QLD government legislates on towing recommendations
In May last year the Queensland Government announced an independent investigation into the removal of parked vehicles from publicly accessible private car parks and roads by tow truck operators.
The investigation considered the practice of removing vehicles from private property, considering community expectations, consumer protections, private property owners’ rights and the professional operation of the towing industry. The investigation was assisted by a range of stakeholders including towing operators, private property occupiers, motorists, government and non-government bodies and organisations. Parking Australia made a submission on behalf of parking operators, which included a number of recommendations. A report was provided to the Queensland Government in August 2017.
The Queensland Government approved all 22 recommendations and 8 matters for consideration, contained in the report.
On 8 March 2018, the Queensland Government passed legislation to introduce the recommendations from 16 April 2018.
The report recommended the development of signage guidelines for private property owners – see the signage guidelines for parking on private property (PDF, 685 KB).
Appropriate signage is integral to the lawful removal of vehicles from private property. It is recommended that property owners and occupiers provide fair notice to motorists in the form of signage, before arrangements are made for unauthorised vehicles to be towed from the property. This may reduce the risk of litigation brought against occupiers in the case of an unlawful removal.
Clear, highly visible signs with comprehensive information are important to establish the legal basis to have vehicles removed, and may in fact reduce the need to remove any vehicles if motorists understand where they can and cannot park and on what conditions.
Parking Australia is currently working to incorporate some of the towing standards into the guidelines for the Accredited Operator Scheme. Members of the scheme will be notified when the amendments are finalised.
To read the full report on the independent investigation into the towing industry – click here.