UPDATE, 14/8/20: The City of Melbourne council has announced it will suspend restrictions and fees in green-signed parking bays during the stage-four lockdown, as well as working to have commercial car parks reopened to free up on-street parking.
"We understand that these restrictions will also impact our residents using residential permit zones and we will continue to advocate on their behalf," the council said in a statement.
The council says inspectors will still enforce disabled parking bays, no-stopping areas, tow-away clearways and loading zones to ensure public safety and access.
"Parking officers are considered essential workers under State Government definitions and will continue to be visible on our streets, the City of Melbourne said in a statement.
This follows the City of Melbourne issuing roughly 15,000 temporary permits to essential workers.
Original story: Although metropolitan Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown means more people are stuck at home, plenty of parking inspectors remain out and about in full force.
While the last lockdown saw inspectors exercise leniency when enforcing time-limits, permit zones and parking meter payments, this time around motorists are receiving a little less wiggle room.
According to the mayor of Port Phillip council – an area encompassing several usually-bustling suburbs like St Kilda, South Melbourne and Prahran – drivers should expect a "reasonable approach" to parking enforcement.
"We are taking a reasonable approach to our parking enforcement in view of the curfew and more people working from home," Mayor Bernadene Voss told CarAdvice.
"Patrols are not being undertaken during the curfew and our parking officers are focusing on safety issues and responding to complaints when patrolling between 7am and 8pm."
However, clearways are still in effect, green parking signs are being enforced and red parking zones and permits are in effect, with Mayor Voss reporting: "We have not been experiencing the usual pressures on red zone parking as the number of vehicles travelling in our City is very low at the moment.
One unlucky Melbourne motorist being towed from a 4.30pm clearway at 4.37pm during the city's lockdown.
City of Melbourne council, meanwhile, has granted exemptions for frontline workers, providing up to 5000 temporary permits to health staff after a Melbourne doctor queried a fine she received while working 56 hours straight in the emergency ward of the city's Royal Melbourne Hospital.
"In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital? It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks," Dr Katarina Arandjelovic tweeted.
"So when you send a parking inspector to Parkville, know that it is these people you are targeting."
In response, Lord Mayor Sally Capp issued the extra permits, saying: "We are printing thousands more green dashboard stickers to support frontline staff responding to the pandemic.
“If you believe you got a ticket when you shouldn’t have please get in touch with the City of Melbourne and we will follow up."
pic.twitter.com/sA1oKE21lB— Katarina Arandjelovic (@KArandjelovic) August 10, 2020
For non-health workers, however, paid parking restrictions still apply and red parking zones, no stopping areas, clearways, loading zones and permit zones will all still be enforced.
"Paid parking restrictions still apply in the City of Melbourne to make sure there is adequate turnover of car parks and people can access essential services and small businesses where required. Our officers will apply a reasonable grace period if you are running late," the City of Melbourne said in a statement.
Not every council is upholding pre-lockdown parking restrictions, however – City of Stonnington in Melbourne's south-east is "moving to further relax the enforcement of restrictions on... main shopping strips to enable workers to park safely and close to their workplace".
"We are applying a sensible, pragmatic and empathetic approach that balances the challenges people are facing with the need to keep Stonnington’s streets safe and accessible for all," the council said in a statement.
"We continue to enforce No Parking, Stopping and Obstruction offences, as they also are about maintaining safety and accessibility.
"We are only enforcing green signs and permit zone restrictions in residential streets on complaint of a cars being left for days at a time.
"Clearway offences, red sign offences and obstructions are enforced as per normal as this is important to ensure safety, customer amenity, accessibility for service vehicles and essential services, and the flow of traffic.
"Anyone issued an infringement can apply for a review and COVID-19 lockdown issues will be appropriately considered."