The Northern Territory government will rush legislation through its parliament today to block a court order demanding it hand over driver data to Wilson Parking.
Last week Wilson, which runs parking facilities at the Royal Darwin Hospital, successfully applied to the city's local court to have the Territory's registrar of motor vehicles hand over a database of 8500 driver details. The registry did not oppose the application.
The company began charging to park at the hospital earlier this year and plans to use the information to match vehicles to identities so it can chase down outstanding parking fees.
Transport Minister Peter Chandler will introduce an amendment to the Territory's Motor Vehicles Act today to retrospectively negate the court order. He hopes the legislation will pass today.
He insisted no customer data had yet been handed to the parking operator.
"The proposed laws we have introduced will protect the 8500 Territorians whose details are being pursued by the car park operator," he said.
“No information has been given to Wilson Parking to date and the retrospective laws we propose will ensure this remains the case.”
Once passed, the laws will bring the NT into line with NSW and soon Victoria, which introduced legislation into its lower house last week to bar parking operators from making data discovery orders for the government's vehicle rego holdings.
Victorian Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett said the bill would "protect tens of thousands of Victorians each year from private car park operators gaining their personal details and harassing them with debt collection letters for dodgy fines".