RETAILERS that don't collect their trolleys are set to face big fines as the NSW Government cracks down on the issue of abandoned trolleys.
The new Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Bill was introduced into NSW Parliament this week, acting as an overhaul of the existing Impounding Act.
The new legislation would put a three-hour collection time limit on trolleys, vehicles or other items causing a safety hazard, and a seven-day limit for others.
Fines ranging from $660 trolley to $13,750 would be applied, depending on the nature, number and time the items remained.
The proposed legislation has been welcomed by Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott, who said it would put the onus back on the owners to ensure their property is not abandoned.
"They'll need to remove these items - which go beyond shopping trolleys to include items such as unregistered vehicles - within an appropriate time frame or face harsher penalties, more rapid impounding action and enforcement orders," she said.
"Right now the community is spending more than $17 million each year recovering these trolleys; the new cost-recovery components in the legislation means councils alone will be able to claw back almost $10 million of this cost."
Councillor Alex Christian, who has been vocal about the issue of abandoned trolleys since being elected to Bathurst Regional council, has also welcomed the measures in the bill.
"A lot of councils have raised concerns over the last five years and its great that the state government has listened," he said.
The main problem he has with trolleys in the Bathurst central business district is the risk to safety that they pose to people and property.
Cr Christian said they can damage cars and people can trip over them. He also thinks they "make the CBD unsightly".
"The onus has always been on the big supermarkets [to collect trolleys] and I think since I made all that noise about two and a half years ago, things have gotten better around Bathurst, but with the state government coming on with these policies, it's going to make things even better," he said.
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