Council Behavior???
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Default Council Behavior???

    Hi Guys,
    a few weeks ago ROBO and I noticed a white CX parked in the street which had it's drivers window down. On closer inspection I found it was smashed, glass fragments everywhere.
    I left a note for the owner (on the dash)...with my mobile phone number...telling him/her that I was a Cit enthusiast, and could help with fixing the window, and getting the car back on the road etc.
    No reply, for a few weeks, till on the weekend this guy Peter calls me...explains what has happened to the car (long story) and asks me if I want it...then tells me I can have it!!
    OK....so I have to work out if I can put it somewhere...while I decide what to do with it...so I got that all sorted.
    Then I mentioned it at work, someone kindly offers the use of their tandem trailer...beauty....so I'll pick it up on my next day off. (this Saturday)
    I dropped over to have another look at it tonight on my way home from work...its gone.
    Apparently the council put a yellow sticker on it on Monday. It's rego ran out on Monday. The owner, who just offered me the car removed the sticker immediately he saw it when he got home. He didn't tell me.
    The council have come back Tuesday arvo and loaded it onto a truck and taken it away. ( Either that, or someone has stolen a 2 tonne car which wont start , and has no suspension, steering or brakes...not very likely).
    Apparently , now if I want it I have to
    1. Prove I am the owner and
    2. Pay a fine for leaving an unregistered car in the street.
    3. Pay a recovery release fee ( apparently about $220.00)
    4. Pay a fee of about $40.00 for each day they have MINDED the car.
    All of this is absolutely ridiculous...as far as I'm concerned.
    It will probably end up in Port Melbourne in a holding area, then be sold to the damaged car auctions. Or worse still...sold as scrap to Sims Metal.
    I'll talk to the Council tomorrow....but I expect to be given the run around. It's likely to be bye bye car I think....just all too hard now.
    I could have restored it....
    It is a real shame because it had a great paint job, and the interior was like NEW. It was an 80 model c-matic 2400. About 120,000 miles on the clock...new spheres etc etc.

    This car has spent most of it's life garaged...out of the weather. The inside of the car looked new, the headlining was plush like a new car...
    What do you guys think of this.....????
    Cheers...George 1/8th.

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    Last edited by George 1/8th; 28th July 2005 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Disposal

    The Council was just doing its job and was more than likely acting on complaint from a resident.

    My advice is to explain the situation to someone in authority, (not the customer service officer on the counter) and see what the options are. You may be able to suggest that due to the circumstances simply pay for the Council expenses and take a problem off there hands, as long as you can supply proof of the right to take ownership. When I was running this our towing expenses in WA were $35-00.

    In WA the car will sit for two months minimum in the weather with window down filling with water. Not a good scenario. Can you ask to tape the window off to the elements?

    In WA most will be auctioned off if not claimed so follow the car that way. You may find that there will not be a lot of interest in it and you may be sole bidder. Some councils do this in WA by tender process so again decide what the car is worth to you and submit a tender.

    The best thing is find out from the Council how this can be resolved or if not what the process is to purchase the vehicle when they dispose of it.

    BTW all the cars we disposed off cost us more to advertise than we ever recovered by tender!

    Graelin

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts cruiserman's Avatar
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    That very problem was the reason I was given my first CX ie please come and take it before the council charges me to do it. Interestingly enough it had a smashed drivers door window as well.
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  4. #4
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    When I was looking for a CX to buy, I looked at one that had been parked on the nature strip, and the guy selling it said it had been broken into, and all that was stolen was the Golf Ball ashtray.
    Terry

  5. #5
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    Councils in the Sydney area are getting pretty brutal about this sort of thing. I think there is something a bit bent going on in the background with the "contractors" who take the cars away. A CCC of NSW member a couple of years ago noticed that early one morning a sticker had been placed on his DS hydraulique parked in the street - he was in a hurry to get to work. He came home that arvo to find the car gone. When he made inquiries the next day he was informed the car had been removed and crushed
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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Someone should make a case of this... take it to a court and get a ruling...

