Mulgrave market gardener fined $9,900 for breaches of water laws

A Mulgrave market gardener was found guilty of five breaches of NSW water laws on South Creek, which is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. The market gardener was fined a total of $9,900 for five breaches of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act), in Windsor Local Court today.

The case was brought by the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR). Grant Barnes, Chief Regulator Officer of NRAR, the state’s water regulator said the severity of the breach and the person’s culpability and attitude to compliance had been considered in its decision to prosecute.

“This market gardener had already received three fines from other water regulation entities and had continued to take water without a licence. This kind of disregard for the law puts our water resources at risk and cannot go unchecked,” Mr Barnes said.

“We hope this case acts as a deterrent to other water users who may not be operating with the water laws.”

The market gardener pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • taking water without an access licence in contravention of Section 60A(2) of the Act in January/February 2019
  • using water without or otherwise than as authorised by a water use approval contrary to s91A(1) of the Act in 2018/2019
  • contravention of terms and conditions of approval contrary to s91G(2) of the Act in 2018/2019
  • constructing or using a water supply work (an unauthorised pump) without or otherwise than as authorised by a water supply work approval contrary to s91B(1) of the Act in 2018/2019
  • failure to comply with a direction issued under Part 7 of the Act contrary to s336C of the Act (namely a stop work order to discontinue use of an unapproved pump) in 2018/2019.

The Mulgrave man received a fine of $2,200 for each offence, except for the charge against s91B(1) for which he received a fine of $1,100. Additionally, he was ordered to publicise the offence in the Daily Chinese Herald and the Hawkesbury Gazette.

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

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