NRAR prosecutes Hawkesbury market garden for taking water from Bushells Lagoon
The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has begun a prosecution in Windsor Local Court against a Hawkesbury market garden and a person connected to the company.
NRAR alleges the market garden company committed 12 offences against the Water Management Act 2000 (WM Act) between October 2018 and August 2019, including drawing water from Bushells Lagoon at Wilberforce.
Ten of the offences relate to the alleged take of water from a water source other than by means of a water supply work nominated in an access licence. The two additional offences relate to alleged failures to comply with a direction and a notice issued by NRAR.
The water regulator also alleges a person connected to the market garden personally committed two offences in breach of the WM Act between July and August 2019.
The market garden and a person associated with the company both face a potential maximum fine of $22,000 for each offence in court if found guility or admitting guilt. The case comes before the court on December 18.
NRAR Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes says individuals and companies wilfully breaching NSW water laws will be prosecuted.
“While the majority of water users across our state are committed to doing the right thing, the chance of getting caught for noncompliance has never been greater,” Mr Barnes said.
“NRAR was established as an independent regulator to ensure compliance with the law. You can be sure that we will catch those who wilfully take water beyond their legal rights and that they will be held to account.”
NRAR’s investigators and compliance officers travel all over the state’s 58 water sharing plan areas, inspecting properties and assessing compliance with water users’ licences and the WM Act.
To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.