NRA urges Labor to abandon shopping trolley policy

grocery cartNational Retail Association (NRA) has urged the NSW Labor Opposition to re-think its policy announcement on abandoned shopping trolleys.

Opposition leader Michael Daley announced at the weekend that a Labor Government would give authority to councils to impound abandoned trolleys within three hours with increased financial penalties.

NRA manager of Industry Policy David Stout said in a statement that the policy doesn’t provide a big enough timeframe, duplicates already existing processes and will send businesses broke.

“Retailers provide shopping trolleys as a service to consumers with the aim of making shopping for essential items as convenient as possible,” Stout said. “Increasing the penalties from A$550 to A$2,750 threatens to financially cripple many businesses. Retailers already have a natural incentive to retrieve all abandoned trolleys – the cost of replacing them – so whacking them with a heavy-handed and over the top fine will only result in many going broke.”

He said that most companies place a 1800 number printed on shopping trolleys’ handles that speeds up the process. Stout said that the three-hour collection timeframe is far too short and that a 24-hour turnaround is more feasible.

“There are already existing processes in place – particularly among large retailers – that effectively deal with identifying and retrieving abandoned trolleys that pose a safety risk. Moves to empower local councils to immediately impound shopping trolleys will not do anything to improve safety. We urge the NSW Labor Opposition to review their policy and revise it to something that is more practical and viable for the retail sector,” added Stout.

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