Councils must publically Gazette their adoption of the boat trailer impounding provision to become a ‘declared area’. Further details can be found in the Boat Trailer Impounding Guidelines for Councils.

While not limiting the discretion of impounding officers when enforcing the legislation, the following principles should guide enforcement action:

Enforcement action should be prioritised in the case of boat trailers that:

  • pose a specific amenity, safety or visual pollution issue; or
  • are a source of legitimate complaint from residents (either before or after the commencement of the pilot).

When undertaking enforcement action involving the potential impounding of a boat that is attached to a boat trailer, councils will take into consideration:

  • that the owner of the vessel may differ to the owner of the boat trailer, and make appropriate efforts to identify the owner of both the trailer and the vessel before impounding action is taken; and
  • the need for the appropriate handling and care of the boat by impounding officers or their contracted impounding agents.

Boat trailerCouncils will appropriately communicate their powers to boat owners and residents before commencing utilising these provisions (e.g. through the distribution of communications material produced by the Office of Local Government, and through other measures such as temporary signage in high boat trailer usage areas).

If these provisions commence in the non-boating season, councils will take into consideration the potential impact this may have on the ability of boat trailer/boat owners to be informed of impending enforcement action and take appropriate measures to address this (e.g. by making exhaustive efforts to contact the owner of the trailer and/or boat in question, and by placing notice of intention to impound stickers on a vessel as early as possible in the enforcement process).

All enforcing councils will have in place a publicly available boat trailer impounding policy outlining their powers, declared areas and enforcement priorities.

 

Key Resources:

 

Impounding Act 1993 Review

The NSW Government is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of the Impounding Act 1993 (the Act). The Office of Local Government (OLG) is seeking feedback on whether the Act remains effective for managing items left in public spaces. This captures the impact of items like shopping trolleys, boat trailers, share bikes, abandoned cars, e-scooters and wandering stock.

This is an opportunity for the community to help identify how best to regulate these matters given emerging technologies and the ever-changing use of public spaces in NSW.

To learn more, please refer to our webpage: Impounding Act 1993 Review.

  • Enforcement Principles

    As the Boat Trailer Impounding Guidelines for Councils set out, while not limiting the discretion of impounding officers when enforcing the legislation, the following principles should guide enforcement action taken:

    • Enforcement action should be prioritised in the case of boat trailers that:
      • pose a specific amenity, safety or visual pollution issue; or
      • are a source of legitimate complaint from residents.
    • When undertaking enforcement action involving the potential impounding of a boat that is attached to a boat trailer, councils will take into consideration:
      • that the owner of the vessel may differ to the owner of the boat trailer, and make appropriate efforts to identify the owner of both the trailer and the vessel before impounding action is taken; and
      • the need for the appropriate handling and care of the boat by impounding officers or their contracted impounding agents.
    • Councils will appropriately communicate their powers to boat owners and residents (e.g. through the distribution of communications material produced by the Office of Local Government, and through other measures such as signage in high boat trailer usage areas).
    • If enforcement commences in the non-boating season, councils will take into consideration the potential impact this may have on the ability of boat trailer/boat owners to be informed of impending enforcement action and take appropriate measures to address this (e.g. by making exhaustive efforts to contact the owner of the trailer and/or boat in question, and by placing notice of intention to impound stickers on a vessel as early as possible in the enforcement process).
    • All councils will have in place a publicly available boat trailer impounding policy outlining their powers, declared areas and enforcement priorities.

    The Office of Local Government will review the process in conjunction with enforcing councils, and in consultation with industry groups, and issue guidelines for councils and impounding authorities to inform the future implementation of the powers.

    These principles will remain current until further guidance is issued by OLG.