Abandoning a vehicle is an offence under the Impounding Act 1993 (external link). It detracts from the local amenity of the Highlands and may cause an unsafe situation or public inconvenience.
To report a vehicle you think has been abandoned (including cars, caravans and trailers), contact:
Police Assistance Line
Telephone: 131 444
The Police Assistance Line operates 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
Council is unable to remove an abandoned vehicle until the NSW Police have confirmed that the vehicle has not been stolen or is otherwise of interest to them. Once the NSW Police have confirmed that the vehicle is not of interest to them and is in fact abandoned, they will notify Wingecarribee Shire Council.
The registration status of a vehicle is not indicative that an owner has abandoned the motor vehicle and registration is not a consideration within the provisions of the Act. However, it is an offence to ‘Stand Unregistered Vehicle on Public Street’. This offence is enforced by NSW Police and Council does not have the authorisation to enforce or issue a penalty notice. Information regarding the enforcement of unregistered vehicles by the NSW Police may be obtained by contacting the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.
The investigation to determine if a vehicle is abandoned is carried out under the Impounding Act 1993 (external link).
Once Council has been notified by NSW Police, Council's Rangers can then investigate abandoned vehicles in the Shire. This includes road related areas as defined under the Road Rules 2008, and includes an area that is not a road and that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles.
If the vehicle is abandoned within an enclosed strata property, the matter should be resolved under The Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (external link) and the Community Land Management Act 1989 (external link).
Abandoned vehicles located on private land need to be managed by the land owner and occupier of the premises.
When investigating a suspected abandoned vehicle, Council places a bright yellow sticker on the vehicle to signify that it is under Council investigation and provide the owner notice that the vehicle may be impounded if not removed.
Only in case of absolute emergency (i.e. hazard to public safety) can this process change.
Failure to comply with the Impounding Act 1993 can result in a penalty infringement notice being imposed on a person who abandons a motor vehicle in a public place.
Fees also apply for reclaiming an impounded vehicle, including release, transport and daily storage fees.
To enquire as to whether your vehicle has been impounded by Council, contact:
Telephone: (02) 4868-0888
When you sell your vehicle, it is your responsibility to tell Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) (external link) that you are no longer the registered owner.