Council classifies a vehicle as being abandoned when the vehicle is parked on a public street and the owner of the vehicle can not be identified.
A vehicle may be unregistered and parked on a public street but not necessarily abandoned. Enquiries would be made to identify the owner, establish the reasons as to why the vehicle is parked on the street and the owner can be requested to remove the vehicle.
It is an offence to ‘Stand Unregistered Vehicle on Public Street’. This offence is enforced by the NSW Police Force. Council does not have the authorisation to enforce or issue a penalty notice.
If a vehicle is parked on a public street and the owner can not be identified, Council would consider the vehicle to be abandoned. Council can impound the vehicle and remove the vehicle.
If a vehicle has been burnt out etc and is on a public street, Council would in the first instance let police complete any relevant investigations and then from notification from police, follow on with requiring the owner to effect removal if required. Council can then proceed to impound if the vehicle is not removed.
Where vehicles are causing a danger, Council may remove the vehicle immediately. The owner of the vehicle is liable for any costs incurred in the removal and storage of the vehicles as well as any related penalty notices.
Council is required by the Impounding Act 1993 to make enquiries and attempt to contact owners of abandoned vehicles prior to their removal. If Council tows a vehicle, it is taken to Council's contracting agents holding yard. Council will attempt to advise the owner that the vehicle has been towed and where it is located. If the owner does not claim the vehicle, Council can dispose of the vehicle by way of public auction or destruction. The action taken is dependent on the condition and value of the impounded vehicle.