A NSW Government website

Who gets taken to court?

Taking a party to court is NRAR’s response to the most serious breaches of water laws. By mid-2021 we had commenced 30 prosecutions since we began in 2018.

Prosecutions are a key part of NRAR’s duty to maintain public confidence in the enforcement of water laws in NSW. They are also an important part of building a culture of compliant water use across the state.

The decision to prosecute is not taken lightly. A decision to commence a prosecution must be endorsed by the NRAR Board after independent legal advice is obtained.

Cases may be heard in a local court or for the most serious, the Land and Environment Court.

All of our concluded prosecutions are tabled in our public register.

Active prosecutions

NRAR usually has a number of active prosecutions in court. We issue a media release at the commencement of any prosecution so to find out more about them visit our news page. You can also click on the pin drops on the interactive map below to see basic information on our active prosecutions and the LGA they are in.

Concluded prosecutions

In this section we provide summaries of the court cases which have concluded – what the offences were, and the outcomes - to educate water users on the sorts of activities which could lead to prosecution, and what the costs could be. Click on the case studies below.

Case study: Works undertaken on Crown land beside a Marine Park

Men doing construction workBatemans Bay Local Court
Concluded February 2020

Offence: An individual was convicted of two offences regarding works undertaken on waterfront land in the Eurobodalla Shire. The individual cleared vegetation, deposited material and built a boat ramp between 2016 and 2018 on a site on the Clyde River.

The site was not only adjacent to a Marine Park, it was also on Crown Land.

The defendant knew he did not own the Crown Land, and that there were special regulations that applied to works done on this land because it was in a Marine Park . The magistrate said the defendant should also have known that any works on waterfront land require approval.

Outcome: The magistrate said in convicting the defendant he was not only sending a message of deterrence to him, but to the community at large, that compliance with environmental laws was important.

The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 per offence – a total of $15,000.

The magistrate accepted he showed genuine remorse, and because he entered a guilty plea at an early opportunity, gave him a 25% discount on sentence. If he had not entered the early guilty pleas, he would have imposed fines of $10,000 per offence.

Harm: The harm included clearing of 545m2 of woody native vegetation and potential pollution from erosion and excavation at the site into the Clyde River and Marine Park.


Want to know the rules?

In its simplest term waterfront land is defined as the bed of a waterway and the land 40m from the mean high bank.  Undertaking work on waterfront land can threaten the health of the waterway, presenting risks to ecosystems and impacts on other water users up and down stream.

To protect our waterways, work on waterfront land that might alter water flows or lead to erosion are defined as controlled activities and require prior approval.  Examples of controlled activities would be construction of retaining walls, buildings or crossings, and works that involve excavating or depositing of materials, such vegetation removal, channel realignment and sand and gravel extraction.

Approvals will contain conditions to minimise impacts on the waterway and adjoining land.

It is an offence to carry out controlled activities without an approval. Find out more about controlled activity approvals.

Case study: Huge fine for unlawful works

channel of waterLand and Environment Court
Concluded September 2020

Offence: A Moree company operating in the Brewarrina Shire constructed and used a channel to convey water without approval.

The unlawful channel, constructed in 2015, was approximately two kilometres long and 30 metres wide. It was allegedly conveying water pumped from the Macquarie River.

Outcome: The magistrate noted that this was a substantial cotton-growing enterprise which had constructed unlawful works as part of its business activities, so a strong educational message of deterrence needed to be sent to other commercial water users.

The company was fined a total of $252,000 and was required to publish a public notice outlining the judgement in both The Land and the Moree Champion. The company has appealed the severity of the fine to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Harm: There was no evidence of environmental harm associated with the construction of the channel. Constructing unlawful works without approval does however harm the integrity of the regulatory system established by the Water Management Act 2000. His Honour Justice Moore stated:

“The fundamental impact of the company’s construction and use of the channel without consent is the undermining that this effects to the overall regulatory scheme for the management of water resources pursuant to the Water Management Act. This undermining of that regulatory scheme, by the construction of such a significant structure as well as its subsequent use, inevitably gives rise to the necessity to consider, as later discussed, matters of general deterrence as well as the need to denounce and punish the company for its unlawful breaching of the regulatory regime.”

Please note this matter is currently under appeal.


Want to know the rules?

Works used for taking water from a river, lake or aquifer are termed ‘water supply works’ and include pumps, water bores, dams, weirs, irrigation channels, banks and levees.

