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Wednesday, April 5, 2000
Huge fines proposed for Olympic business, traffic violations

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Scalpers, vendors selling unlicensed Olympic goods and even sponsors flying ads above stadiums will face thousands of dollars in fines under legislation proposed Wednesday.

 While the temporary legislation would punish unlicensed sellers of goods and services during the Sept. 15-Oct. 1 games, it would also reduce some restrictions on noise pollution, business hours and alcohol sales.

 Olympics minister Michael Knight put the measure before the New South Wales state parliament. If passed, the laws would take effect from Sept. 2, the day the Olympic village opens, until Oct. 31, the last day of the Paralympics.

 Among the provisions:

 --Motorists who cross into designated Olympic traffic lanes would be fined up to $1,340.

 --Delivery drivers who violated traffic management plans in Sydney's central business district would be fined up to $3,050.

 --Individuals or organizations who breached exclusive broadcasting rights and those caught breaking airspace ad regulations above Olympic venues would be fined up to $152,500 for each violation.

 --Anyone caught operating an unlicensed parking lot within three miles of an Olympic venue would be fined $9,150 for a first offense, while a corporation would be fined $15,250.

 --Scalpers would be fined $1,340.

 --Vendors selling unlicensed products within two miles of any Olympic venue would be fined $3,050.

 The legislation would also empower employees of the Olympic Coordination Authority, which is responsible for the operation of all venues, to impose fines on the spot. That was condemned as "draconian" by independent politicians and civil libertarians.

 Green party representative Lee Rhiannon said the bill would give the same powers to OCA staff that police received from legislation that calls for strict security regulations in the main Olympic precinct of Homebush Bay.

 She said that not only would the legislation impose "repressive control" at Olympic venues but also in some public areas.

 The New South Wales Law Society said the legislation could lead to violent protests.

 The proposed legislation would lift noise restrictions in at least six sites in Sydney where large TV screens will be placed, and banks, which usually are open Monday through Friday, would have service seven days a week.

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