The independent water regulator for NSW has hit the ground running, taking over 100 actions against land owners in its first 100 days of operation.
The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) took 109 compliance actions, with four progressing to prosecutions under the Water Management Act 2000. Eight landholders were also required to remediate the areas they disturbed.
The majority of actions took place in the Greater Metropolitan, Barwon-Darling, Hunter Alluvial and Lower Murrumbidgee water sharing plan areas and were a result of 147 on-site inspections and 58 proactive property audits by NRAR investigators and compliance officers.
The actions comprise:
- four prosecutions in the Land and Environment Court
- five penalty infringement notices
- eight remediation notices directing landholders to undertake remedial actions
- 81 advisory letters notifying landholders of alleged breaches
- 11 warning letters advising of suspected minor breaches.
The NRAR’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Grant Barnes, said the current dry conditions highlighted the importance of protecting NSW’s precious water resources.
“In times of scarce supply every drop counts.
“The NRAR’s role in ensuring compliance with water regulations is more important than ever and we will have boots on the ground in key areas over the coming summer months to monitor water take,” Mr Barnes said.
The NRAR’s Director of Regulatory Capability and Coordination, Tim Gilbert, praised his officers who were working hard to ensure lawful water use.
“Water theft and diverting a water source is a very serious offence as it threatens supplies for downstream users and the environment.
“We will continue to build our water compliance capacity and encourage the community to report those suspected of doing the wrong thing to contact our confidential hotline on 1800 633 362 so we can investigate,” Mr Gilbert said.
Source: NSW Government
Featured Image: NRAR compliance officer in action. Image courtesy of NSW Government