NRAR prosecutes earthmoving company for alleged water law breaches

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has charged a Queensland-based earthmoving company for allegedly breaching the Water Management Act 2000 (WM Act) by constructing a bore without the required approval.

The regulator has also charged a Tenterfield landholder connected to the company for alleged water take through the unlawful bore.

Kirsty Ruddock, NRAR’s Director Water Enforcement Taskforce, said NRAR has accepted the mandate it was given by the public to enforce the state’s water laws.

“Our state’s water laws exist for a reason. They protect the environment and ensure water is shared fairly,” Ms Ruddock said.

“We use a combination of boots on the ground and innovative technology to ensure we have a robust understanding of water compliance behaviours across the state. Taking water unlawfully is just not worth the risk.”

NRAR has issued five charges against section 91B(1) of the WM Act for allegedly constructing a bore without a water supply work approval, in March and June 2019.

If found guilty, the company faces a maximum penalty of $2,000,200 for each offence.

The landholder is facing three charges against section 60A(2) for allegedly taking water without an access licence through the unlawful bore in July and August 2020.

The landholder also faces one charge against section 91B(1) and another charge against section 91A(1) for allegedly using the unlawful bore without a water supply work approval at excavations to take water from the Border Rivers.

NRAR also alleges the landholder breached section 91B(1) for allegedly using the unlawful bore without an approval to capture and store water at their property.

It is alleged these offences took place between June and August 2019.

If found guilty, the landholder faces the highest penalty of $500,500 for each offence.

The matter is listed before the Tenterfield Local Court on 10 June 2021.

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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