WARRNAMBOOL is certainly not the only regional town where parking on nature strips is accepted as normal practice.
In the main, no one complains and everyone does it from time to time.
But the fact is it is illegal in Victoria to park on nature strips and after years of not bothering too much about it, Warrnambool is undergoing a change.
City council local laws officers plan to slowly transition the long-held practice of parking on nature strips or in parks, not with a ticket blitz but with a softly-softly approach aimed at achieving cultural change.
It won’t be easy and it won’t be done in a week, but the fact is motorists have been allowed to get away with breaking the law for as long as anyone can remember and the time has come for it to stop. Last week the council had a chance to test its new approach when the Fun4Kids Festival was in town.
More than 200 notes were placed on cars along Timor Street between Banyan and Japan streets warning that further parking on the grassed verge would incur an $89 fine.
Parking on the grass beside Pertobe Road during peak summer periods is also technically illegal and the issue is under review.
Parking on nature strips in residential areas has also been a thorny issue for council, especially near the base hospital during business hours.
Once again the council has decided for now that it will not crack down hard on motorists for parking in these areas when there is nowhere else to park.
Resolving congestion and parking issues is a challenge in all growing towns and cities but some do it better than others.
Nature strips, metered parking, the lack of spaces in the CBD, free parking in the east and north — they are all issues that arise with monotonous regularity.
Instead of applying a Band Aid solution to each issue as it arises, a growing city like Warrnambool would benefit from a complete and thorough review of its parking policies and their impacts on traders, tourists and residents alike.