A new mother who endured a 17 hour labour was horrified when she later received a parking fine for $170 because she couldn’t move her car.

Rachael Betteridge-Lucky and her mother rushed to Ipswich Hospital in Brisbane’s south-east in August 2018 to deliver baby Clara.

After driving around the hospital’s multi-storey, paid-parking facility they had to settle for a three-hour parking spot on nearby Walker St, The Courier Mail reported.

Ms Betteridge-Lucky rushed to hospital at 3.30am and endured a traumatic labour that ended at 8.30pm that night.

More than a month after giving birth, the young woman was furious when she received a $170 fine for parking in the spot for longer than three hours.

‘This was only three-hour parking and it doesn’t take three hours to have a baby,’ Ms Betteridge-Lucky said.

Her mother intended to move the car, but was afraid to leave her daughter’s side as the labour was difficult.

‘Because my birth didn’t go very smoothly Mum stayed with me … I just wasn’t so healthy,’ she said.

In an attempt to get the fine waived, the young mother called council and explained the situation.

A woman talked Ms Betteridge-Lucky through the process but the council never responded to her request.

She heard nothing back from the council until she was issued a final notice of demand in January.

The young mother is urging Ipswich City Council and the hospital to make parking easier for patients as she said it’s not something people should need to worry about.

Have you had a similar experience?

Share your comments below

  • This is appalling. Total revenue raising tactics from the local government.


  • I’m disgusted they didn’t listen. As if she had a chance to move the car! I think it would be worth her trying once more before paying, as I’ve heard once you pay a fine, there is no chance of them refunding it.


  • I can’t believe the council would be so insensitive to her plea and reason behind it. Hopefully they will respond and drop the charge.


  • I would have done the appeal in writing and kept a copy as proof that I had appealed, and asked the hospital for written details if necessary. If you do phone always record the date, time and name of the person you spoke to. Some places record calls “for training purposes” (not saying that isn’t correct but it is always the phrase used). I don’t know how long they keep the recordings for.


  • I can’t believe the Council will not waive this fine with the explanation provided. I imagine the hospital could provide proof to in support of her plea.


  • Not nice. Maybe the City Council will still answer to her request. It would be very weird if they didn’t!!


  • I had both my kids at the same hospital. There is street parking for free if you don’t mind walking a little or if your really urgent get someone to drop you in emergency and then find a park. That being said Ipswich council are not very nice at all and don’t have a lenient bone in them. I’m not surprised they won’t budge. It is pretty wrong though.


  • For goodness sake, I had a fine when I was in labour, went to the right resources and had it revoked. Isn’t that hard, sometimes I think these articles are just for attention!


  • All hospitals have parking at a premium, both staff and patients and visitors all want close parking and as more and more people use the facility the last thing to be updated is the parking facilities. There are many situations where the patient just can’t be dumped at the front door while the driver goes off to find a parking spot – pregnancy is one, so too leaving a dementia patient.


  • I had a similar situation. FIL had terminal lung cancer that got into his brain. After radiotherapy he wasn’t doing well and was recommended to be admitted to hospital. Told not to go through emergency so try parking in the 10 minute pick up/drop off. … of course its full. So park at the front of the area where it is safe but not technically a park.

    Run inside to get a wheelchair and take him and MIL to admissions. Leave them there and leave – all up about 10 mins max
    2 weeks later get a fine. Fortunately the council was understanding and reversed the fine once I had explained


  • To be fair, when the ticket was put on her car, the inspector didn’t know she was in the hospital giving birth. I do think the fine should be waived though after the circumstances are explained

    • I have had fines withdrawn after putting in applications.


  • There should be more flexibility for the waiving of fines in these sort of situations.


  • Considering the situation,the fine should be dismissed!


  • There should always be a form to complete to have a fine waived in this situation.


  • Hospital parking is so expensive and I think it’s important there is plenty of parking spaces.


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