A COOLUM mother struggling to make ends meet copped a $589 fine for parking in the wrong place in the extremely busy Birtinya area.
Isabelle Ting had no idea when she parked her car on a grass patch near the lake along Innovation Parkway that she had done so illegally.
She said there were tyre tracks on the area and around half a dozen others cars were parked there too.
There was no signage or no yellow line and she'd parked there previously without a problem.
But when she returned to her car on July 29 on her first day of a new job, she was shocked to find a $589 infringement notice on her windscreen.
Prior to securing her new job, she had been earning "about $20,000 to $30,000" a year operating her own cleaning business.
Ms Ting said her lack of job stability over the past 12 months had taken its toll and she was struggling to get back on her feet.
"To receive such a huge fine on my very first day at a new job is a real blow," she said.
She wrote to the council, respectfully requesting they look at all the circumstances, including photographic evidence of how well-used the area was, and consider waiving the fine.
"I did not mean to park illegally," she wrote in her letter.
"I unwittingly went back to park there on that date as I thought this must be allowed, given the lack of street parking available in an area that council has allowed corporate offices to be built, especially as the dozen other cars were there too.
"If many people have been caught out, may I suggest that it would be a community-oriented act towards good and law abiding citizens for the council to install signage?
"I respectfully request that you kindly waive the fine and also install signage or some type of fencing or chain across the gap, as it appears to be a thoroughfare with many people using it, so that the matter is clear to all."
Her request was unsuccessful.
"I received a letter late in September saying my request had been denied," Ms Ting said.
"They said there were no grounds for disallowing it."
Ms Ting now has until October 17 to find the $589 to pay the fine.
The Daily has sought comment from the council.
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