Locals pitch in to help pay huge fine
Wednesday, 25th May, 2016
By Darrin Manuel
People are banding together to help 85-year-old Reg Stacey after the pensioner received a whopping $531 fine for accidentally parking in a disabled space.
Mr Stacey, who suffered a heart attack in 2009 and has ongoing bowel complications from previous abdominal surgery, said he received the fine for parking illegally at the plaza for just a few minutes after having a bathroom emergency.
His story generated anger online, with many people voicing their disgust at the size of the fine and his appeal against it being turned down.
Local woman Brooke Lance was particularly incensed, and started taking donations on her Facebook page to help Mr Stacey cover the cost of the massive bill.
“I personally do not know this man but I do know if I was in his shoes I wouldn’t be able to foot the fine and be able to survive. He still needs to eat and pay his bills,” she posted.
“If you can dig deep and put some money together to help this man I am more than certain that he would be very appreciative of your help.”
Although donations have only been received for one day, $396 has already rolled in.
Mr Stacey contacted the BDT yesterday and said he was deeply grateful for the support.
“That’s fantastic, but I never really expected it,” he said.
However, he added that he was a little uneasy with the community footing the bill, and said the size of the fine was a result of the State Government squeezing more and more money from the average citizen.
“We shouldn’t have to live like this,” he said.
He said he would now “play it by ear” and hopes to gradually repay the donated money in future if possible.