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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2883 ..


system that essentially ensures that shopping trolleys are picked up. I think the great irritant that people face in relation to shopping trolleys and their abandonment is the length of time that we see some shopping trolleys sitting in the same place uncollected. They do become over time very, very unsightly rubbish.

At present the collection of shopping trolleys found abandoned in public places almost always ends up as a cost to the territory and to the community. The Department of Territory and Municipal Services is regularly engaged in the collection of shopping trolleys that are not collected by the stores that own them. While many retailers do do the right thing and have someone collect their trolleys, this is often limited to an area within a relatively narrow radius of a shopping centre or the shop from which the shopping trolley came.

The removal of trolleys from shopping centres appears to be something that many retailers view as a matter over which they have little control. It is one of those issues that it is hard to discern any great determination by some shops to do anything about. So we do see shopping trolleys abandoned on the side of the road, on walking paths and on cyclepaths.

I often see them in the lake. It amazes me when they are left that others come along and they push them off bridges. They push them into our lakes, they push them into the creeks and of course they often end in places where it really is quite hard to retrieve or recover them. They do become incredibly unsightly. The government has been giving consideration to this issue for some time now.

It is quite difficult as one goes through the options available to actually settle on a scheme that seems to be fair and appropriate. The Department of Territory and Municipal Services has, over time, engaged in consultation with a whole range of stakeholders to ensure that, were there to be a government-based regulatory scheme, whatever is developed will effectively deal with the issue. As many things are, it is simply not as simple as it seems.

This particular issue can be complex and is surprisingly complex. It seems quite simple. Somebody owns a shopping trolley; the shopping trolley is taken by somebody else for the use of getting their groceries home and then they abandon it. You think, “What is the problem?” You just want it to be moved, but once you get into the actual issues, it does become quite complex.

There is a whole range of considerations. This is another one of those issues for which there is no obvious silver bullet. For example, trolleys are often taken from shopping centres by the most economically and socially disadvantaged among us. I refer to people without transport that do rely on public transport or on a bicycle. I am referring to people who do not have a car. Ms Le Couteur acknowledges this. In her presentation speech she said that her bill does take a fairly straightforward approach to the problem and that she had, in developing the bill, taken a similar approach to positions that the government had recently articulated.

I believe that Ms Le Couteur was referring to the comments about a regime that would require retailers to mark their shopping trolleys and that owners who did not collect their dumped trolleys within a certain time frame would suffer a fee. The government


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