New council rules see $660 fine for annoying supermarket trolley act

As of next week, supermarkets in NSW will face a $660 fine under a new act for leaving a single abandoned shopping trolley in public, which currently costs local government a whopping $17 million a year.

At the moment, fines are at $220 for retail owners like Coles and Woolies for one trolley, but after a large consensus, they will triple from November 1.

Corporation fines will also triple to $1320 for a single trolley.

An abandoned trolley.
The NSW state government is imposing trolley and other abandoned property fines for owners as of November 1 this year. Source: Getty

Minister for Local Government, Wendy Tuckerman, has welcomed the crackdown, believing “these new laws will not only save councils time and money, they’ll also ensure public spaces are safer, more accessible, and more enjoyable for our communities”.

“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 in a statement.

"The new rules put the onus back on owners where it belongs."

How will it work?

Yahoo News Australia understands that after being notified, generally retail owners will have one week to return the trolley before risking a fine.

For every additional trolley found in the same spot (up to 11), a further ten per cent ($66) will then be added to the fine.

Though there will be exemptions for small businesses with less than 25 trolleys.

For more serious offences, individual retailers would face a court-imposed penalty of up to $2,750 and a maximum of $13,750 for corporations.

However for the next six months, "warnings will be issued for unattended property in most cases, rather than fines" as a sort of "grace-period".

"We’ve also listened to retailer concerns and introduced more flexibility around requirements to collect abandoned trolleys notified after-hours," Mrs Tuckerman said.

The rules will also apply to boat trailers, unregistered cars, trailers and caravans, share bikes, and personal watercraft.

As well as to owners of animals (other than cats and dogs) that stray on the neighbour's property and onto public roads or places, which through consultation has also been deemed a risk to public safety.

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