MAJOR shopping centres must keep their trolleys under lock and key or face thousands in fines as Ipswich City Council cracks down on rogue trolleys.
Council announced yesterday that all Ipswich shopping centres would have 12 months to ensure trolleys could not be wheeled away by introducing containment management systems.
It is hoped the plan will end the days of shopping trolleys clogging creeks and littering parks across the city.
Shopping centres will be fined $1000 for each day they breach the July 1 deadline.
Councillor Paul Tully has called for wheel locking systems be put in place, instead of the tried and failed coin-operated systems used at Brassall Shopping Centre earlier this year.
Cr Tully said once the trolley reaches the shopping centre's boundary, a radio signal triggers the lock, making it physically impossible to push any further.
Supermarket giant Coles has backed the scheme.
Cr Tully said Coles was close to launching the system at its store in Riverink Shopping Centre.
The move is designed to put to an end the menace of rogue trolleys that have irked Ipswich residents for years.
"They are found in rivers, creeks and gardens. They sit out in the rain and rust, so hopefully our problem with the environment in Ipswich will be removed," Cr Tully said.
"We've looked at this for a while because it is a very vexed question. Everyone thought the coin mechanism was going to work well but it hasn't. People are still happy to walk away without their dollar."
The wheel locking systems cost about $200 a trolley, the same cost as manufacturing the trolley.
Brian Munt is one Ipswich resident who is fed up with fishing trolleys from creeks.
He congratulated council on taking a stand.
"I think it's well overdue and good on council because the two major supermarket chains have fobbed people off for too long," Mr Munt said.
"I think it will make a lot of people happy and there is probably a lot of people that it annoyed but didn't say anything."
A Coles spokesman said they would work with council to eradicate the problem.
"Coles has a very strong relationship with the Ipswich City Council, and shares their goal of preventing abandoned trolleys," the spokesman said.
"We'll work collaboratively with the council to comply with any new trolley containment requirements."
The change in council law has been submitted to the State Government for approval.
Woolworths was not available for comment.