A GUILTY plea tendered today on behalf of Mungindi irrigator Anthony Barlow has been welcomed by the New South Wales Government.
The plea comes one year after allegations were raised into water theft in NSW.
Mr Barlow pleaded guilty to pumping during an embargo and while metering equipment was not working.
In a statement released this afternoon following the court proceedings, Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair said “there was no place for water theft in NSW”.
“No one is above the law and anyone who thinks they can illegally take our most precious resource will be held to account.
“Twelve months ago we began the necessary steps to reform water management in NSW and make sure everyone had access to a fair and equitable system.
“We will continue to ensure that all water users, whether they’re small or large, at the top or bottom of the system – know that their right to this critical asset, is protected.”
This year the NSW Government established the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) as well as stronger metering regulations, which will commence this December.
The court proceedings follow an ABC Four Corners report which uncovered allegations of illegal pumping at Mr Barlow’s Mungindi property near the Queensland border.
Source: NSW Government