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Question of Ownership for Moorabool rubbish

Moorabool police urge residents not to assume property left on nature strips and streets is free for the taking.

The message follows an incident last week where a Lilydale man briefly landed himself in hot water for taking items left for hard waste collection.

While Moorabool was one of only a few councils that did not offer a hard rubbish collection service to its residents, Acting Inspector Karl Curran warned residents not to assume property left on nature strips or on streets had been abandoned.

“Ownership of any property can be questioned because each individual case depends on circumstances and clarifying ownership of the property,” he said.

Acting Insp Curran said the issue could also be relevant to property left at street side charity bins throughout the shire.

“There have been issues where things have been stolen from those bins and the issue again is ownership, because when people leave those items at the bins, they have given it to that organisation,” he said. “Taking them is theft, but there is a clause under the Crimes Act that says if property has been abandoned, then it can’t be stolen.”

Acting Insp Curran said the biggest issue for police was proving the property had been abandoned. He said the best advice was never to assume.

“The best way to cover yourself is to do a courtesy knock and ask - is this rubbish and can you take it?


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