Kyabram farmer fined for water theft

Tuesday 13 July, 2021

A Kyabram man is almost $4000 out of pocket after facing court over water theft charges.

The man pleaded guilty in Kerang Magistrates’ Court on June 17 to interfering with a Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) service point and unauthorised take of water.

The court heard the 47-year old man took an estimated 14.4ML of water without authorisation between November 19, 2019 and December 9, 2019 to cultivate crops on his property located at Capels Crossing.

Magistrate Rodney Higgins fined the man $2000 and ordered him to pay $1820.90 in costs.

He did not record a conviction.

GMW Water Delivery Services general manager Warren Blyth said the organisation took a zero-tolerance approach to water theft.

“We take tampering with service points seriously and have an obligation on behalf of all entitlement holders, and the wider community, to ensure customers do the right thing,” Mr Blyth said.

“Water theft affects the whole community and can lead to less water to be allocated to entitlement holders. It can also impact on water deliveries to other customers.”

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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