Approval are needed for these works to ensure they don’t harm water sources or the animals and plants dependent on them. Approvals also ensure the works don’t affect access to water by other water users by setting out conditions for the construction and use of the works.

It is an offence to construct or use water supply works without an approval.  Find out more about water supply work approvals and which agency you should contact to obtain an approval if needed.

Case study: Landowner and contractor prosecuted for waterfront works

Creek running into weir

Deniliquin Local Court
Concluded June 2021

Offence: A landowner and a contractor constructed an overbank access ramp and concrete pad without approval, did not comply with the conditions of an existing controlled activity approval and did not comply with a direction to remediate the site. The works were carried out on the Murray River at Moama.

Outcome: In sentencing, the magistrate said the fine needed to be substantial enough not to act as a mere licence fee for a criminal activity. He also said the court’s message was that those wishing to develop natural resources such as the Murray River must obtain the appropriate approvals and comply with directions, and that if they did not, substantial penalties would apply, and rectification would be ordered.

The landowner was fined a total of $27,000 across five charges. He was also ordered to pay $11,000 in legal costs, ordered to publish the details of the case in the Border Mail, and remediate the site by revegetating the land and removing the unlawful overbank access ramp and concrete pad.

The contractor was fined $11,000 for not complying with the conditions of an approval in undertaking the works (even though he was not the holder of the approval) and required to pay $9000 costs.

Harm: The unlawful works impacted the Murray River and its commercial and recreational users. The additional fill could lead to extra sediment in the river, and the failure to comply with the vegetation management plan could result in further instability of the banks, leading to further erosion and sediment in the river. The vegetation requirement was to ensure there was no more than minimal harm associated with the works and was an important environmental protection measure.


Want to know the rules?

Works on waterfront land (called controlled activities) can interrupt the natural flow of water, potentially impacting users up and down stream.  When a controlled activity approval is issued it will detail conditions that must be met during the work to ensure potential impacts are controlled or limited.

It is an offence to carry out controlled activities without an approval or to contravene the conditions issued. Find out more about Controlled Activity Approvals and how waterfront land is defined, or find out more about NRAR’s regulatory response to non-compliance.

Case study: Dam rules flouted

NRAR officers checking dam levelsDubbo Local Court
Concluded March 2020

Offence: A Dubbo landholder took water without a licence, extended a dam without approval and ignored a direction by NRAR to empty the dam and remove it.

The offences took place between 2015 and 2019.

Outcome: The landholder was fined a total of $18,900 comprising $9000 for the water take, $5400 for the dam extension and $4500 for not complying with the direction to empty and remove the dam. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of $30,000, publish the details of the case in The Land or a local newspaper, and empty and remove the dam.

Harm: It was alleged that the landowner took 36.986 ML of water.


Want to know the rules?

Water is a finite resource and other than exemptions, such as for stock and domestic or native title rights, access in NSW is controlled by the issue of water access licences to ensure all users get fair access. If a user takes water that has not been allocated to them, there may be less water available for other users downstream.

It is an offence to take water without a licensed entitlement.

Works that are constructed to store water that is taken under licence, such as dams, need approval to ensure they don’t harm water sources or the animals and plants dependent on them. Approvals are issued in line with the associated water licence to ensure works don’t affect access to water by other water users.

It is an offence to construct or use water supply works without an approval.

When NRAR finds unapproved works, we may serve a statutory direction to the owner for the works to be removed, restoring the unlicensed water to the environment.

It is an offence to not comply with such a direction issued by NRAR.

Find out more about water access licences and water supply work approvals and which agency you should contact to obtain a licence and/or approval if needed or find out more about NRAR’s regulatory response to non-compliance.

Case study: Unauthorised works on waterfront land

Creek

Lithgow Local Court
Concluded February 2020

Offence: A landholder in the Bathurst area removed material from waterfront land, and deposited other material there.

The actions were taken in early 2017 in an attempt to reduce the risk of flooding. Such activities require a controlled activities approval.

Outcome: The landholder was fined $4,000 for each offence, making a total of $8000, which was a 20 per cent discount on the original fine due to his relatively early guilty plea. He was also ordered to pay professional costs of $7000 and publish the details of the case in a local newspaper.

Harm: While an environmental report submitted by the defendant argued there was no significant damage or harm to the environment caused by the works, and the landholder had since taken steps to rectify his wrongdoing, the magistrate said general deterrence was an important factor in sentencing cases such as this, and that any fine had to be substantial enough to change the economic calculations of compliance.


