As part of providing transparent and accountable enforcement of NSW water laws, NRAR publishes the details of its enforcement actions. Under section 12A of the Natural Resources Access Regulator Act 2017 (the NRAR Act) the regulator may keep and may make publicly available a register of the enforcement actions taken by or on behalf of the regulator under the Water Management Act 2000 (WM Act).
Publishing NRAR’s more serious regulatory actions on the register shows water users the consequences of not complying with NSW water laws. It not only provides transparency in our enforcement of the laws, but it’s hoped publication will act as a deterrent to those who might consider non-compliance.
The register is also intended to increase public confidence in NRAR’s ability to enforce the laws whilst further educating the community about the laws.
Note also that certain information may be removed on the register in accordance with a court appeal. If you would like further information about particular cases, the Land & Environment Court also provides the full text of its judgments at Caselaw.
To view enforcement actions, simply hover over the circles on the map below (if the circle is quite large, it means there are multiple enforcement actions in that area). Click the circle for more information. You can also select an area using the navigation tool to view all of the offences in that area in the table below the map.
The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has taken all reasonable care to ensure that information on this site is complete and correct. NRAR does not however, warrant or represent that it is free from errors or omissions or that it is exhaustive.
Information on the register is made available on the understanding that NRAR, its servants and agents to the extent permitted by law, accept no responsibility for any damage, cost, loss or expense incurred by you as a result of any:
(a) error, omission or misrepresentation on this site
(b) malfunction or failure to function of this site
(c) delay, failure or error in recording, displaying or updating information (without limiting (a) or (b) above).
NRAR may without notice, change any or all of the information on this site at any time. You should obtain independent advice before you make any decision based on information on this site.
What information is published on the register?
Information is published in accordance with section 12A of the NRAR Act, and clause 6 of the Natural Resources Access Regulator Regulation 2018 (the Regulation). This includes most enforcement actions taken by NRAR under the WM Act. The list of local government areas and water sharing plan areas only includes the areas where enforcement actions have been taken by NRAR. These actions include prosecutions, penalty infringement notices, enforceable undertakings and directions. Information is not published where the outcome of an investigation is an advisory letter, warning or official caution.
When a Court finds a person guilty of a breach and has determined a penalty as the consequence of that particular breach, NRAR will publish the following details:
(a) the name of the person
(b) if the person is a company, the name of the company, and the name of the chief executive officer and any director of the company
(c) the local government area (LGA) in which the breach took place
(d) the water sharing plan in which the breach took place, if relevant
(e) the date of the breach
(f) the decision of the court, and the penalty imposed, as described in the Judgment
(g) the section of the Water Management Act 2000 breached
(h) a map showing the location of the breach at LGA scale.
These details will remain on the register indefinitely.
Other enforcement actions
For all enforcement actions other than prosecutions, NRAR will publish:
(a) the local government area (LGA) in which the breach took place
(b) the water sharing plan in which the breach took place, if relevant
(c) the date of the breach
(d) the type of regulatory action taken
(e) the date of the regulatory action taken
(f) the particulars of the breach
(g) a map showing the location of the breach at LGA scale
(h) the section of the Water Management Act 2000 breached
NRAR does not publicise or comment on the specifics of ongoing investigations, however NRAR recognises that some enforcement actions taken early in an investigation are of significant community interest. Stop-work orders are issued under section 327 and 328 of the WM Act to stop works or activities that NRAR has found to be in contravention of the WM Act, to prevent ongoing breach or harm.
When is information published on the register and for how long?
Publication of information on enforcement actions is updated monthly and at other times when deemed necessary by NRAR.
Information published on the register is retained on the register for up to seven years.
Changing information in the register
NRAR endeavours to ensure that all information published is accurate, impartial, balanced and encourages compliance with the state’s water laws.
NRAR must remove information about a conviction for a breach from the register as soon as practicable after it has become aware that the conviction has been quashed or annulled.
The information must also be amended to record that an appeal has been made against the conviction or any changes made by appeal court to orders or sentences.
Other enforcement actions
When an enforcement action is quashed or annulled on appeal or court election, relevant information in the register will be removed as soon as practicable.
When an enforcement action is altered or substituted on appeal, or court election is lodged, the register will be updated—subject to any further appeal brought. When an appeal or court election is lodged, Subject to appeal will be added to the Particulars column. This note will remain in the register until the appeal is resolved.
If you have any concerns about the accuracy of the data or would like to make a request for anonymity (see Privacy) please contact NRAR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know if information on the register has changed?
The date the register was last updated is shown at the top of the page.
What if I want more information?
Final decisions and decisions of significance made by judges and commissioners of the Land and Environment Court are given as judgments and published at Caselaw NSW. The Land and Environment Court website also lists other sources of information on judgments. Matters before a court can be found in court listings.
Penalty infringement notices, directions and other documents relating to enforcement action are not made public as they often contain private information.
Enforceable undertakings are published in accordance with the NSW Government Enforceable undertakings guideline.
Does NRAR publish other information on enforcement action?
As well as information provided in the public register, NRAR publishes information about enforcement action in several ways, including:
- media statements—NRAR issues media releases and responds to media enquiries, including on occasion participating in media interviews with print, broadcast and online media outlets
- conferences and public forums—NRAR participates in public forums, such as conferences, and shares information and statistics on prosecutions and enforceable undertakings
- publications—NRAR publishes a wide variety of printed publications or printable versions of online publications, including some which contain information on enforcement actions
- progress report—NRAR publishes a progress report which provides detailed information about enforcement actions taken.
NRAR applies the following principles when publishing details of enforcement action:
- ensure that all published information is accurate, impartial and balanced
- provide the public and media with factual information about the outcome of investigations and charges which have been filed in courts
- ensure that published information is not defamatory and/or in violation of the rules and conventions relating to sub judice—cases that are still being considered or are before the courts, are subject to name suppression or publication, or in any way prejudice the fair hearing or objectivity required in such matters.
Public registers are defined in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PIPP Act) as registers containing personal information required by law to be made publicly available or open to public inspection. Examples include registers relating to births, deaths and marriages, land titles, drivers’ licences and the electoral roll.
Any person whose personal information is recorded in the Public Register may request that their personal details be suppressed in accordance with section 58(1) of the PIPP Act.
If NRAR is satisfied that retaining personal information in the register would significantly affect a person’s safety or wellbeing, NRAR will suppress the information as requested (unless NRAR is of the opinion that maintaining public access is of greater public interest than any individual interest in suppressing the information, per section 58(2) of the PIPP Act).
I have a complaint about published information, what should I do?
If you have a complaint about information published in the register, submit your complaint via the 'Your Feedback' tab on the right-hand side of the NRAR homepage.