Griffith landholder charged for allegedly taking 1,350 megalitres of water unlawfully

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has commenced a prosecution against a Griffith based landholder for alleged breaches of the Water Management Act 2000 (WM Act) for unlawful water take.

Kirsty Ruddock, NRAR’s Director Water Enforcement Taskforce, says breaking water laws is not worth the risk.

“It is important that water users check their licences and approvals for limits imposed and comply with them,” Ms Ruddock said.

“When someone takes water that they are not legally entitled to, they are harming the natural environment, other water users and the public’s trust in the enforcement of our water laws. We will throw the book at those who willfully and substantially breach water laws.”

The regulator has brought the following charges:

  • One charge under section 91G(2) of the WM Act for allegedly breaching water access approval by taking 117 megalitres of water in excess of an extraction limit. The offences allegedly took place between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. If found guilty, the landholder faces a maximum penalty of $500,500.
  • One charge under section 91G(2) of the WM Act for allegedly breaching a term of a water management work approval by taking 1,233 megalitres of water in excess of an extraction limit. The regulator alleges these offences took place between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019. If found guilty, the landholder faces a maximum penalty of $500,500.

“We’re enhancing our monitoring and compliance efforts across the state by putting boots on the ground and using innovative technology such as satellite imagery and drones,” Ms Ruddock said.

The matter is next listed to be heard in the Land and Environment court on 23 July.

To see the work NRAR does, go to its website dpie.nsw.gov.au/nrar then ‘Reports and data’ and ‘NRAR Public Register‘.

To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, visit NRAR’s website at dpie.nsw.gov.au/nrar-suspicious-activity-report.

NRAR staff at a site inspection in regional NSWNRAR staff at a site inspection in regional NSW

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