Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1874..
The Assembly voted—
Ms Le Couteur
Question so resolved in the negative.
Roads and Public Places Amendment Bill 2009
Debate resumed from 26 March 2009, on motion by Mr Stanhope:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.08): I rise to speak on the Roads and Public Places Amendment Bill 2009. The opposition recognises the need to ensure that abandoned vehicles are removed quickly and do not become a blight on our public land, a hazard to Canberrans or a magnet for crime. The opposition also recognises that the current provisions of the Roads and Public Places Act, as they stand, lead to significant delays in removing abandoned cars and some confusion to TAMS officials who are administering the provisions and practice.
If there is a registered operator of a suspected abandoned car, I understand the procedure of TAMS is that they attempt to contact them by telephone or visit them at their address. A police check can also be made to determine if the car has been reported as stolen. Under the current provisions, the TAMS officer can then send a notice if contact cannot be made. The department must wait two days after receipt of the notice by the registered operator before they can move the car to a retention area. There is significant confusion as to the length of time that city rangers must wait, and this can sometimes be up to a week. By that time there is a significant risk of vandalism.
Under the new proposed provisions, notice will be deemed to have been made when a city ranger affixes a notice to the vehicle. Then, after a two-day period, the car can be moved to a retention area and the written notice is posted to the registered operator explaining their obligations. This will ensure that abandoned vehicles are removed quicker than they are under the current regime.
However, whist understanding that in most cases telephone contact will be made or a visit will be made to the registered operator before a notice needs to be issued, the opposition believes it is sensible to provide an opportunity for the registered operator to receive written notice before the car is removed. That is, if, for some reason, they are not at home when a telephone call is made or a visit conducted, they still have the opportunity to be notified before the car is removed to the retention area.