Parking headache in Bossley Park

A BOSSLEY Park resident who parks his five-tonne truck less than eight metres from his neighbour's bedroom window has sparked not only their rage but that of Fairfield deputy mayor George Barcha.

Councillor Barcha says he has spent the past year lobbying the council to stop the truck from being parked on the owner's front lawn.

His complaint is based on the disruption it causes to the neighbours, possible noise and pollution, as well as the damage it has caused to the kerb due to the driver illegally reversing over it and the footpath to access his front lawn.

"It concerns me that the matter is not just a conflict between two neighbours like some are describing it but there is an issue with the truck driving over council assets and causing damage, and noises from the truck in the early hours of the morning causing disturbance to neighbours," Cr Barcha said.

"This might escalate to a domestic conflict between neighbours so I think someone should take responsibility and try to resolve this issue so it does not become a more serious matter."

In a letter dated April 27, 2010, to the complaining resident [who preferred to remain anonymous] the council states that while the truck owner can "not park this vehicle on the street, as it exceeds the weight of vehicles that are allowed to do so" the owner is "permitted to park the vehicle on his property".

A Fairfield council spokeswoman said the council was aware of the dispute and the "truck owner has been reminded by council that it is an offence under Australian Road Rules to drive across a nature strip, unless via an approved driveway layback".

"However, council officers are not authorised to enforce this road rule and it is therefore a matter for the NSW Police."

Cr Barcha said the statement contradicted another letter he had received from the council on November 21, stating it had the authority to fine the driver.

". . . we have found a mechanism through the Roads Act where we can issue a fine to the owner of the truck and will organise the letter today", the letter stated.

A letter was sent from the council to the truck owner a day later informing him that the kerb and footpath at the front of the property had been damaged by the truck.

However, no fine was issued.

"Investigations by council reveal the damaged kerb and footpath have been caused by unauthorised vehicles driving over the nature strip, which is prohibited under the Australian Road Rules 289 Driving on nature strip," it stated.

"Council is required to undertake repair works to ensure the area is made safe for pedestrians. Council's parking officers have also been advised to monitor the area to take action on any breach of the Australian Road Rules occurring in the future."

The truck owner, Simon, told the Champion he had previously asked the council if he could turn the kerb/gutter into a small ramp in a bid to solve the problem but the council refused.

The council spokeswoman said property owners could make an application to the council to build a driveway layback, which would be assessed on its merits.

"Any damage to public assets, which can be proven to have been caused by vehicles, is recoverable in accordance with council's published fees and charges 2013-14," she said.

The spokeswoman also said the council had a truck parking station at Hassall Street, Wetherill Park, for the use of truck owners.

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