Plumber Sean Wilson says he's just working hard and trying to make a living - but the ACT government keeps clobbering him with parking fines.
He's now had three in three months. The cost is making it unprofitable to work. He says there's no understanding of the way tradies have to operate.
"It's hard enough in these times," he said. "I just can't afford it."
He's just been fined outside a house in Denman Prospect because there was nowhere else to park and plumbers need to go back and forth to their truck to do the job.
He said tradies have been fined for parking generators outside worksites even though generators have to be right next to the site.
He thinks the ACT government has got a blitz on unpermitted parking so it can raise more money - but the cost is born by hard-working tradies like him.
Car parking has become an election battleground.
The Liberals have promised 2,500 spaces for cars in the city.
Labor and the Greens attack the promise to increase the acreage of car parking space.
Labor says more car parks will do nothing to alleviate traffic problems. The Greens say alternatives to car travel are the answer.
Labor said: "While access to worksites is important, there is considerable negative community feedback about dangerous parking and destruction to verges and green space near construction sites."
Liberal urban services spokeswoman, Nicole Lawder, responded that Labor were "anti-car".
"They simply do not understand the impracticalities that many families and local businesses face due to a lack of adequate parking," she said.
The disagreement came as store owners in Manuka complained about what they saw as increased patrolling of paid-parking areas to raise money for the government.
"The inspectors are all over the place. There's a lot of revenue they missed out on, and now they are making up for it," clothes shop owner Ross Eather said.
In the worst phase of the epidemic, there was no parking shortage because nobody was going out.
"There was no problem finding a space - there were no people so no business," he said.
"But gradually people have come back and the car parks have been full."
He said that although people were back, they weren't spending money - they were in "looking mode".
In the area for trades people at Bunnings in Fyshwick, there was a view that there wasn't enough parking space in the city.
"The city is never - and never will be - finished," Phil Moore said. "Tradies are constantly needing access but in a small city like Canberra, space is limited."
He reckoned that was why trucks were often seen parked on verges and footpaths.
The Greens said their policy was to increase transport options for Canberrans so they didn't need to drive.
They are also keen on planting trees over car parks to give a shady canopy to stop the concrete heating.
Car parks become some of the hottest places in the city when the temperature soars in summer.
The shade of trees would prevent that intense heat, they said.