road she's got nothing to support herself while I get the wheelchair out."

Ms Ballantyne currently has to use palm trees next to the road to steady herself while Mr Pearce prepares her chair.

To add insult to injury, Mr Pearce said the woman's mother had previously donated a parcel of land to council for laneway access between Landsborough Pde and Kennedy Pde.

Caloundra MP Mark McArdle said it was "grossly unfair" the woman "simply can't get out of a motor vehicle because of a gold line".

"Bureaucracy should never take away the rights of somebody... to do daily activities that you and I take for granted," he said.

Mr Pearce is now calling on council to provide a way for him to get Ms Ballantyne into her home without receiving another fine.

"She needs access to her front gate... there's no ifs or buts about it," Mr Pearce said.

"Council's just not willing to put a residents only parking spot there, just (a) temporary parking spot."

Council advised they were unable to comment on the situation as the "matter is currently awaiting a determination before the court".

Division 2 councillor Tim Dwyer said as the matter would be dealt with in court his ability to comment on the "rights or wrongs" of the issue were limited.


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