Kerang man pleads guilty to stealing water

Friday 16 July, 2021

A Kerang man has been fined $2000 after pleading guilty to water theft charges.

The 46-year-old appeared in Kerang Magistrates’ Court on June 17, charged with interfering with works or other property of Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW), and unauthorised take of water.

The father-of-two cultivates crops and operates a sheep farm on the property.

GMW commenced the prosecution after discovering approximately 40ML of water had been taken without GMW’s consent on or about April 30, 2019.

Magistrate Rodney Higgins did not record a conviction but ordered the man to pay $1836.15 in costs.

GMW Water Delivery Services general manager Warren Blyth said water theft was a crime and new rules were in place for stronger compliance.

“Zero-tolerance to water theft provides equity of access to limited water resources and protects those who are doing the right thing,” he said.

“GMW will not hesitate to take tough enforcement action against people who do not comply with the Water Act 1989.”

The Water Act 1989 was amended in October 2019 to provide for greater deterrence against water theft by strengthening penalties and giving water corporations a wider range of enforcement tools and powers to suspend or cancel licences.

Customers with any queries on compliance can phone the GMW Customer Experience Team on 1800 013 357 for assistance.

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