Have your say on proposed boat trailer parking restrictions

 Randwick City Council is proposing to introduce new boat trailer parking restrictions.

RANDWICK City Council is proposing to introduce new boat trailer parking restrictions across the entire Randwick Local Government Area. The proposed restrictions follow new state regulations that came into effect on 1 July 2016, called the Impounding Amendment (Unattended Boat Trailers) Act.

It would mean boat trailers must move at least every 28 days, and must move at least one street block. If the boat trailer does not move, Council must provide the registered owner with 15 days’ notice before being able to impound the trailer. Council would also have the option of establishing a charge for the release of an impounded trailer and boat.

Randwick Council says the changes to the Act were developed to: 

  • Discourage the nuisance caused by the long term parking of unattended registered boat trailers on public roads, often by people who do not live in the local area;
  • Encourage the off-street storage of boat trailers; and
  • Free up on-street parking spaces for local residents.

Randwick City Council is one of only a small number of councils across NSW who have opted to introduce the new boat trailer parking restrictions.

Background to the legislation

In July 2016, the Impounding Act 1993 was amended by the Impounding Amendment (Unattended Boat Trailers) Act 2015 to allow councils and impounding authorities to ‘opt in’ to take impounding action against boat trailers parked for more than 28 days.

The intention was to enable councils to manage boat trailer parking on residential streets and encourage the use of off-street storage. 

In any area where the provisions are applied, boat trailers must move at least every 28 days at least as far as a different block section of the same street. This applies regardless of whether the boat and trailer are moved for general use during the 28 day period and then returned to the same parking location.

Council must provide notice of at least 15 days before impounding a trailer – which will include the boat and any other article mounted on the trailer.

The new measures will not apply to boat trailers where a residential parking permit has been issued by council and is displayed on the boat trailer – the legislation does provide council with the discretion to issue residential parking permits to residents with boat trailers.

This will have a serious impact on trailer boat owners. Randwick City Council has decided AGAINST the option of providing residents with a boat trailer parking permit which would exempt the trailer from the 28 day move on requirement and the threat of impoundment.

If you currently park your boat trailer in front of your own home you must under the regulations move the trailer at least another block section of the street every 28 days even though you may have moved your trailer boat many times over the 28 day period but have returned it to the same parking location.

Under such a situation you are not only obliged to move your boat trailer from the front of your home to a less secure location but you will also be obliged to park the boat and trailer in front of the residence of someone else who you may not know and who may not be happy about having a boat and trailer parked outside their residence for the next 28 days.

Randwick City Council should be encouraged to reconsider its position on the issue of trailer parking permits even if only to permit parking in front of the residence of the registered boat trailer owner. 

It is also acknowledged that Randwick City Council will not allow boat trailer parking on some roads and streets under any circumstances for safety reasons, etc. – this is not unreasonable. Also in some locations where high-density development exists it is unlikely that space for boat trailer parking will be available and a parking permit arrangement may not be a practical option for such situations.

Regrettably Randwick City Council has not been willing to take any other action to minimise the impact of boat trailer parking on the local community. The NSW government did provide a funding opportunity for councils and other organisations to develop off-street trailer parking but this option has not been pursued by Randwick City Council. Given the availability of open space within the Council’s borders that could be adapted to accommodate off-street trailer parking, Council should be urged to reconsider its position on this option. 

In reality the solution favoured by Randwick City Council will do nothing to reduce the impact of boat trailer parking on the local community. The number of boat trailers parked within the Council’s boundaries is unlikely to be reduced and all that is being achieved is a compulsory 28 day movement of all boat trailers from one place to another – akin to a pass the parcel solution – which will potentially cause more aggravation and friction within the community than is already the case.

It is also inequitable that other forms of trailers e.g. caravans, horse floats, box, storage and advertising trailers are not captured by the Boat Trailer parking regulations.

You can do something about these parking restrictions

If you are a resident of Randwick City Council and regardless of whether you own a boat trailer, contact the Council and let them know what you think about the proposal. Your feedback may influence the Council to make the best and fairest decision on how to implement the provisions of the Impounding Amendment (Unattended Boat Trailers) Act

Have your say at this link. 

You have limited time – the consultation is open for submissions only until 5 pm, Tuesday 24 July 2018.

You can obtain more information on the Trailer Boat parking legislation and regulations via the Office of Local Government website.

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