Previously the riders were able to park free in the Rocks, Pyrmont and Darling Harbour areas including outside designated bike-only zones as long as they adhered to the time restrictions.
However, the state reclaimed the land in January, according to the council, and installed private company parking meters at the end of August 2019.
The COS website was only changed on 17 September 2019 after several motorcyclists complained, according to Property NSW.
“Disputed infringements issued before the website was updated have been waived,” they say.
After our publication of the unfair fines, they have reversed that decision and now allow free motorcycle parking in those metered areas.
A Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokesperson told us:
We were recently made aware of inconsistencies between the government and the City of Sydney’s parking policies. We have now revised our parking guidelines and waived infringement notices relating to this discrepancy. Motorcycle and scooter riders no longer need to pay at any of the parking meters in our areas, however, must respect the time restrictions. Our policy is published on The Rocks website.
Day in court
However, Jin Weng says it is no victory for him after having to take a day’s personal leave to fight the fine in court.
“I pleaded guilty despite the inconsistent information published by council because I couldn’t afford the cost of another hearing,” he says.
“Legal counsel indicated it’s unlikely I can claim for my time even if I get a not guilty outcome, this is a shame as the courts should penalise councils and authorities for issuing fines in error otherwise there is no accountability for them to continually do this.
“It is unjust but I can see why most people just pay the fine as its multiple times the cost to challenge.
“I presented my supporting documents to the court during the mention, the case was subsequently dismissed meaning there is no penalty. I wouldn’t call it a victory given the circumstances, time, and stress incurred.”
Another fined Sydney rider, Andrew Johnstone, missed the change on the website and said the fines were unfair as there was not enough notice provided that the change had occurred.
He says the website has now been changed, but it “seems to say no and maybe”.