Regulator prosecutes market garden over alleged water breaches

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has commenced a prosecution in the Windsor Local Court against a Hawkesbury market garden and a person connected to the company.

NRAR Chief Regulatory Officer Grant Barnes says individuals and companies that willfully breach 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 willfully take water beyond their legal rights and that they will be held to account."

NRAR alleges the market garden company committed 12 offences against the Water Management Act 2000 (WM Act) between October 2018 and August 2019.

Ten of these 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 maximum fine of $22,000 for each offence in the Windsor Local Court.

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.


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