Guilty plea for water theft

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

A NSW cot­ton farmer has pleaded guilty to three water theft charges.

An­thony Bar­low from Mungindi pleaded guilty to two counts re­lated to tak­ing water when me­ter­ing equip­ment was not work­ing and a third of fail­ing to com­ply with di­rec­tion un­der part one (Di­rec­tions to land­holder and other per­sons) of chap­ter seven (En­force­ment) of the Water Man­age­ment Act (2000).

A three-day sen­tenc­ing hear­ing has been set down for Fe­bru­ary 6–8 next year.

Cot­ton Aus­tralia act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Mur­ray said the mat­ter per­tained to “the con­duct of one ir­ri­ga­tor”.

“It must be ac­knowl­edged that there are 12,000 ir­ri­ga­tors in NSW,” Mr Mur­ray said. “The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of ir­ri­ga­tors be­lieve water theft is not ac­cept­able.

“The Aus­tralian cot­ton in­dus­try has zero tol­er­ance of illegal be­hav­iour of any sort by grow­ers, and there­fore con­demns the ac­tions that led to these charges and wel­comes the res­o­lu­tion in the courts.”

Mr Mur­ray said since the al­le­ga­tions were raised “there has been sig­nif­i­cant re­form in the water in­dus­try”.

“Cot­ton Aus­tralia is very sup­port­ive of this reg­u­la­tory re­form. “We be­lieve any such re­form must be both ef­fec­tive and cost-ef­fec­tive.”

❝ The ma­jor­ity of ir­ri­ga­tors be­lieve water theft is not ac­cept­able.

— Michael Mur­ray

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.