New laws get tough on abandoned shopping trolleys

01 Dec 2021

Supermarket operators could be hit with an on the spot fine of $660 for not collecting abandoned shopping trolleys following advocacy by the City of Newcastle.

The fine would be issued to any supermarket that fails to collect a shopping trolley from a public space within three hours of being notified it is causing an obstruction, or within seven days if it has just been left unattended in a public place such as a park, creek or local street.

Following advocacy from the City of Newcastle, the NSW Government is proposing the tough new rules via its Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Bill 2021.

Fines ranging from $660 to $13,750 would be applied to owners, depending on the nature, number and time the trolleys remained.

A Notice of Motion calling on the NSW Government to crack down on abandoned trolleys was unanimously supported by City of Newcastle Councillors at the November 2020 Council meeting.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen welcomed the new legislation as a win for the community and other local councils in NSW, and particularly the environment.

“Advocacy led by Local Government NSW and City of Newcastle raised concerns about the negative impact of abandoned shopping trolleys on community amenity, safety and the environment, and the costs to council associated with their removal and management,” Cr Clausen said.

“The new legislation is a real improvement on existing laws that in the past made compliance almost impossible to enforce. The onus is now on trolley owners to ensure their property is not littered throughout our suburban streets and environment.

“Major supermarkets and local shopping centre management will need to take a more proactive approach to managing their assets, and preventing them from ending up in public places, on roads, or in creeks and waterways or face large fines.

“I would like to thank the NSW Government for listening to City of Newcastle and working with Local Government NSW to address our concerns around abandoned trolleys.”