NSW Govt Seeking Comments on Impounding Act

    Are you sick of seeing dumped trolleys or shared bikes? Are you annoyed boat trailers, caravans and horse trailers constantly parked in your street?  If you answered yes to the above, then you should consider commenting on the Impounding Act.

    Impounding Act Review

    Last year the NSW Government launched a review of the Impounding Act.  The review could result in the NSW government granting local councils’ stronger powers to deal with abandoned items.  A discussion paper has now been released and it’s your turn to have your say.

    Shopping Trolleys

    Abandoned Trolleys became a bigger problem for Lane Cove when local independent trolley contractors were terminated, and Coles implemented a different system.

    In 2017 over 90 Trolleys were impounded by the Lane Cove Council and impounding fees were charged.

    However, under the existing legislation, a council can only fine a customer caught in the act of abandoning an item.  Retailers may be charged impounding fees but there is no mechanism to issue fines.

    Local Government NSW has been calling for stronger legislation to force supermarkets to take responsibility for abandoned shopping trolleys (some trolleys end up in local rivers).

    In Queensland, Ipswich City Council has implemented legislation which requires supermarkets to install trolley locking systems which stops trolleys being removed from shopping centres.

    Boat Trailers

    In September 2017 Lane Cove Council implemented tougher regulations for on-street boat parking trailers.

    Since September 2017 Lane Cove Council has been permitted to take action to impound boat trailers parked continuously on a street for more than 28 days. Previously rangers could only impound a vehicle or a trailer where the ranger was of the view, on reasonable grounds, that the boat or trailer has been abandoned or left unattended.

    The 28-day relocation/moving provision was implemented to ensure boat owners returned to their on-street parked boat and trailer at least monthly to check on its condition and to act as a disincentive to persons residing outside the local area. The thought process was if someone has to move their boat every 28 days, they were more likely to park their boat near their place of residence.

    This 28-day rule only applies to boat trailers and not any other type of trailer.

    The jury is out on whether or not the 28-day rule is effective. A ranger marks the boat trailers tyres. However once a boat owner sees the tyres are marked, they drive around the block and park back in the original location a few days later.  The ranger then needs to commence the 28-day process again.

    There is currently no legislation specific to other types of trailer parking.

    Council has no specific restrictions in place to prohibit the parking of other types of trailers in residential streets. As such, Council Rangers have been enforcing trailers the same way as a motor vehicle.

    The most effective way to regulate boat trailers, box trailers, caravans and mobile self-storage is to amend legislation.

    Lane Cove Council’s Suggestions

    At a Lane Cove Council meeting last year it was resolved:

    “Lane Cove Council lobby the NSW Government to:

    • Amend the Boat Trailer Impounding Act 2015 to include other types of trailers (car trailers, box trailers, caravans, and mobile self-storage trailers);
    • Introduce an infringement under the Boat Trailer Impounding Act 2015 to allow Council Rangers to enforce the legislation more effectively; and
    • Where clustering of trailers occurs in particular areas of the LGA the ‘No Parking – Motor Vehicles Accepted’ method will be utilised, with approval sought from the Local Traffic Committee for implementation.

    Your Chance to Comment

    Discussion Paper has been released for public comment. The Office of Local Government is seeking feedback on whether the Impounding Act remains effective

    Your feedback must be submitted before Friday 20 March 2020 at 5 pmThere are two ways to provide your feedback:


    Impounding Act Review
    Locked Bag 3015
    Nowra NSW 2541
    Email: [email protected]

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