Grower fined for illegal Gnangara water take
Released 17 May 2013
A Gnangara grower has been prosecuted by the Department of Water for taking more water than he was entitled to.
Tan Luc Nguyen, 63, a commercial farming tenant working on two plots of land in Gnangara when the offences were committed, did not appear to face the charges in the Joondalup Magistrate's court.
He was convicted in absentia under section 55 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2004 for Unauthorised Taking of Water-contrary to Section 5C(1)(a) of the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 and fined $4000 and ordered to pay $656.15 costs.
The grower was convicted of taking 79,306 kilolitres more groundwater than he was licensed to. In imposing the fine the Magistrate said the accused had taken water in blatant disregard of the licensed limit.
Department of Water Executive Director Regional Delivery and Regulation Paul Brown said the department was satisfied with the result.
"The magistrate has indicated the fine took into account the need for the sentence to act as both a specific and a general deterrent," Mr Brown said.
"The Gnangara water resource is essential to Perth's public, industrial, agricultural, parks and recreational water supplies, and must be used within its limits.
"Allocation limits for Gnangara are set to ensure the sustainable productive use of the water, and users who take more than their licensed amount put at risk everyone else's supply by taking more than their share."
Mr Brown said the department had increased its compliance and enforcement actions in high risk areas like the Gnangara groundwater system, which are under pressure from the drying climate.
"We work with licensed users to help them bring their water use in line with entitlements before we prosecute, but the department will take action for serious, consistent and deliberate theft of water."
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441