The Hills Shire councillor has waged a war on abandoned shopping trolleys for several years and in 2019 issued a public call for businesses and councils to work together to find a solution to solve the problem.
He said the council had meetings with two major supermarket operators in an attempt for them to self-regulate and address this issue and then started lobbying the NSW State Government to make “urgent changes” to the Abandonment Act. The changes to the Act came into force this year on 1st November.
Clr de Masi said: “The onus is now on the owners of the trollies to prevent them leaving their stores.
“The new powers, included in the new Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021, … means is up-front fines of $660 would be issued to any supermarket that fails to collect a shopping trolley from a public space within three hours of being notified it is causing an obstruction or safety risk, or within seven days of being notified it is left unattended in a public place.
“This will be enforced after a six-month grace period where warnings will be issued for unattended property to allow retailers enough time to prepare and avoid being subjected to fines in the future.”
He said while it will take some time to have it fully implemented and see the problem disappear it was not just a win for the local area but the whole of NSW.
Diane Sherrington, President of the Windsor Business Group, said that abandoned shopping trolleys were a real problem and welcomed moves to get something done.
“We have a major problem in Windsor. People are just so inconsiderate. Quite often main street is littered with (abandoned) trolleys in the morning. I can’t believe how ar some people take these trolleys.”
But while she welcomed moves to cull the number of trolleys left on the street. She said she felt retailers were being blamed for what their customers do. “I believe people need to be responsible for their own actions.”
The new regulations:
• Supermarkets face an on-the-spot fine of $660 for failing to collect a shopping trolley from a public place within three hours of being notified it is causing an obstruction or safety risk, or within four days of being given notice if left unattended for seven days or more in a public place.
• A further 10 per cent ($66) will be added to the fine for each additional trolley in the same spot (up to 11 in total) to reflect the greater access and amenity issues caused by unattended groups of trolleys
• Individual retailers could face a court-imposed penalty of up to $2,750 and a maximum of $13,750 for corporations for more serious offences
• Exemptions will apply for small businesses with less than 25 trolleys. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]