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  • Writer's pictureCreevey Horrell Lawyers

DISPUTING A FINE OR INFRINGMENT IN BRISBANE

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Brisbane City Council issues infringement notices for a range of offences, including:

  • animal,

  • local law,

  • state legislative breaches, and

  • illegal parking.

If a person is of the view that an infringement notice should be withdrawn, a request can be made for review by the Brisbane City Council.


Critically, the Brisbane City Council has a three-stage dispute process:


  1. Stage One – Local Level Review;

  2. Stage Two – Disputes Commissioner Review; and

  3. Stage Three – External Review.


During stage one of the review process, the Council will investigate the matters raised in the appeal and determine whether there are sufficient grounds to withdraw or uphold the fine or infringement. A person must lodge their appeal to Council within 28 days from the date the infringement was issued to avoid further notices and additional costs.


If a person disagrees with the outcome of a Council decision from stage one, they can request a review from the Council’s Disputes Commissioner. However, this option is only available if the infringement was issued for offences regarding animals, environment, malls, parking, pool fences, signage, water, and vegetation. The Disputes Commissioner is an independent office within the Council with the ability to overturn or uphold the stage one decision.


To initiate stage three of the review process, a person can elect to have their case heard in the Magistrates Court. Details of this option are included on the back of the infringement notice.


The Council considers a range of circumstances with respect to whether an infringement notice will be successfully withdrawn. Provided there is sufficient evidence, these considerations include serious medical circumstances, mechanical breakdown, faulty parking meters, failing to display a disability parking permit, and whether a parking sign was missing, damaged or faded.


However, the Council will not consider other circumstances, such as financial hardship, whether preferrable methods of payment were available at parking meters, and whether it was a person’s first offence.


Interestingly, if incorrect details are included in the infringement, an administrative error within the application of the infringement, an incorrect offence stated, or the infringement was issued in error, the infringement may also be successfully withdrawn.


In 2018, Brisbane local Paul Sutherland took his $91 parking infringement to the Brisbane Magistrates Court, where he was successful after disputing the fine for more than a year.


Ultimately, although Brisbane City Council delivered 254,000 infringement in the 2017-18 financial year, only 42,500 drivers appealed – resulting in just over 13,100 tickets being quashed.

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