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Councils set and enforce parking and traffic management restrictions in accordance with the Roads Act 1993, the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999, the Road Rules 2008 and various guidelines issued by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority.
If you wish to contest a penalty notice issued to you by a local council, you should refer to the penalty notice form as this should contain information on your options:
- requesting a review of the penalty notice (by the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) or by the council that issued the penalty notice, if it has an internal review process), or
- contesting the penalty notice in a Local Court.
Note: Please choose carefully as you may only be able to pursue one of the above options.
If you are unsure whether to request a review or choose to have the matter heard by a court, SDRO Review Guidelines may assist you in your decision. A copy of the SDRO Review Guidelines can be found on the SDRO website at: http://www.sdro.nsw.gov.au.
There are strict time limits associated with requesting a review or applying to have the matter heard by the Court. Further details are available on the SDRO website.
Requesting a review of the penalty noticeThe primary penalty notice review mechanism is through the formal appeals process administered by the SDRO.
If your penalty notice can still be reviewed by the SDRO, you will need to be able to provide documentary evidence to support your case. Examples of the circumstances that the SDRO will review and the types of evidence, documents and information required to review a penalty notice are available in the SDRO Review Guidelines, which can be downloaded from the SDRO website.
Councils are able to exercise discretion in withdrawing a penalty notice at any time up until an enforcement order is issued by the SDRO. However, as this is a matter for each council to determine, not all councils have in place an internal penalty notice review process.
If you have not received an enforcement order from the SDRO you may contact the council that issued you the penalty notice to find out if an internal review is available.
You can find the contact details of all NSW local councils in the Local Government Directory on the Division of Local Government homepage:
Internal Review Guidelines, released by the Department of Attorney General and Justice, provide a standard to assist councils and other agencies to conduct internal reviews of penalty notices in a fair, impartial, and consistent manner in accordance with the law. You can read the guidelines at: http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/legislation_policy/ll_lpd.nsf/pages/lp_lp_cautionguidelines
If an enforcement order has been issued you should contact the SDRO on telephone 1300 605 855 to discuss the options available to you, if you have not done so already.
Contesting the matter in the local court
You may wish to contact your Local Court, which should be able to provide advice in relation to your options to contest the matter in Court.
A list of NSW local courts, including contact details and services, can be found on the Department of Attorney General and Justice website at: