Understanding unattended property: How to help keep our streets safe and beautiful

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shopping trolley

Have you ever come across a caravan parked outside a public place, or a shopping trolley unattended on the footpath, making it difficult to navigate with a pram? Unattended vehicles and trolleys not only mar the beauty of our streets, but also may pose hazards to both pedestrians and drivers.

There are laws to help protect our valuable public spaces from unattended items – this applies to shopping trolleys and cars, but also to kayaks and even livestock! Failure to comply with the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 can result in enforcement action taken by Council if the owner of the property does not remove it within a specified timeframe.

Read on for some facts and tips about some of the most commonly found types of unattended property in Hornsby Shire and what you can do to help reduce them.

Unregistered vehicles

It is illegal to leave an unregistered vehicle on a road or road-related area. This includes areas used by the public, such as a footpath or nature strip, and on the spot fines may be issued for unregistered vehicles in public places.

If you find a vehicle that you suspect may be unregistered, you can check it, using the Service NSW app. If the vehicle is unregistered, report it to Council, so we can make further enquiries.

Ensure that your vehicle’s registration is kept up to date. Alternatively, store the vehicle within your property.

Trailers and caravans

Avoid storing trailers or caravans outside parks, ovals or other public places, particularly vehicles that are undriveable or damaged. Council may investigate and take action to require their removal.

abandoned caravan

Unattended trolleys

Unattended trolleys can obstruct roads or footpaths, become a trip hazard or end up in our waterways. Leaving a shopping trolley unattended in a public place for specified periods of time may be an offence and fines can apply.

Laws that came into force in 2022 encourage responsible management of items in public spaces, particularly for retailers who provide shopping trolleys for their customers.

If you encounter a shopping trolley somewhere it shouldn’t be, please report it to the retailer directly.

  • Woolworths: Call 1800 641 497 or via the Trolley Tracker app
  • Coles: Call 1800 876 553 or via their website or app
  • Target: Call 1800 163 900
  • Kmart: Call 1800 876 553

shopping trolleys

Maintaining the beauty and safety of Hornsby Shire is a community effort. Let's work together to ensure our streets remain safe, accessible, and pleasant for all residents and visitors.