    They have to recognise that a car might well be someone's property, rather than a junkpile someone wants to get rid of!

    Oh, isn't the street public property?

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Someone should make a case of this... take it to a court and get a ruling...

    They have to recognise that a car might well be someone's property, rather than a junkpile someone wants to get rid of!

    Oh, isn't the street public property?
    Apparently we PAY for the street, but the Council owns it.

    Here is an update. The Council has it. I can get it if I pay for their cost to tow it!! Then I have to go to Port melb to get it.
    No problem. It's the principal of the thing.
    And now it's the money. If I want it I have to pay. The parts are worth it. I think I'll do it.
    I'll have to get a stat dec re ownership.
    I'll keep everyone posted.
    Cheers..George.!/8th.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts edgedweller's Avatar
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    Thankfully the Unley Council in Adelaide didn't work so fast.

    ed ge

  9. #9
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    Default Court ruling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    Someone should make a case of this... take it to a court and get a ruling...

    They have to recognise that a car might well be someone's property, rather than a junkpile someone wants to get rid of!

    Oh, isn't the street public property?
    The court ruling would far outway the value of most cars impounded.

    In this case the Council appears to have given warning by stickering the car and having received no responce carried out its obligations under the law it administers.

    Following a court case ruling (Pyreenies, from memory spelling may be wrong) Councils can be found liable to compenste individuals if the have a statutory duty do perform and do not perform this duty resulting in injury or damage. This has become a major concern for Local Government and as a result commonly neglected areas of enforcement are now being enforced as if the L/G can't prove they have been actively enforcing these they may not be covered by insurance.

    Now in this type of instance we are talking about abandoned vehicles and most Councils have a policy on this which is put in place before any vehicle is moved.

    Yes I found one officer who did not follow the policy and he was ordered to personally return the vehicle to it,s place on the verge!

    We took all resonable steps to locate the owner and in most cases they did not want to be found!

    Abandoned vehicles are a huge problem for Councils and a direct result of this is we all pay extras in our rates.

    In Rockingham we used to have up to 40 vehicles most heaps of Junk costing us towing and a huge amount of administrative time to maybe get $5-00 for the vehicle.

    There are always stories about corruption going on in this area and I am sure it does and can happen.

    It is always easy to blame the authorities who by and large are doing a duty imposed on them by the community. If they don't do there job they get jumped on and if the do it same happens!

    In my exerience most officers are human just like us and in any industry you wil get exeptions to the rule.

    Ray one of the possible difficulties facing us myself included is the Neighbourhood Amenties laws or equivalents.

    How many derelict cars can be on a property and what constitutes this. Now my Dauphine has not been driven due to engine problem and I had it up on axle stands in carport. I bet some people in the street would consider my car junk!

    Now a place nearby had a whole front yard covered in cars that I do consider to be junk. It was a real eyesore on the neighbourhood.

    These are difficult areas and often end up in current affaire shows on tv. Local govt has to field the brunt of this as the cars can harbour rats, become a fire hazard etc.

    Graelin

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    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Geez, you guys go the hard way about things; just bribe some bugger.
    It was working well with the dog catchers in Brisbane a while back. Go to pub, see "the man" tell him what kind of dog you wanted and bingo, order filled.
    You can bet quids, the guy doing collecting has a mate who is a wrecker or backyard dealer who buys most cars at the abandoned auctions so he'll be just keeping his stock on hand for him.
    Local government is where they usually do their apprenticeships on working the system before they head off to greener pastures, so ask the collector (or the 'officer in charge with the important sounding title) what he normally gets and offer him a few bucks more; he'll probably have it sitting on your doorstep in the morning.

    Alan S
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  11. #11
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    Default Allan

    After 18 years doing this job I do find that whether tongue in cheek or otherwise something of an insult on persons who do the job correctly. Please tell me your occupation and I will research any items of corruption for you

    Thanks

    Graelin

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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    The events described include taking a car just two days after the notice was applied...

    Is that to be considered reasonable? I think not. What if the owner was away on business? What if they had a real difficulty getting it in the drive, which apparently they did?

