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Guide to Councils

Roads and parking

Councils in Victoria are responsible for the planning, construction and maintenance of some of the roads within their area. They are also responsible for some management and restrictions on the use of local roads, and the management and enforcement of parking regulations.

Road management

Councils are responsible for the construction and maintenance of some, but not all roads in their municipality. It is the smaller, local roads that are usually the responsibility of council and this involves monitoring the standard of these roads and undertaking repairs when required. It should be noted that the costs of maintaining roads can be significant and councils usually have to prioritise road construction and maintenance projects.

Main roads (or arterial roads) and undeclared roads are usually the responsibility of VicRoads. All road agencies keep a register of public roads to determine the coordinating road authority for a particular road.

Each council's performance for Roads can be viewed and compared in the Compare Councils section of this site. To do this, click on the service area icon, select your council from the filter, then use the checkbox to select three additional similar councils for comparison from the list.

Road Management Plan

All councils keep Road Management Plans that cover all the roads for which they are responsible. A council’s Road Management Plan outlines its responsibilities, includes a list of its road assets and details the standards of service, maintenance and construction for roads in each municipality.

Each plan describes how a council will inspect, maintain and repair the public roads for which it is responsible, to better meet community expectations, and ensure local roads are safe.

Special charge schemes for road construction

Where road works will provide a special benefit to particular properties, councils may levy special rates or charges on the owners of those properties to pay for all or part of the cost of the works. This power is limited in a number of ways and is subject to certain consultation and objection processes.

Council roads and traffic powers

Councils have a number of powers in relation to local roads. These are described in Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1989, the Road Management Act 2004 and the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

These include powers to:

  • discontinue roads
  • deviate roads
  • alter road levels or widths
  • rename roads
  • erect road signs
  • require people to number their premises.

Councils also have a number of powers in regard to traffic under Schedule 11 of the Local Government Act. These include powers to restrict the use of roads in some circumstances, as well as some powers to determine speed limits. Councils also have powers in regard to parking and may issue special parking permits, remove abandoned vehicles and place or remove barriers on roads.

Parking

Councils are responsible for local parking arrangements in their municipality. This includes issuing parking permits and enforcing parking regulations.

Parking permits

Councils may issue parking permits for priority parking in particular areas. It is not uncommon for councils, particularly in busy metropolitan areas, to issue parking permits for residents in residential areas and for businesses in business precincts.

Councils also issue disability permits.

Parking fines

Parking laws exist to ensure safe and fair use of Victoria’s roads for everyone’s benefit. People who park illegally risk being fined.

People authorised by the council may issue parking tickets or tow vehicles when someone has parked illegally.

A person who receives a parking fine has 28 days to pay the fine, which will generally incur additional costs if not paid within the time limit. If a fine continues to remain unpaid, a warrant can be issued and property can be seized and sold to satisfy the amount owing. If you are having difficulties paying your fine, contact your council to discuss payment arrangements.

If you have received a parking fine from a council but believe you should not have to pay the fine, you can write to the council explaining your objection and asking for the fine to be withdrawn. If you are dissatisfied with the council’s handling of your fine, or your request for the fine to be withdrawn, you may lodge a complaint with the Victorian Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can make enquiries or undertake an investigation and make recommendations to the council. However, the Ombudsman’s Office cannot overturn your fine.

You may also request that your case be heard by a magistrate’s court, which does have the power to overturn your fine. If you succeed at the court hearing the fine will be withdrawn. However, if you are unsuccessful you will have to pay the fine plus additional court and council costs.

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