CHOICE membership

Wheel Clamping


Anecdotal, but I presume you are happy with this circus as described, when you are the ‘victim’.

By my definition there is no retaliation for someone so inconsiderate they would park in your drive, or block you in for more than a minutes whilst they dropped something off, and you were able to get them towed. It is called karma.

edit: To put a more practical spin on the matter, if you are about to leave on a holiday with a plane to catch and your car, your transport to the airport, is blocked in? Your cab will be $176 since you are cross town. I wonder how that would go for you when you rang the police and council to be ‘freed’. Long after your cab takes you away the miscreant returns and leaves, probably before the police or council can be bothered. You are out $176 and might also need the cab home. The good news is if you have a good mobile device you can be back on the forum a few hours earlier than if you had to drive yourself home . :laughing:


Some interesting discussion here from 2014 (search for ‘clamp’):\hansard.nsf/0/f19fc8491b51401148257dc8001044c8/$FILE/A39%20S1%2020140925%20p6960b-6974a.pdf

Possibly worth speaking to Janine? :slight_smile:


Good article Garry.
Personally I don’t believe wheel clamping should be legal at all. If somebody parks illegally parking officers should issue a fine or after 24 hours the vehicle should be permitted to be towed away.

Clamping is little more than a money spinner for ruthless companies who do not care. If victims took these bad companies to court then things would change rather quickly. Of course having somebody with an angle grinder come along and remove these might be a better lesson but then you’d likely be paying for new clamps. Other thing to do is get a set yourself, follow the clampers and then clamp their wheels. Not fair?


Part of the issue in this topic was that the car was located in a private residential complex so really does not meet the criteria for Council or Police to interfere. The area is private property and residents park in the areas supplied on that private property not in “public” areas and do so based on the regulations made by the private property owners/managers. Public is used here in the sense that the public area is a State or Local Government regulated area eg public footpaths, public streets, public land and similar.

If you are in a private carpark the owner of that area sets the rules for usage and you are not subject generally to normal road rules eg indication of direction changes, limits on parking are all set by the owner and they then use their rules to control usage eg speed limits etc. So if you speed in a private carpark the owner can request you cease speeding or they may ask you to leave. Failure to obey puts the user at risk of trespass but the police cannot fine you for speeding unless the owner allows such interventions. Disability parking is a special case and is not the same as for other rules.


So the Body Corporate has signs erected stating what will happen if people park other than according to the clearly posted rules?
If not signage then I’d be thinking clampers have no right to clamp and that the Body Corporate is in breach of its rights if the carpark is not suitably signposted.
Not as though clampers can do as they like unless given permission. Liability falls on the body Corporate.
If the fault of the Body Corporate send them the bill. If they refuse to pay as expected then take to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as this does not require lawyers. They’ll get it after that.


Totally agree with all you have said. An addition to your comments would/could be to clamp your own wheel and then they may leave you alone. The niece’s daughter got another one the next day for another technical violation but after a lot of tears the company relented.
What I would like to see is a campaign to have clamping banned.


Yes this is so. Lets just ban the clamps altogether. Issue a parking infringement, don’t hold peoples cars to ransom.


It seems she was parking in a visitors parking bay for which she had a parking permit but failed to display it correctly. This indicates to me that there may not be enough parking for the tenants? This requires further investigation as surely there should be a parking bay for each tenant?


The issue is the over the top response for anybody parking illegally. If it were possible to fine the person and that fine held against the vehicle rego to ensure it was paid then I think this would not have been an issue. Wheel clamping is outrageous and I’d like to see one of our politicians suffer this fate. Then the poo would hit the fan. Until then who cares is their attitude.
People need to take the law into their own hands as the courts have failed us all in so many areas of life.


The number of parking spaces is determined you /based on local planning guidelines which stipulate a ratio of parking spaces per bedroom in a multi tenant residential structure.

If you have say a two bedroom apartment you may only be allocated on parking space. This is fine if you have only one car. But it is posssible to have a couple in each of the bedrooms, each with a vehicle. This scenario means that three cars need to be parked somewhere. They can not be regularly parked in visitor parking, because then where will visitors park??
Consequently body corporates make their own rules about the use of visitor parking, depending on the spaces they have to have for visitors and also providing for residents’ needs if possible.

While I understand your sympathy for your niece’s daughter, she should only be using visitor parking in accordance to the body corporate by-laws.


It may still be worthwhile getting a legally informed opinion if this is an ongoing issue. You might like to read the commentary in the following link.

Although examples may vary by state the principles are often applied to provide similar outcomes.

Residents parking in a visitors parking location may have breeched a bylaw. A key question is whether the Body Corporate can impose a penalty such as clamping or even if the Body Corporate can limit or restrict the length of use of a visitors parking space.

This can only be properly responded to with consideration of:
the state the property is located in,
the relevant form of strata title,
age and details of the applicable bylaws set at the time of development,
Local govt approval conditions,
and any number of variations made since to any of the above.

Generally tenants, owners or their visitors not abiding by-laws are subject to a breech condition. The powers of a BC in responding to any such events are clearly defined in the relevant legislation. The legal standing of any Body Corporate to apply clamping penalties or tow away provisions is equally complex in a general sense. Two adjoining apartment complexes may have contrary circumstances due to when built or any number of other factors.

As an owner and occupier, I can only add that by onservation Visitor Parking is most typically abused to the detriment of the occupier and genuine visitors. Fairness does not come into it for those doing the wrong thing. I don’t agree with wheel clamping as it does not resolve or remove the problem. The feeling though of payback is tempting.