Want to know the rules?

In its simplest term waterfront land is defined as the bed of a waterway and the land 40m from the mean high bank. Undertaking work on waterfront land can threaten the health of the waterway, presenting risks to ecosystems and impacts on other water users up and down stream.

To protect our waterways, work on waterfront land that might alter water flows or lead to erosion are defined as controlled activities and require prior approval. Examples of controlled activities would be construction of retaining walls, buildings or crossings, and works that involve excavating or depositing of materials, such vegetation removal, channel realignment and sand and gravel extraction.

Approvals will contain conditions to minimise impacts on the waterway and adjoining land.

It is an offence to carry out controlled activities without an approval. Find out more about controlled activity approvals.

Case study: The need for approvals

lettuce growing on farmland

Land and Environment Court
Concluded October 2018

Offence: A market gardener operating on Nepean River properties in the Liverpool City Council area used water for a purpose different to that he had received approval for, used a water supply work without approval, tampered with a meter, and failed to comply with a direction.

Outcome: While the original penalties imposed totalled $40,000, on appeal they were reduced to a total of $24,000 due to an early guilty plea, cooperation with the prosecutor and a lack of evidence of harm caused, except to the regulatory system.

Harm: see above.


Want to know the rules?

Water supply work and water use approvals are required to take and use water for many purposes, for example a pump used to extract water from the river to irrigate a commercial crop would need a water supply works and water use approval, usually given as a combined approval.

All approvals include conditions designed to minimise impacts of the works and intended use on the water source and other users.

It is an offence to use water or a water supply work without approval, or in a way that is different to what was approved.

When NRAR finds unapproved works or water take, we have a range of statutory directions that can be issued to bring the activity into compliance, for example removing the works or stopping the use of water.

It is an offence not to comply with a direction issued by NRAR.

Find out more about water supply work and water use approvals and which agency you should contact to obtain an approval if needed. Find out more about NRAR’s regulatory response to non-compliance.

Case study: The need to follow directions

NRAR cap

Moree Local Court
Concluded September 2019

Offence: A Moree area farmer was prosecuted for constructing a levee without an approval, and failing to comply with a direction to remove the levee.

He constructed the levee after a flood in 2016 destroyed his crop. He was directed twice to remove the levee but did not, instead extending it after the first direction.

Outcome: While the magistrate found the defendant’s moral culpability to be quite high because he undertook the work without approval and did not stop work on it or remove it when directed, he also stated that the defendant did not undertake the work to deprive others or remove water and was not motivated by self-interest.

While the defendant was found guilty, no conviction was recorded or penalty imposed due to other significant circumstances of the case. The defendant was however given a conditional release for two years which included the conditions that he pay the prosecution’s costs of $10,000 and remove the levee within 60 days.

The magistrate said the order to pay the prosecution’s costs was because the defendant had twice ignored a direction regarding the levee, which left the water regulator with no choice but to prosecute.

Harm: There was potential for harm from the levee by unauthorised diverting of floodwaters, potentially harming neighbouring properties, but no evidence of actual harm due to there being no floods during the period the levee was in place.


Want to know the rules?

Works that might affect the natural flow of water to or from a water way, or affect the distribution of flow of water in times of flood, are classed as flood works. Levees, barrages, causeways, cuttings and embankments are examples of flood works and regardless of their intended purpose, must be approved prior to construction.

Changing the natural flow of water, particularly flood waters, presents a risk to ecosystems but also to humans and their property.  The approval process ensures the potential for negative impacts and risks is controlled and minimised.

It is an offence to construct or use flood works without an approval. Find out more about flood work approvals and which agency you should contact to obtain an approval if needed.

Case study: Both landholder and contractor found guilty

Building a retaining wallAlbury local Court
Concluded December 2018

Offence: A Corowa landholder and a contractor employed by him were both convicted of carrying out works on waterfront land without a controlled activity approval.

The owner of the land on the Murray River was found guilty of three offences, and the contractor of one offence.

The unlawful works included the construction of a 45m retaining wall and concrete steps, and the depositing of sleepers, concrete, sand and turf on the site.

Outcome: The landowner was fined $15,000 and the contractor $7500, a warning to contractors to check that the work they have been employed to do has approval. The fine amounts reflected a 25 per cent discount, granted as both parties entered early guilty pleas.

The landowner and contractor were also ordered to pay professional costs of $5000 each and publish the details of the case in a local newspaper.

