Overhaul of unclaimed goods to ease burdens on SA businesses

The South Australian Government are looking to overhaul the Unclaimed Goods Act, to ease the burden on businesses.

The South Australian government are seeking for customers to clean up their act when it comes to unclaimed items at businesses.

Feedback is sought to propose changes to the Unclaimed Goods Act 1987, in hopes to make it easier for businesses and individuals to sell or dispose of items left in their possession by owners who never return to claim them.

Under the current legislation, a waiting period of three months is required before disposal, often leading to costly procedures. By changing the legislation, businesses and individuals will be to dispose the items in a more timely manner, reducing the burden but also protecting the rights of owners and ensure a fair process for all parties involved.

The government is now inviting the public to have their say on these proposed changes via the platform ‘yourSAY’.

Attorney-General Kyam Maher emphasised there needs to be a more efficient process reduced holding periods for unwanted goods.

“No one wants to be stuck holding onto or storing things for extended periods that they don’t want and that don’t belong to them,” he said.

“If goods aren’t claimed, there should be a clear, simple, and fair process for people to follow so they no longer have responsibility for them.

“We’re looking at reducing the amount of time people need to hold onto unclaimed goods as well as simplifying the steps involved in disposing of or selling unclaimed goods.

“These changes could bring much-needed relief to businesses that have long struggled with the complexities of the current legislation.”

By seeking public input, the initiative hopes to ensure that the new legislation addresses the concerns of all parties involved, ultimately striking a fair and effective balance.

Items that could be disposed of include a mechanic left with a car that the owner abandons after deciding it is not worth the cost of repairs through to dry cleaning never collected by the owners.

Darrell Jacobs, CEO of the Motor Trade Association SA/NT, praised the initiative saying abandoned vehicles can often be a nightmare for businesses facing the removal costs.

“The MTA welcomes the State Government’s review of Unclaimed Goods laws,” he said

“Automotive service and repair businesses are being used as a dumping ground for unwanted cars.

“Even after years of unanswered calls, letters and emails to a previous owner, businesses are left with red tape nightmares and disposal costs well in excess of the vehicle’s value.”

The public are invited to have their say about the proposed changes to the legislation via yourSAY.

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