Some properties may apply conditions and act contrary to the extent of their authority. However it is not until they are challenged at law that the correct and appropriate answer might be given.


I suspect it is a method the area uses to ensure cars are not just abandoned in a space to days.
I remember frustration of not being able to park somewhere because cars left motionless for days weeks on end.

I suppose it is a primitive way to determine a person actually attends the car to flip the card to demonstrate a new day and car is not abandoned


Thank you Mark I shall look into it further over the week ahead. In the meantime does anyone know how we can petition the Government to have this practice abolished?


I believe she was entitled to park there as she had a three day permit. It was just not displayed correctly by her mother who was unaware it was double sided And yes her daughter should have advised her but far simpler to just have a permit that was good for the three days regardless of the time of day.


Perhaps some people are only permitted to park at night, or during the day??

They could suggest to the Executive Committee of the BC that both day & night approvals are on the same side. One would hope (naively) that common sense would prevail.


I am with you, thanks:-)


As much as an 18 volt angle grinder used on the lock appeals to me, I agree with @mark_m that -

… of course the legal opinion may set one free with said grinder, but the thing I try to keep in mind is that its not always about who is right, but who has the money to fight …

It would certainly be interesting to get solid legal opinion on the matter. I can’t help but thinking holding someone’s property to ransom in potentially adverse conditions is fraught with danger for the ‘holder’, except as mentioned, they typically have the money. For example, said pirate takes photo, locks wheel, takes another photo, then sails off to plunder another carpark. When pirate returns, various pieces of wheel lock are to be found in a vacant space and the plundered ship has sailed. Unless there is video surveillance, who is to say how it happened? The case is completely circumstantial - one might have to accept that a dingo removed the lock …

We bemoan the over governance and plethora of laws our politicians give us, yet it’s fairly clear that even in small groups people will go silly with a tangled mess of bureaucracy, apparently losing sight of reality in the process - and the ‘victim’ for want of a better word is the little person with a quiet voice and shallow pockets, even shallower after the experience.


Some States have what are termed e-petitions. As this occurred in WA I am not sure they have them so you have to go through the old written up proforma.

Two links follow which are both about why petitions and what rules to follow for the Western Australian Government, the second link has at the bottom a link to a template suitable for the WA Government:$file/23%20-Petitions.pdf

If you don’t wish to read the second link and or missed the link to the proforma the link to download it follows:$file/LC%20Petition%20template.doc

To get as large amount of signatures as possible it may pay to use some social media, dare I say Facebook and similar, to advertise your petition. This may help reduce your costs to get it enough exposure, but ringing a couple of local radio stations and seeing if the ABC and commercial stations would like it as a news/current affairs item may also enhance the chances of more signers, this can get a better chance of a positive response if you have a reasonable amount of signatures before asking but early on may still work… Placing the petition with some friends and family so they can stand outside shopping complexes and similar areas may also increase your chances of getting significant signatures. Also if you have enough funds an advertisement in your WA papers may also benefit, if not enough funds perhaps seek a crowdfunding campaign to get enough.


The reason little people are successfully stood over is because the fear of reprisal from well heeled perpetrators and their lawyers is paramount in their minds. I say that to stop the game one has to bypass the courts after doing due diligence at a political level and taking on the pseudo criminals. Removing wheel clamps may not be ‘legal’ but then neither is the clamping activity and if all of us employed a contractor to remove the devices, and damage them on the process, then wheel clampers would either stop clamping or at the very least only use in extreme cases rather than as a weapon of choice at every and any opportunity.
It would be worth registering a company and employing somebody to do this job full time. That’d hit the media fan…and there would laws quickly introduced to limit the powers of companies which encroach on people’s rights.
As a first start I think Fair Trading needs to be given a chance but not sure how to get this message to victims. I am thinking that after clampers have been hauled into tribunals a few dozen times they might behave because that coasts them.
Another thought is clamping and then demanding payment to unclamp is paramount to extortion and the police might want to be involved. If you blackmail somebody this end up in front of the courts. Wheel clamping and then demands for money should have the same end.
Yet another thought is to have your car removed from the site by a tow truck (pulled onto the back of a flat top truck), taken to a workshop and then having the clamps cut off. Thereafter the remains of the device could be freighted to the minister’s office and the media alerted that this was happening. That’d make a headline and something would also change if but a few victims did likewise. Sure it would cost but worth it to take on the bastards.
I only rarely roll over to bad bureaucracy and do not pay when being attacked by crooks. So should victims of clamping, especially if they transgressed because of no signage. That I suspect is the moral and legal threshold as to legality or otherwise.


If the residents on private property signed an agreement that in it’s terms allowed the clamping, it may be illegal but only after it was contested as unfair terms in some legal jurisdiction eg Administrative Tribunal, Magistrates Court…but the risk is that it may also be held to be a fair term and then the costs may be higher to the one contesting.

I agree it is worth looking into the legality but that might take some dollars to get a clear decision. The other risk is that they stop wheel clamping and then just tow the vehicles and then the car owner will have to pay the costs of recovery and inconvenience which may be higher than the cost & inconvenience of clamp removal?? Certainly City/Town Councils & State Governments could increase fines to levels that would be more painful (eye wateringly so) than any cost of towing or clamping. I do not support clamping at all but I am pointing out some of the other risks.