Harm: The local council had indicated a permit was required for the proposed works but would not be issued until issues with erosion control, impact on threatened species, impact on fish habitat and protection of native vegetation were addressed. These issues were not addressed before the work commenced.

Subsequently undermining and subsidence of backfill took place, leaching into the watercourse. Also clearing had affected fringe vegetation, affecting the ability of the watercourse to rehabilitate and re-establish healthy eco systems. These effects were also likely to affect water quality.


Want to know the rules?

In its simplest term waterfront land is defined as the bed of a waterway and the land 40m from the mean high bank. Undertaking work on waterfront land can threaten the health of the waterway, presenting risks to ecosystems and impacts on other water users up and down stream.

To protect our waterways, work on waterfront land that might alter water flows or lead to erosion are defined as controlled activities and require prior approval. Examples of controlled activities would be construction of retaining walls, buildings or crossings, and works that involve excavating or depositing of materials, such vegetation removal, channel realignment and sand and gravel extraction. Approvals will contain conditions to minimise impacts on the waterway and adjoining land.

It is an offence to carry out controlled activities without an approval. Find out more about controlled activity approvals.

In this case both the landowner and the contractor were found guilty because where a person causes, conspires or in some ways assists another person to commit an offence, the courts may find that person guilty of that same offence and they can be liable to the same penalties. Find out more about NRAR’s regulatory response to non-compliance.

Case study: Unlawful water take on border

water being taken from creekLand and Environment Court
Concluded November 2020

Offence: A vineyard owner in Wentworth Shire in the state’s far south west pleaded guilty to eight charges of unlawful water take. A total of 1378ML of water was taken from the Murray River between April 2016 and March 2019.

Outcome: The magistrate noted that there could be no doubt that the offences were committed deliberately by the defendant. The defendant had previously been issued a stop-work order and penalty notice in 2015 for similar conduct.

The defendant was fined $131,250, ordered to pay court costs and publish a notice in The Land and the Sunraysia Daily about the judgment.

Harm: NRAR conceded that no direct harm to the environment was occasioned by the offending, but that there was likely harm caused by the unlawful taking of that amount of water during a drought as it could adversely impact other water users’ rights to take water. This would then adversely affect the general allocation of water in the system, as well as harm the regulatory system.

The Court rejected the evidence of likely harm but agreed there was harm to the regulatory system.


Want to know the rules?

Water is a finite resource and other than exemptions, such as for stock and domestic or native title rights, access in NSW is controlled by the issue of water access licences to ensure all users get fair access. If a user takes water that has not been allocated to them, there may be less water available for other users downstream.

Users must ensure they have taken the steps to secure a sufficient allocation before they take the water.

It is an offence to take water without a licensed entitlement. Find out more about water access licences or access the Water NSW Water Accounting System (iWAS), where water allocations must be purchased prior to being used.

Case study: Company, manager and property owner all prosecuted

Water pump in creekBallina Local Court
Concluded July 2020

Offence: A macadamia nut nursery company, its manager and the property owner were all found to have unlawfully taken water in the Ballina area, and the company and manager were also found to have used water supply works without approval. The offences were carried out between 2016-2018.

Outcome: The company was found guilty of two counts of taking water without a water licence and two counts of using a pump, tank and pipes to take and use water without an approval. It received a fine of $10,000 and was ordered to pay legal costs of $7,000.

The property owner was found guilty of taking water without a water licence and received a fine of $1000 and was ordered to pay legal costs of $2,000.

The manager of the business was found guilty of taking water without a water licence and using a pump, tank and pipes to take and use water without an approval. The manager was fined $5,000, was ordered to pay legal costs of $3,000, and publish a notice about the judgment in a local newspaper.

Harm: The Prosecutor argued that previous warnings to the landowner, company and manager were important because it meant the defendants were aware of the need to obtain a licence for the water take. Taking water outside of the volumes and conditions set out in a water sharing plan also impacts on the equitable sharing of available water resources between those authorised to take water.


Want to know the rules?

Water is a finite resource and other than exemptions, such as for stock and domestic or native title rights, access in NSW is controlled by the issue of water access licences to ensure all users get fair access. If a user takes water that has not been allocated to them, there may be less water available for other users downstream.

It is an offence to take water without a licensed entitlement. Find out more about water access licences.

Water supply work and water use approvals are required to take and use water for many purposes, for example a pump used to extract water from the river to irrigate a commercial crop would need a water supply works and water use approval, usually given as a combined approval.

