City plans to put brakes on troublesome trolleys

WHEEL SERIOUS: Cr Paul Tully says Ipswich City Council will introduce wheel locks for shopping trolleys in the city from next July.
WHEEL SERIOUS: Cr Paul Tully says Ipswich City Council will introduce wheel locks for shopping trolleys in the city from next July. David Nielsen

IPSWICH will become the first city in Queensland requiring supermarkets and other retailers to implement an automatic wheel lock system on shopping trolleys.

Ipswich City Council says it means the days of shopping trolleys clogging creeks and rivers and littering parks and streets in Ipswich are almost finished.

Ipswich planning chairman Cr Paul Tully said the council decided this week to implement the system.

Cr Tully said Ipswich retailers would be required to implement the system by July 1 next year.

"It is not a big cost to solve a big problem with each new wheel lock costing just $45," he said.

"I encourage every council within Queensland and around Australia to follow Ipswich's lead."

He said there had been reports of people using shopping trolleys for washing baskets, barbecue grills and mobile storage units.

He said the wheel locking mechanism was triggered by a buried electronic wire detector.

"It automatically locks one of the trolley's wheels if someone tries to take it outside the shopping centre precinct and can only be unlocked by the retailer," he said

"All shopping centres and supermarkets across Ipswich with more than 20 trolleys will be required to roll out this trolley containment system."

Retailers with fewer than 20 will have to implement the system if they receive two infringement notices within 12 months for their trolleys being found away from their store. Cr Tully said retailers failing to comply with the new system faced fines of up to $5500.

The wheel lock system is used by Coles at Riverlink and the company says it has worked.

"The wheel lock system has been successful at Riverlink and other stores across the country," Coles spokesman Jon Church said.

"The system keeps trolleys at our stores for customers to use and prevents them being taken away and becoming a nuisance for the local community. Where trolley locks are required, customers by far prefer the wheel lock over coin deposits because they don't have to remember a coin or token."

However, he said because the system requires an invisible perimeter around the entire shopping centre site, Coles could not act alone to install it at stores in shopping centres it did not own.

"We will continue discussions with the council about how best to deal with abandoned trolleys," he said.



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