Boat trailers parked on streets in Sutherland Shire for more than 28 days to be impounded

Move or lose: After 28 days, boat trailers will have to be moved at least a block away or they may be impounded under new council rules.

Move or lose: After 28 days, boat trailers will have to be moved at least a block away or they may be impounded under new council rules.

New regulations allowing boat trailers, and the boats they carry, to be impounded if they have been parked on a street in Sutherland Shire for more than 28 days will be enforced from July 1.

Can't wait to hear the whinging when people move their boat from out the front of their own house up the street in front of somebody else's house. - Leader Facebook comment

The starting date was announced after council decided to “opt in” to new laws passed by the state government in late 2015.

Sutherland Shire Council spent a year deliberating after councils were given the option of joining the scheme.

The regulations will apply across the shire, and not just to select areas near waterways, which was another option under the legislation.

A spokeswoman said the council would conduct an education campaign over the next few months before enforcement started.

Under the new system, boat trailers, with or without boats on them, will need to be moved every 28 days, at least as far as a different block section of the same street.

Council officers must provide notice of at least 15 days before impounding a trailer.

The Office of Local Government (OLG) is working with Sutherland and seven other councils who are piloting the new regulations to ensure “a consistent and even handed approach to enforcement is taken”.

While not limiting the discretion of impounding officers when enforcing the legislation, certain principles should guide enforcement, the OLG said.

”Enforcement action should be prioritised in the case of boat trailers that pose a specific amenity, safety or visual pollution issue, or are a source of legitimate complaint from residents (either before or after the commencement of the pilot),” it said.

The OLG said councils should consider that the owner of the vessel may differ to the owner of the boat trailer, and make appropriate efforts to identify the owner of both before impounding action is taken.

The need for the appropriate handling and care of the boat by impounding officers or their contracted impounding agent was another factor to be considered.

Comments on the Leader’s Facebook page were mostly supportive, with some people wanting regulations extended to box trailers and caravans.

Others doubted whether the regulations would work.

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