    One of the other overriding factors in Local Council actions is that the Council frequently has the prerogative to choose whether they take the action or not. Usually they will take the action because of complaints, as mentioned earlier. The reality is that you need good neighbours who will go to you rather than complain behind your back.

    But there has to be a test case to determine what is junk and what is not... how to put a case to have a car ruled as 'collectable' or 'useable' or whatever... or parameters that determine otherwise.

    And they must be very flexible, because of the tastes of people who collect cars. We might not care if an FE Holden is trashed, but there are those out there who would cry about it.

    Someone has to stand up for the rights of collectors and enthusiasts.

  13. #13
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    Default Removal of car

    Ray in this case it appears that the owner knew about the intended outcome as he removed the notice.

    His value of the car was NIL he was going to give it away.
    It appears he the registered owner did not care.

    So in this particular case the car was considered worthless by the owner.

    As to the two days notice this is debatable. The law in WA was to the effect that after the prescribed time the car may be towed although many Local Governments adopt a policy where it will be seven days before it will be towed.

    It appears in this instance that the car was unregistered so presumably may not be insured again a liability issue may arise if the Council left it there and it was involved in an accident.

    Without knowing the full history it is hard to be able to decide on whether or not the Council acted correctly also your laws may well be differant.

    Ray your point about other cases is valid in that where should the Government power stand in relation to property, I expect that this will be tested over the ability of government to interfere in the home owners use of his property.

    Unfortunatly one or two cars stored discretly may not offend however some homes just become junk yards with wild oats growing thru rusting hulks and that is when action is usually taken.

    On another note there was one local authority over here who was requested to take away a car by the owner unfortunatly the Ranger made sure that the wrong car was taken leaving his parts wreck behind and putting his good car to the crusher!!!

    Graelin

  14. #14
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graelin
    Ray in this case it appears that the owner knew about the intended outcome as he removed the notice.

    His value of the car was NIL he was going to give it away.
    It appears he the registered owner did not care.

    So in this particular case the car was considered worthless by the owner.

    As to the two days notice this is debatable. The law in WA was to the effect that after the prescribed time the car may be towed although many Local Governments adopt a policy where it will be seven days before it will be towed.

    It appears in this instance that the car was unregistered so presumably may not be insured again a liability issue may arise if the Council left it there and it was involved in an accident.

    Without knowing the full history it is hard to be able to decide on whether or not the Council acted correctly also your laws may well be differant.

    Ray your point about other cases is valid in that where should the Government power stand in relation to property, I expect that this will be tested over the ability of government to interfere in the home owners use of his property.

    Unfortunatly one or two cars stored discretly may not offend however some homes just become junk yards with wild oats growing thru rusting hulks and that is when action is usually taken.

    On another note there was one local authority over here who was requested to take away a car by the owner unfortunatly the Ranger made sure that the wrong car was taken leaving his parts wreck behind and putting his good car to the crusher!!!

    Graelin
    It might be uninsured while sitting on the road.... But exactly what damage is a STATIONARY car going to cause. You mean if some d!ckhead drives into it ... It'll be the stationary cars fault

    Regardless of him ripping the sticker off it .... 2days ??? That's just bloody rediculous. Why wouldn't there be a 28day warning sticker put on it (incase owner is away/can't be moved immediatly/owner sick(possibly in hospital etc, etc) ... There's no excuse for STEALING someones car that's parked in the front of there OWN HOUSE only 2days after a warning (that was not given to the owner in person) was issued. They would have KNOWN the registered address of the car is the house it's parked infront of ... Why didn't they knock on the door and say "Were collecting in two days time if it's not moved"

    Sorry I think this is a crock of sh!t. If someone grabbed a car from the front of my house I'd be seeing a lawyer about now.

    seeya,
    Shane L.

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    I think what is at question here is the over zealousness of the council in question and obviously other councils around Aus.

