Council donates abandoned vehicles to TAFE mechanical students

Abandoned vehicles are being re-purposed by Shellharbour Council to help mechanical engineering students learning their trade at Shellharbour TAFE.

The donations will help apprentices with their studies and reduce costs for Council, with the TAFE agreeing to organise and pay for towing. Council recently donated three vehicles.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said almost 30 vehicles were abandoned in Shellharbour City each year, requiring investigation and processing by Council staff.

“This arrangement makes sense for both Council and the TAFE and is a good example of recycling,” Cr Saliba said.

“It saves ratepayers money in towing and associated fees, and provides a relatively inexpensive educational resource for TAFE students,” she said.

An abandoned vehicle is classified as being unregistered and left on a road or road-related area, such as a public carpark.

A sticker declaring it abandoned is placed on the vehicle, stating the owner has seven days to remove it.

An RMS check is done to find the last registered owner’s details and notification is sent stating the vehicle will be seized within seven days if it is not moved.

If not moved, it is seized and taken to the Council depot where it is held for 28 days.

An infringement notice for ‘Abandon a Motor Vehicle in a Public Place’ and a $550 fine is sent to the last registered owner. 

Most vehicles abandoned are worth nothing. If the vehicle is valued under $1500 it can then be sent to the wreckers/metal recyclers – or in recent cases – Shellharbour TAFE.

Alternatively, if the vehicle is valued over $1500 it can be put to public auction, such as vehicle auction or on-line buy and sell sites.

Media Officer: Kelli Wells 4221 6038 or 0448 361 008.