The NSW Government is keeping our public spaces safe, accessible and enjoyable for our community now and into the future.

The new Public Spaces Unattended Property laws commenced on 1 November 2022.

The new laws include harsher penalties for owners of shopping trolleys, unregistered cars and trailers, and stray stock animals.

These laws mark the biggest change to impounding laws in nearly 30 years.

The commencement of the new Act will be supported by sensible regulations, guidelines, fact sheets and other information for industry, councils and the community.

About the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021

The Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and accompanying Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Regulation 2022 are in force from 1 November 2022, helping to protect valuable public spaces across the State from abandoned and unattended items and animals.

The new Act repeals the Impounding Act 1993 following the first comprehensive review since it was introduced more than a quarter of a century ago.

The 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.

Under the new laws owners and others responsible for private property left in public, such as shopping trolleys, unregistered and abandoned cars, unattended trailers and stray stock, face stronger regulatory action if they do not remove their property within risk-based timeframes.

This includes on-the-spot fines, higher court penalties, rapid seizure action and enforcement orders.

The new laws make it easier for councils to store and dispose of unattended or abandoned items and animals that they take into possession, significantly reducing red tape and cost for local communities.

The changes also improve the ability of council officers to track down owners of shopping trolleys and vehicles, reducing the need for impounding action.

These reforms were developed following widespread consultation with councils, members of the public, industry/business groups, retailers, peak bodies and government agencies.