NRAR’s current focus is water regulation, a key part of which is to prevent, detect and stop illegal water activities.
If licence or approval holders do not comply with water rules, NRAR will respond with sanctions which fit the severity of the breach.
Our responses to non-compliance include:
- providing information to help people comply with water laws
- issuing stop work orders and directions to protect the water source
- issuing cautions and fines
- prosecuting offenders.
Individuals found guilty of an offence in court can face fines of up to $1.1 million and two years’ imprisonment. Courts can also impose fines of up to $5.005 million on corporations, and additional penalties can apply for each day the offence continues, up to $132,000 per day.
Water take licence and approval offences include:
- taking water, including groundwater, without holding a water access licence
- using water without a water use approval
- using water supply works, such as pumps, bores and dams, without a water management work approval
- failing to comply with the terms and conditions of a licence or approval
- taking water or using works while a licence or approval is suspended
- taking water when there is not enough water in the water allocation account for an access licence.
Offences relating to flood works and works affecting waterfront land or aquifers include:
- constructing flood works on floodplains, such as levee banks, without a flood work approval
- carrying out works on waterfront land (within 40 metres of the banks of a watercourse) without a controlled activity approval
- harming an aquifer or waterfront land by affecting its capacity to hold or carry water
- failing to comply with the terms and conditions of an approval.
Metering and record-keeping offences include:
- damaging or destroying a water meter or not operating a meter properly
- failing to install a meter when required
- taking water when a meter is not working or failing to report a malfunctioning meter or not using water-take log books when required.
Other key offences include:
- drilling a bore when not authorised by a driller’s licence
- not complying with a direction, including a stop-work order or an order to remove unlawful works
- not complying with a notice to provide information or records during an investigation, or providing false or misleading information in relation to an application or a requirement.
See also NRAR Teams - Investigation and Enforcement.