ORC wants abandoned vehicles’ owners to pay

The ORC removes a vehicle from Smaills Beach on New Year’s Eve. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The ORC removes a vehicle from Smaills Beach on New Year’s Eve. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The Otago Regional Council is seeking costs from the owner of a car it removed from Hoopers Inlet over the holidays.

Meanwhile, the council was still awaiting invoices for the removal of another vehicle from Smaills Beach at the start of the year, regulatory general manager Richard Saunders said.

"There is a mechanism for cost recovery in the Resource Management Act 1991, however we endeavour to work with the vehicle owner directly to recover the costs associated with the removal of the vehicle to prevent negative effects on the environment," Mr Saunders said.

Removing the vehicle from Hoopers Inlet cost $600.

To date that had been covered by the council’s pollution response operating budget.

Council chairwoman Marian Hobbs wrote in her report to the council in January that "loud demands from Peninsula residents" prompted the vehicles’ removal.

"If the cars were left there, the fluids would contaminate fragile wildlife breeding areas," she said.

Last month, the Otago Daily Times reported the council was still deciding whether to claim costs back from the owner.

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