New Rules for Unattended property

Abandoned shopping trolleys, vehicles and other unattended property will spend less time on streets and public spaces, and owners will be more accountable following the introduction of new rules strengthening impounding powers of councils across the electorate.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed the new regulations which are coming into effect today Tuesday 1 November 2022.

“The NSW Government has again made common-sense changes to rules around unattended property. The new rules put the onus back on owners where it belongs, will save council money and make our streets safer,” Ms Cooke said.

Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 replaces the Impounding Act 1993, and places more responsibility on individuals and businesses to better manage their property within reasonable timeframes or face much stronger penalties.

“We’ve developed these new laws following extensive consultation with stakeholders including local government, industry, advocacy groups, state agencies and the community,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“There will be a six-month grace period where warnings will be issued for unattended property in most cases, rather than fines. We’ve also listened to retailer concerns and introduced more flexibility around requirements to collect abandoned trolleys notified after-hours.”

The PSUP Act includes special powers for authorities to deal with stock animals wandering on public roads and causing a risk to safety, which was widely welcomed by councils during consultation. These provisions will commence at a later date.

The rules also apply to boat trailers, unregistered cars, trailers and caravans, share bikes, and personal watercraft. For full details of the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 please visit

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