In December 2014, it was reported that a resident of a unit in North Sydney parked with the front wheel of his car about 1 metre into a space owned by a neighbouring North Sydney unit complex. When he came downstairs the next day he found the front wheel clamped. He was made to pay $1400 to get his car released. "I had to pay. I had to go to work," the man said. Another resident who had to pay $1600 to have his car released said, "I donít think it's Australian. They have no right to touch my property."
In NSW, the Local Government Amendment (Parking and Wheel Clamping) Act prohibits this on private property unless you have the consent of the owner. So, while a group of residents could agree on parking regulations within their strata scheme, which included clamping a car parked in a way that broke the rules, it would only apply to their own vehicles, not to visitors or residents of an adjoining property.
In Victoria, the Road Safety (Wheel Clamping) Act 1996 states the following:
People should not park where they are not permitted to do so, but that does not give anybody the right to deprive them of the use of their vehicles. In most jurisdictions, wheel clamping on private or even public property is essentially kidnapping a vehicle for the purpose of extorting money. Nobody should ever pay a wheel clamper to remove a clamp under any circumstances. A motorist who finds that his car has been clamped should immediately call the police and also lay formal criminal charges against the wheel clamper.
Although most lawyers would advocate that a motorist who finds a wheel clamp on his car should call the police, I think that there is a much better way to address this issue. That is, the motorist should grab an angle grinder and remove the clamp from his car. He should also completely chop the clamp up so that it cannot ever be used again. This will not only cost the wheel clamper the price of the clamp, but it goes without saying that the motorist should also tell the clamper where he can shove his extortionate demand for money or compensation for the destroyed clamp.
If the wheel clamper complains to the police that a motorist has removed and chopped up his clamp, the motorist can state that if the clamp had not been illegally placed on his vehicle and immobilised it and deprived him of its use, then the issue would not have arisen. The motorist could merely state that the situation was completely the fault and the illegal act of the wheel clamper and if he wanted to take legal action against the motorist, he was welcome to try and sue him in a civil court of law.
No motorist should ever pay one single cent to wheel clampers because what these bastards do is sheer extortion. The examples of the two people in North Sydney who were gouged for $1400 and $1600 respectively prove this beyond a shadow of doubt. If somebody parks illegally on private property, then there are legal remedies that should be exercised in courts of law. Immobilising a person's car is literally a case of kidnapping and illegal deprivation and motorists who have had their cars clamped have the right to free their cars up by any means possible. Grinding off the clamp and destroying it is an excellent way to teach those clamping bastards a good lesson.
This also applies to people who try and prevent motorists from leaving places where they may have parked without permission of the owners or operators of those properties. Nobody has the legal right to detain motorists or prevent them from leaving a place. If those motorists are placed under citizen's arrest by the property owners, this has massive legal ramifications. Parking on private property, even without permission, is not a crime, therefore there is no legal cause for a person making a citizen's arrest of a person who parked on his property or impeding his departure. If this happens, the motorist has very strong grounds on which to sue that person who deprived him of his liberty, as well as laying a criminal charge of kidnapping against him.