It is an offence to construct or use water supply works without an approval. Find out more about water supply work approvals and which agency you should contact to obtain an approval if needed.

Case study: False information leads to conviction

Information in record bookWalgett Local Court
Concluded October 2018

Offence: A farm manager from the Walgett local government area provided false and misleading information to investigators regarding the keeping of a logbook.

Outcome: The magistrate said the offence required a sharp penalty to send the message that there were consequences for being dishonest.

The manager was fined $1000 and ordered to pay $5500 professional costs and separate court costs. He was also ordered to publish a notice with the details of the case in either The Land or the Moree Champion.

Harm: While the false and misleading information did not impact on the investigation, it had the potential to do so and for this reason it was important to deter this behaviour.


Want to know the rules?

During an investigation an authorised officer may request records or information.  It is an offence to knowingly provide false information or make false statements to the officer. Find out more about NRAR’s compliance powers.

Case study: Maximum fine for works on waterfront land

NRAR carRaymond Terrace Local Court
Concluded August 2019

Offence: A Port Stephens area company removed vegetation on three sites on a creek and deposited rock and turf at one of the sites without approval.

The unauthorised works were carried out on a creek which drains into Fame Cove in the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, between 2014 and 2016.

Outcome: The magistrate said it was important the public understood that the work of the regulator would be taken seriously, and appropriate sanctions would be imposed by the courts.

The company was found guilty on four charges relating to the works on waterfront land and fined $22,000 for each charge – the maximum penalty possible, totalling $88,000. It was also ordered to pay professional costs of $20,000 and publish the details of the case in two local newspapers.

Harm: Unauthorised works can cause instability of stream banks, soil erosion and an increase in sediment, as well as destruction of habitat. Approvals ensure works are done in a way that minimises harm to the waterway, other water users and the environment.


Want to know the rules?

In its simplest term waterfront land is defined as the bed of a waterway and the land 40m from the mean high bank. Undertaking work on waterfront land can threaten the health of the waterway, presenting risks to ecosystems and impacts on other water users up and down stream.

To protect our waterways, work on waterfront land that might alter water flows or lead to erosion are defined as controlled activities and require prior approval. Examples of controlled activities would be construction of retaining walls, buildings or crossings, and works that involve excavating or depositing of materials, such vegetation removal, channel realignment and sand and gravel extraction. Approvals will contain conditions to minimise impacts on the waterway and adjoining land.

It is an offence to carry out controlled activities without an approval. Find out more about controlled activity approvals.

Case study: Disregard for rules on South Creek

Market gardenWindsor Local Court
Concluded August 2020

Offence: A Mulgrave market gardener was found guilty of five breaches of NSW water laws relating to taking water without a licence, using water without or not as authorised in an approval, contravening terms and conditions of an approval, using a pump without approval and failing to comply with a direction to stop taking water. All offences were conducted on South Creek.

The market gardener had already been fined three times by other water regulation entities but had continued to take water without a licence. His disregard for the law and the severity of the breaches were the reasons the decision was made to prosecute.

Outcome: He was fined a total of $9900 and ordered to pay professional/legal costs of $4000 and ordered to publish details of the case in the Daily Chinese Herald and the Hawkesbury Gazette. His fines reflected a 25 per cent discount for an early guilty plea.

Harm: The Prosecutor argued that there was unauthorised take of South Creek of between 4-5.6ML outside the volumes prescribed in the Water Sharing Plan. This would lead to likely harm to sustainability of environmental health of the water source. The conduct could also impact on downstream users of South Creek and environment due to reduced flow and water availability.


Want to know the rules?

Water supply work and water use approvals are required to take and use water for many purposes, for example a pump used to extract water from the river to irrigate a commercial crop would need a water supply works and water use approval, usually given as a combined approval.

It is an offence to use water without approval, or to construct or use a water supply work in a way that is different to what was approved.

All approvals include conditions designed to minimise impacts of the works and intended use on the water source and other users.  It is an offence to not comply with approval conditions.

When NRAR finds unapproved works or water take etc, we have a range of statutory directions that can be issued to bring the activity into compliance, for example stopping the use of water. It is an offence not to comply with a direction issued by NRAR.

Find out more about water supply work and water use approvals and which agency you should contact to obtain an approval if needed or find out more about NRAR’s regulatory response to non-compliance.