    Graelin, it sounds like your council plays by the rules, but some are so paranoid these days that it is almost as though the tow truck follows the council inspector down the street.
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    Default Process

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    It might be uninsured while sitting on the road.... But exactly what damage is a STATIONARY car going to cause. You mean if some d!ckhead drives into it ... It'll be the stationary cars fault

    Regardless of him ripping the sticker off it .... 2days ??? That's just bloody rediculous. Why wouldn't there be a 28day warning sticker put on it (incase owner is away/can't be moved immediatly/owner sick(possibly in hospital etc, etc) ... There's no excuse for STEALING someones car that's parked in the front of there OWN HOUSE only 2days after a warning (that was not given to the owner in person) was issued. They would have KNOWN the registered address of the car is the house it's parked infront of ... Why didn't they knock on the door and say "Were collecting in two days time if it's not moved"

    Sorry I think this is a crock of sh!t. If someone grabbed a car from the front of my house I'd be seeing a lawyer about now.

    seeya,
    Shane L.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    There is a due process to be followed and in the way we used to do this was check registered owners details and usually they are out of date for cars that are left in street abandoned, Also we would sticker the car and in addition speak to resident of house ajacent to the car or card the letter box only after exhausting these measures did we tow.

    One of my staff did not follow these procedures once and he now is better suited to cleaning PCB Valves and he had to return the car! Yes there is a proces to get rid of staff who are not suited to the role.

    People will claim anything and everything against Local Govt and they do try to manage this risk. (How about the thick adult that slid down kids slide in Nedlands and got $10,000 for cutting his finger)!

    I do not know this Local Authority or the situation so it is difficult to argue for or against.

    What I would like to do is point out that there are many pressures from ratepayers to take action and in this case maybe that was happening, we don,t know.

    Maybe the Council had talked to the owner? Again we may never know.

    Are you familiar with the broken windows principle? Basicaly this is where if damage and vandalism is left it increases the risk of vandalism in the viscinity.
    There is other research from america that streets that were deliberatly littered directly increased criminal activity and vandalism.

    This car appeared to have been vandalised!

    Yes you have a strong opinion although I gaurantee that not all persons living in the area will share them. As such local government officers are put in a difficult situation, act according to individual wishes or what the law may require them to do..

    If the law is wrong have it changed don,t take it out on individuals who are working under instruction and procedures layed down by the employer.

    If they are not working accordingly they are at risk themselves.

    I do not work in this area anymore and I only aim to balance this discussion from 18 yrs experience of being the piggy in the middle.

    Graelin

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    Shane surely you don't expect an unregistered car to be able to be parked on the road? There is a funny story from Carlton or Fitzroy (inner Melb suburbs full of terrace houses so parking is at a premium) where a bloke kept paying rego on a big late 50s Cadillac and had it parked out the front of his house, presumably to stop anybody else using the space. He never drove the car and it ended up as a pile of rust, but since it was registered (and he never let the council take it away as an abandoned car ) it was ok.

    It would be great if councils would contact relevant car clubs if they come across examples of cars like the one in this case, and let them take it away rather than tow & crush or flog it off and lose money.

  18. #18
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graelin
    After 18 years doing this job I do find that whether tongue in cheek or otherwise something of an insult on persons who do the job correctly. Please tell me your occupation and I will research any items of corruption for you

    Thanks

    Graelin

    Don't get too precious about it unless you're of the opinion that all councils and their employees act in good faith and honesty, and if you think that, I'll see if I can grab a copy of a few Royal Commissions and Criminal Justice reports for you to scan through at your liesure.
    I was after all, quoting facts that were happening in a Council close to Brisbane and I have heard of it in other places so it's not all that uncommon and yes FWIW, it was tongue in cheek.
    If you feel inclined to want to take the piss out of the trades and professions I've been involved with, be my guest; I do it all the time myself.
    Then again, I don't really take myself all that seriously.


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  19. #19
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graelin
    There is a due process to be followed and in the way we used to do this was check registered owners details and usually they are out of date for cars that are left in street abandoned, Also we would sticker the car and in addition speak to resident of house ajacent to the car or card the letter box only after exhausting these measures did we tow.

