ONCE upon a time, it was quite common for Bathurst Regional Council to issue more than 200 parking fines per month to motorists who disobeyed the rules.
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Now, there are months where the number of fines issued is in the single digits.
Council took a more lenient approach to parking during the COVID-19 pandemic, only fining people for high priority safety issues, however it told the community in September 2022 that it would be escalating its enforcement.
Three months have passed since then, but the number of fines has remained relatively low.
Data from Revenue NSW shows that in October, the first full month after council's warning, just eight penalty infringement notices (PINs) were issued.
November wasn't much better, with only 23 PINs handed out to offending motorists.
There is no data available for December at this time, with that expected to be released in January.
Looking at the data available to the end of November, just 123 PINs have been issues for the 2022-23 financial year so far.
For the entire 2021-22 financial year, the Revenue NSW data shows 119 fines were issued, with February being the busiest month with 50 PINs.
The total for the financial year was less than half of that seen in the year prior, 2020-21, where there were 282 fines handed out.
These figures are a massive drop compared to pre-pandemic times.
Australia experienced its first COVID-19 lockdown in March, 2020.
From the beginning of July, 2019 to the end of February, 2020 council had issued 1974 fines and each month had seen the number of fines total three digits.
There has not been a month since March, 2020 where the number of fines issued reached triple digits.
In the last full financial year before the pandemic, 2018-19, there were 2271 PINs issued to motorists in Bathurst.
As a result of fining less people, council has seen a drop in its revenue.
The 2271 PINs issued in 2018-19 had a total value of $310,996 and in 2019-20 the total value was $421,581.
Since the end of that financial year, the total value of fines has not exceeded $90,000.
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