WHEN a Bendigo resident found a set of keys sitting on top of a parking meter on Friday, he had no idea just how much power they could have given its owner – if they fell into the wrong hands.
A quick test on two nearby parking meters showed the keys granted access to the cash box, potentially placing at risk thousands of dollars in parking fees for the council.
Aaron Scott noticed the keys on a parking meter on Myers Street on Friday, one of which granted access to a cash box while others were labelled “vault door” and “treasury power cage”.
He said it was fortunate they were not found by one of the more unscrupulous individuals in Bendigo.
“I tried it on two machines and it unlocked both. I immediately called the council to hand them in,” Mr Scott said.
“I opened it up and saw the cash box. Who knows how much cash was in there.”
The City of Greater Bendigo collected $469,000 in parking fees in 2017/18, a significant increase on the $268,000 collected in the previous financial year.
The council issued almost $1.5 million in fines in 2017/18.
A further 42 credit card parking machines were introduced in Bendigo earlier this year, in addition to those situated in all-day parks.
City of Greater Bendigo safe and health environments manager Caroline Grylls said a private company was responsible for collecting parking fees.
“The City of Greater Bendigo contract the parking meter money collection to a private company,” she said.
“The city is following up this incident to ensure the contractor has appropriate processes and procedures to prevent a recurrence of this happening again.”
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