The council is struggling to balance its books with a $4.2 million hole in its budget.

Motorists have already paid $35.5 million in parking fines in the 2007 financial year, down $2 million on the previous year.

Having slashed staff to save costs, the council is tackling drivers in its scramble to get out of trouble.

Fines have already been increased for disobeying "green signs" and parking meter hours have been extended.

The possibility of using big-brother cameras to detect parking infringements has also been mooted.

At this rate, parking in Melbourne streets will soon become a byword for harassment.

If the council still wants to encourage more people into the CBD this is not the way to go about it.