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Free grocery delivery pitched as possible solution to the abandoned trolleys of Orange

February 16, 2023

An abandoned trolley in Orange.

By Peter Holmes

Rather than paying fines when their trolleys are found scattered around the city, one Orange councillor says supermarkets should consider the idea of offering free home delivery to those without a car or the money to pay for a taxi.

Councillor Frances Kinghorne from Orange Residents and Ratepayers Association told the Orange City Council meeting on December 6, 2022 that “we’ve tried a lot of things with trolleys and they haven’t worked, so I thought we should try something outside the box”.

Kinghorne said “people wouldn't take [trolleys] or push them any further than they absolutely had to if there was an alternative”.

“They do it because they haven’t got a car or they can’t get home,” she added.

“What I wanted done was to get some information about how much is involved, and part of it was to speak to the supermarkets to see whether we could try something different, which was instead of them paying fines, [have them] deliver groceries to people.”

From November 1, 2022, new regulations were introduced under the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021.

"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," said the NSW Office of Local Government (OLG).

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

The issue of trolleys has been raised by former councillors including Sam Romano and former mayor Reg Kidd. The metal and plastic contraptions are often left on footpaths or in parks around the city.

Most supermarkets in Orange require a gold coin or pre-purchased token to be used to release the trolley from its row. Big W and Kmart also require coins. The money or token is refunded when the trolley is returned. For those doing it tough, though, forgoing the $1 and pushing the trolley home can be considerably cheaper than taking a taxi.

The then state minister for local government Shelley Hancock, who championed the new laws, said in November 2021: “Abandoned items such as shopping trolleys and unregistered vehicles are not only a safety hazard and nuisance but a blight on streets, footpaths, nature strips and other public places across the state."

All trolleys will need to be clearly "branded, marked or otherwise display" the name of the trolley operator, a contact phone number and email address. A QR code can also be added but this is not essential.

"This required standard is intended to enable authorities and members of the community to identify and contact the operator of the sharing service item and, in the case of authorities, to serve notices."

Deputy mayor Gerald Power told The Orange News Examiner he supported the idea of making it easier for people without cars to get their shopping home if they didn't have the resources for a taxi.

Transitioning to the new laws

- from the Office of Local Government

From November 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023 a grace period applies for certain offences relating to classes of property left unattended, including:

  • animals (typically stock animals)

  • shopping trolleys

  • personal recreational devices such as kayaks.

This grace period provides an opportunity for members of the public to become familiar with the new laws and make appropriate arrangements for the ongoing storage of their property.

It also enables operators of shopping trolleys additional time to implement and comply with branding requirements ...

During the grace period, warnings may be issued to the owner of the above classes of unattended property and, should the property be left unattended after 1 May 2023, a fine may be issued.

Further information about the new laws and what they mean for you can be found at

Would free delivery stop people from taking trolleys in Orange?

  • Yes

  • No

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