Case study: Illegally pumping water from endangered ecosystem

Illegally pumpingParramatta Local Court
Concluded August 2021

Offences: A Freemans Reach market garden operator pumped water without approval from Bushells Lagoon between October 2018 and October 2020.  The lagoon, in Hawkesbury, is environmentally sensitive because of its significant birdlife.

The company pleaded guilty to:

  • 10 charges of taking water otherwise than in accordance with a water supply work approval, an offence under section 60D of the WM Act
  • one charge of failing to comply with a notice, an offence under s340A
  • one charge of contravening a direction to stop taking water, an offence under s336C.

The director of the company also pleaded guilty to two charges of taking water otherwise than in accordance with a water supply work approval, an offence under s60D of the WM Act.

Outcome: The Court fined the company a total of $21,600 ($1600 for each of the 10 charges, and $3200 and $2400, respectively, for the remaining two charges). It also ordered the company to pay $24,630 in legal costs.

The Court fined the company director $1600 for the two offences he pleaded guilty to.

The Court ordered the company to remove the illegal pump under s353B of the WM Act and to publish the outcome of the case in the Hawkesbury Gazette and the Chinese Daily Herald within 28 days.

Harm: Bushells Lagoon is classed as an endangered ecological community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Cumberland Bird Observers Club has recorded sightings of 133 bird species at the lagoon, including waterfowl, pelicans, black swans, ibis, egrets, falcons, kites, sea eagles, spoonbills, cockatoos, rosellas, corellas, swallows, several duck species, doves, wrens and migratory birds.


Want to know the rules?

It is important to avoid extraction of water in areas where there might be vulnerabilities, such as slow recharge rates near at-risk ecosystems.  Extraction of water in a sensitive area can lead to significant environmental impacts through the lowering of water levels.

The NSW water access licence system provides a means to protect sensitive water sources by placing controls on the location of works for the extraction of water on a water source.

It is an offence to take water from an extraction point that isn’t nominated on an access licence.

When NRAR finds water being taking outside of the licence or approval conditions, we may serve a statutory direction for the water take to cease.  It is an offence to not comply with such a direction issued by NRAR.

During an investigation an authorised officer may issue a statutory notice requesting records or information to assist with the investigation. It is an offence to not comply with the notice.

Find out more about water access licences or visit NRAR’s regulatory response to non-compliance.

Charges dismissed or withdrawn

NRAR has brought 30 cases before the courts since its establishment in April 2018 (as at June 2021). Out of the 10 cases concluded so far, eight have been won by NRAR.

Bridge over riverWhile a prosecution will only be commenced if legal advice indicates there are reasonable prospects of conviction, there is never a guarantee of a successful outcome as charges must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. NRAR will always strive to ensure its enforcement actions, including prosecutions, are targeted, proportionate, consistent, fair, and considered in a timely fashion.

When we have a loss or where charges are dismissed, we consider the implications for current or future prosecutions to help build stronger cases in the future.

Releasing the results of all our prosecutions, successful or otherwise, provides transparency on NRAR’s activities and draws attention to the consequences of breaking the law, thereby encouraging compliance.

NRAR has a mandate to enforce NSW water laws and we will continue to actively do so, inside the courtrooms of NSW and out in the field across regional and metropolitan NSW.


Land and Environment Court
Concluded July 2020

Offence: Two landholders from the Walgett area were each charged with three counts of taking water without a functioning meter.

Outcome: The Judge found the charges were not proven beyond reasonable doubt and so were dismissed. See the case here: Caselaw


Tamworth Local Court
Concluded December 2020

Offence: Two landholders had five charges brought against them by NRAR of contravening the terms of their water licence in two locations in the Tamworth area during 2018.

Outcome: The charges were regarding taking water from a weir at a time of no visible flow. The magistrate found the charges were not proven beyond reasonable doubt and so were dismissed. The Court found that photographic evidence showing no flow over the weir from a static camera was not proven beyond reasonable doubt:

1. because the process by which the camera maintained by RMTeK captured photographs of the weir wall surface was very complex, with multiple steps

2. because there was no evidence that there was provision for audits or reliability checks to be undertaken

3. because the company that was contracted to take them went into liquidation in mid-2019, it could not be satisfied that that element was made out beyond reasonable doubt.


Walgett Local Court
Concluded September 2020

Offence: A company operating in the Walgett area was charged with taking water when metering equipment was not operating, and failing to ensure proper operation of metering equipment.

Outcome: The proceedings were withdrawn due to an outcome in a previous Land and Environment Court case, and there was no order as to costs.

Information

All images on this page are for illustration purposes only.