Councillors won’t ignore Cessnock’s car troubles

Cessnock City Council wants better measures to remove abandoned vehicles parked on roadsides and dumped in bushland across the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA).

Cessnock City Council wants better measures to remove abandoned vehicles parked on roadsides and dumped in bushland across the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA).

The latest Ordinary Council meeting saw Councillors unite on the issue of abandoned cars with it being labelled an eyesore and a fire danger.  

Council is bound by the Impounding Act 1993 when dealing with abandoned vehicles which has a number of provisions that must be followed before a car can be removed by council.  

The legislation includes time frames which allows for investigation to be undertaken to locate the owner of the vehicle and time to contact them ahead of the car being retrieved.
    
Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent understands Council is required to follow the provisions set out in the Impounding Act however said this has become a point of frustration for the entire community.  

“The number of abandoned cars in our LGA is extremely concerning, not only because they are an eyesore and in most cases are vandalised but they pose a fire risk.”  

“Recent fires in our area have been the result of arson, and in some cases the fires have been caused after an abandoned car has been used as the source of ignition.”  

Council will investigate if it can legally impound an abandoned vehicle immediately under Section (5) of the Impounding Act 1993, if the impounding officer is satisfied that it may be vandalised or set on fire.

Council will also submit a motion to the upcoming LGNSW annual conference calling for common sense changes to the legislative provisions relating to abandoned cars in order to make it easier for the vehicles to be removed in a timely manner.  

Residents are encouraged to contact Council immediately when they see an abandoned vehicle, often people assume it has already been reported, increasing the time the car is left abandoned as many days may go by with Council unaware of the vehicle. 

 10/6/2017