Private parking operators in Queensland will no longer have access to vehicle registration information under a new move by the state government to curb “dodgy practice”.
Closure of the regulatory loophole comes following a series of complaints regarding private parking operators being given access to motorists’ registration information, including names and addresses.
The regulation allowed companies to use this personal information in good faith at the start of litigation, a process that community members say is being abused.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the changes would begin from Monday, February 20, after his department found an area of the regulations “being misused” by parking operators.
Early findings from the review include potential misuse of this private data and the referral of unpaid demand notices to debt collectors.
“This issue was raised with me a few weeks (ago) by a number of people, including the member for Greenslopes Joe Kelly,” Mr Bailey said.
“We can’t have a situation where Queenslanders are being scared into a rip-off.
“The closure will be in place until we progress amendments later in 2023, which will include a thorough consultation process with those impacted by the changes.”
Mr Kelly said he had heard of many people in his electorate who had received “unfair fake fines” by way of the regulatory loophole.
It is hoped the closure will halt the issuing of fraudulent fees by private parking companies.
“People have been just doing a bit of shopping or going through a drive-through restaurant and ended up with a threat to pay $88 or face a debt collector – it’s simply unacceptable,” he said.
“There are times when people overstay their welcome in some carparks and there should be a course of action for that, but what we’ve been seeing is a rip-off of people just doing their shopping or grabbing a bite to eat.
“I look forward to seeing the regulations changed later this year.”
It is expected that legislative amendments restricting information releases will progress later in 2023 following a review and community consultation.
Story Credit: news.com.au