    One of my staff did not follow these procedures once and he now is better suited to cleaning PCB Valves and he had to return the car! Yes there is a proces to get rid of staff who are not suited to the role.

    People will claim anything and everything against Local Govt and they do try to manage this risk. (How about the thick adult that slid down kids slide in Nedlands and got $10,000 for cutting his finger)!

    I do not know this Local Authority or the situation so it is difficult to argue for or against.

    What I would like to do is point out that there are many pressures from ratepayers to take action and in this case maybe that was happening, we don,t know.

    Maybe the Council had talked to the owner? Again we may never know.

    Are you familiar with the broken windows principle? Basicaly this is where if damage and vandalism is left it increases the risk of vandalism in the viscinity.
    There is other research from america that streets that were deliberatly littered directly increased criminal activity and vandalism.

    This car appeared to have been vandalised!

    Yes you have a strong opinion although I gaurantee that not all persons living in the area will share them. As such local government officers are put in a difficult situation, act according to individual wishes or what the law may require them to do..

    If the law is wrong have it changed don,t take it out on individuals who are working under instruction and procedures layed down by the employer.

    If they are not working accordingly they are at risk themselves.

    I do not work in this area anymore and I only aim to balance this discussion from 18 yrs experience of being the piggy in the middle.

    Graelin
    Thanks Graelin, your input has been very informative. I now understand the situation from both sides.
    However, I have found out that the sticker the Council puts on the cars is a 24 hour notice. !!!
    Now that is absolutely ridiculous. That's not much time to act. I didn't see any notice when I looked at the car at about 11am on Monday. Apparently it went at about 3pm Tuesday, which would have been 24 hrs after they put the sticker on the car.
    As I have to work till Saturday this week, I had no chance ...yet I was ready to remove it asap.
    Even though the car no longer goes I'm planning to go and collect it, which will be a bastard of a job...but it's the principle of the thing.
    Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but hey...everyone needs a hobby...mine is old CXs, and this one will not need much to make it a good car again.
    Cheers....George 1/8th

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George 1/8th
    Thanks Graelin, your input has been very informative. I now understand the situation from both sides.
    However, I have found out that the sticker the Council puts on the cars is a 24 hour notice. !!!
    Now that is absolutely ridiculous. That's not much time to act. I didn't see any notice when I looked at the car at about 11am on Monday. Apparently it went at about 3pm Tuesday, which would have been 24 hrs after they put the sticker on the car.
    As I have to work till Saturday this week, I had no chance ...yet I was ready to remove it asap.
    Even though the car no longer goes I'm planning to go and collect it, which will be a bastard of a job...but it's the principle of the thing.
    Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but hey...everyone needs a hobby...mine is old CXs, and this one will not need much to make it a good car again.
    Cheers....George 1/8th
    I hope this car looks visually like a peice of sh!t. I find no excuses for the council taking a reasonable looking car with only 24hours notice....... How can this legal ?????? imagine if repo companies tried this ... Do you think they' get away with this

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    Quote Originally Posted by George 1/8th
    Thanks Graelin, your input has been very informative. I now understand the situation from both sides.
    However, I have found out that the sticker the Council puts on the cars is a 24 hour notice. !!!
    Now that is absolutely ridiculous. That's not much time to act. I didn't see any notice when I looked at the car at about 11am on Monday. Apparently it went at about 3pm Tuesday, which would have been 24 hrs after they put the sticker on the car.
    As I have to work till Saturday this week, I had no chance ...yet I was ready to remove it asap.
    Even though the car no longer goes I'm planning to go and collect it, which will be a bastard of a job...but it's the principle of the thing.
    Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but hey...everyone needs a hobby...mine is old CXs, and this one will not need much to make it a good car again.
    Cheers....George 1/8th
    George - I think if you are working so hard as you indicate - then enjoy your hobby - you have worked for it - and it would seem that you are going to get a whole lot of car for next to nothing. Maybe you have stumbled across a CX which has been previously very well maintained (at least paint & interior as you indicate) up until just recently and the owner or last new owner just got frustrated. I'll give you a window from under the house if you like - (driving to Vic to see my Dad near Bendigo sometime in the next few days). Do you live near Port Melbourne? The last 2 times that I have taken a CX on the Spirit of Tas from Port M - people have cheered as I drove the car onto the boat - they are becoming distinctive. Well the real truth is that I am usually running late such that I am the last car on and maybe that is that is the reason for the attention!


