Robert Ingle has operated his tax agency from a shopfront in Hughes for two-and-a-half years and, from the beginning, has promoted his business with an A-frame street sign on Kent Street, about 100 metres away from the shops.
The Hughes shopping precinct is located on Wisdom Street near the Kitchener Street intersection and does not front onto nearby Kent Street.
According to Mr Ingle, his sign on Kent Street attracts a significant amount of business. But in April, he received a $220 fine from City Services for a non-compliant street sign.
He said the fine, which was issued during the Coronavirus shut down, will put further pressure on his struggling business.
“My business revenue has gone down 20%,” he said.
“I deal with a lot of elderly clients, who are all staying away, and the sign is helping bring people in.”
Mr Ingle said he had not received a warning nor was he previously educated on how to comply with regulation street sign advertising.
“I’m taking them to court,” he said.
“You see signs for politicians and for school fetes all over the place, why are they okay?
“Why is my sign a danger to the public?
“My little A-frame gets me a lot of business,” he said.
The ACT Government disputes the claim Mr Ingle was given no warning or education.
“In 2019, the compliance team at City Services provided education followed by enforcement with local businesses placing signs illegally on footpaths and other public places,” a spokesperson said.
“In November 2019, an infringement notice was issued to Mr Ingle for an unauthorised A-frame sign on public unleased land. The sign was not compliant with the code. The issuing officer spoke with Mr Ingle who was advised to remove the sign as soon as possible and that he would be receiving an infringement.”
A spokesperson for the ACT Government said Mr Ingle’s sign breached the Moveable Signs Code of Practice of 2013 but would not specify how, nor would they comment on how the sign endangered the community.
“Mr Ingle has written to the government seeking a review of the infringement notice from April 2020 and therefore we could not provide any further comment,” the spokesperson said.
For more stories like this: