The City of Sydney is cracking down on backpackers who dump cars and live out of illegally parked vehicles in Kings Cross following complaints from residents and local businesses.

The program will begin with a warning campaign, and following that, vehicles  found to be parked illegally will be towed away.

Many vehicles end up in the Cross after being driven around the country by backpackers, who then try to sell the vehicles before returning home. Vehicles that cannot be sold often end up dumped in the street.

The city is also aware that some backpackers live out of their vehicles for weeks on end rather than paying for hostel accommodation.

City of Sydney director of city operations Garry Harding said a balance needed to be struck, but that those who parked illegally were now on notice.

“The City welcomes backpackers and international visitors and recognises their contribution to the character and economy of the City,” Harding said.

“However, we have a responsibility to ensure that they do not impact adversely on residents, businesses and the amenity of the area.

“We are not preventing backpackers and visitors from parking their vehicles in the area, but like everyone else they must abide by the parking restrictions. On-street parking in the inner city is limited and it is necessary to ensure regular parking turnover for residents, businesses and their visitors.”

A general education program advising backpackers, residents and businesses about the re-introduction of tow-away zones will begin shortly.

In the meantime, City Rangers are visiting backpacker hostels and speaking to managers to ask them to encourage backpackers to sell their vehicles on the internet instead of the street.

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