Media Releases

Tough new laws to protect public spaces

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government

Friday, 19 November 2021

Valuable public spaces across the State will be protected from the scourge of abandoned items including dumped shopping trolleys following the passage of strict new laws through Parliament.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 would finally hold owners responsible.

“These tough new laws provide councils, other public land managers and police with stronger powers and penalties to rid our footpaths, streets, parks, bushland and waterways of abandoned and unattended property,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of our public spaces to communities across the State and these future-focused laws will ensure they are safe, accessible and enjoyable for generations to come.”

The new laws mean owners and others responsible for private property left in public will face harsh penalties if they don’t remove them within risk-based timeframes.

It is not just shopping trolleys, items such as unregistered and abandoned cars, unattended trailers and stray stock all fall within the bounds of these new laws.

“We are sending a clear message to owners and those responsible for items and animals left in public places – if they don’t do the right thing, they face on-the-spot fines, higher court penalties, rapid seizure action and enforcement orders,” Mrs Hancock said.

“This real and meaningful change will help address the perennial problem of abandoned and unattended shopping trolleys, which are a nuisance and blight on our public spaces not to mention a safety risk.”

The new laws demand owners take quick action to remove unregistered, abandoned and unattended cars and trailers causing problems in our residential streets, particularly in urban areas where parking is scarce.

In rural communities, stronger powers and penalties will help prevent stray stock wandering onto roads and causing tragic accidents.

The strong stance is expected to save NSW councils and communities more than $10 million a year in clean-up costs.

MEDIA: Damien Bolte | 0498 359 624

PDF VersionMinisterial Media Release – 19 November 2021