    In defence of Alan S - he has got a great sense of humour - and I reckon that his comments were probably spot on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    I hope this car looks visually like a peice of sh!t. I find no excuses for the council taking a reasonable looking car with only 24hours notice....... How can this legal ?????? imagine if repo companies tried this ... Do you think they' get away with this

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Refer to the first post - the car had been there for weeks, the day the rego runs out it gets the 24hr notice... Obviously they had marked it in the diary. I do agree though 24hrs is ridiculous though

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    Default Me get precious!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Don't get too precious about it unless you're of the opinion that all councils and their employees act in good faith and honesty, and if you think that, I'll see if I can grab a copy of a few Royal Commissions and Criminal Justice reports for you to scan through at your liesure.
    I was after all, quoting facts that were happening in a Council close to Brisbane and I have heard of it in other places so it's not all that uncommon and yes FWIW, it was tongue in cheek.
    If you feel inclined to want to take the piss out of the trades and professions I've been involved with, be my guest; I do it all the time myself.
    Then again, I don't really take myself all that seriously.


    Alan S
    No offence taken but not all of us are the same.

    I went to Qld in early nineties to the largest Local Govt looking at their animal control section and it was a trip to the dark ages.

    The animal control officers vehicles were a mess with rubbish strewen on the floors and poorly equiped and demoralised workers.

    By the way I do have major concerns with Local Government and I will NEVER work for one EVER again.

    I will however stick up for the many officers who do the job well and get tarrred with the bad image that current affairs loves to promote.

    I do not agree with any corruption and will not be a part of it. I spent 18yrs trying to do something constructive ie at one stage (giving up my annual leave) working with Ithica TAFE to develop training courses at a National Level for the Industry.

    When I walked in my door after this 18 yrs my wife said "Did you finally realise that you couldnt change the system!" I kind of reluctantly have to agree with her.

    I also find that this 24 hour notice vehicle removal notice is not what I would call fair, that is why i implemented that we also place such notices in the leter box so the owner was informed.

    The law in WA is 48 hrs but most policies were for seven days.

    Only once did we tow a vehicle that was an Eastern States rego so untraceable in WA and found out later that the owner was taken ill and in hospital. We gave him his car with no fines or charges.

    In this instance i did find a tow truck driver acting out of line and I cancelled his companies contract immediately.

    I am not naieve enough to relaise that where there is temptation some will cross the line, and these people should be dealt with appropriatly.

    Yes the Royal commissions I bet they start at the top of the tree in Local Govt.

    Graelin

  24. #24
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    My issues start and end with people being allowed to dictate what sort of interests or hobbies their neighbours might have...

    After all, this is what it's about. Neighbours complaining about neighbours' possessions or property!

    There has to be more 'live and let live' go on. Like there is (generally) in the bush. Accept that some people will have a few cars in the yard, will work on them themselves, will need to have a few parts strewn around their lawn as they do so, or as they sort things out.

    As long as the important issues are addressed... vermin control being principal among them.

    Other than that, any attempt to dispossess people of their property should be just like any other theft in the eyes of the law.

  25. #25
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by George 1/8th
    Apparently we PAY for the street, but the Council owns it.....
    No... not at all!

    We own it, they control it, we pay them to control it and we have a say in how they control it.

    .....Here is an update. The Council has it. I can get it if I pay for their cost to tow it!! Then I have to go to Port melb to get it.
    No problem. It's the principal of the thing.
    And now it's the money. If I want it I have to pay. The parts are worth it. I think I'll do it.
    I'll have to get a stat dec re ownership.
    I'll keep everyone posted.
    Cheers..George.!/8th.
    You don't make clear here if it's the $500 touch or a lesser amount. I would continue fighting on that basis.

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