Virus doctor’s cruel $99 fine
Melbourne medic Katarina Arandjelovic has been working around the clock to help Victoria's coronavirus patients - but that wasn't enough to save her from a hefty workplace parking fine.
The exhausted doctor works in the intensive care unit at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and clocked off on Monday night after caring for COVID-19 patients - only to find a $99 parking ticket on her car's windshield.
She shared a photo of the fine on Twitter this morning, calling on the City of Melbourne and Lord Mayor Sally Capp to do better.
"I worked 56 hours over four days in helping look after some of our state's sickest patients. At 10pm last night, I left work to find a fine on my car dashboard," Dr Arandjelovic wrote.
"We cannot work from home. We come here, and we sweat it out under our gowns, our voices muffled under masks, learning to 'smile with our eyes'.
"We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic. We do not see our families for weeks.
"It is not easy, but every single person in that building is working their butt off right now. It is inspiring.
"We make sacrifices and turn up - day in, day out, to serve you. So I guess @cityofmelbourne and @SallyCapp_, slapping fines on our cars is one hell of a thank you."
Dr Arandjelovic went on to explain her bike had been stolen from outside the hospital the day before Melbourne went into lockdown, and that public transport was also "off-limits" to prevent exposure to the deadly illness.
She said the council's "free permits" were long gone and that there had been "too few to begin with", and that many had missed out.
"In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital?" she wrote.
"It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks.
"So when you send a parking inspector to Parkville, know that it is these people you are
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews weighed into the saga, telling reporters on Tuesday afternoon he didn't think the fine was "appropriate at all."
"I don't think that someone who's in there literally saving lives at considerable risk to themselves should be the subject of a parking ticket," he said.
"I'll follow that up. In relation to parking inspectors though, as you know they work for the City of Melbourne and local government."
Mr Andrews also added that he would review the need for parking inspectors working during lockdown.
Dr Arandjelovic's emotional posts immediately went viral, sparking an outpouring of support for Dr Arandjelovic and other healthcare professionals working during the pandemic.
Some Aussies even offered to pay the fine on Dr Arandjelovic's behalf, while others called on the council to dismiss the fine.
"Like many people in this thread I will pay your fine in a heartbeat - a thank you from Sydney and all of Australia," one person wrote, while another added: "This is so frustrating, I'm sorry. There is no other safe way for healthcare workers to get to the frontline. What do they expect us to do - teleport?"
In response to Dr Arandjelovic's, the City of Melbourne's official Twitter account said vehicles parked in residential parking areas with red signs were "still subject to restrictions".
"We recognise the invaluable work our health workers are doing, that's why we've issued 9900 parking passes to frontline workers, including to The Royal Melbourne Hospital," the tweet continued.
News.com.au contacted Dr Arandjelovic and the City of Melbourne for comment.
Originally published as Aussie virus doctor's cruel $99 fine