Independent audit finds 85% of inspected Coffs Coast properties not water compliant

The independent water regulator’s latest inspections on the Coffs Coast has found 18 of the 21 properties assessed were non-compliant with water management laws.
The Natural Resources Access Regulator says its recent operation represents a small improvement compared to the first blitz last year – where all 10 properties inspected found were non-compliant.

Most properties assessed had oversized dams – some were found to be up to 12 times greater than regulation size. Other cases of non-compliance included a bore that hadn’t been constructed in accordance with approval conditions … and unauthorised water pumps.

In response, the NRAR has issued 14 fines, two legal directions to reduce the capacity of dams as well as a stop work order to immediately cease unauthorised works.

The third phase of NRAR’s Coffs Harbour intensive horticulture compliance campaign on the Coffs Coast will begin later this year.

Based on AAP and ABC reports – Tuesday 14 April 2020.

2 thoughts on “Independent audit finds 85% of inspected Coffs Coast properties not water compliant

  1. Well, what a surprise , non compliant with water management laws.Residents adjacent to these farms have been complaining for over ten years ,illegal dams, excessive pumping for creeks and rivers.We all saw the “goldrush”mentality with this intensive horticultural boom and nothing was done to”manage” this industry.The national farmers federation a.k.a National Party hijacked any debate .Bellingen council to their credit did try and introduce D.A s .Talk about after the horse has bolted,issuing fines for oversized dams,after construction!!The damage is done.
    It does give work for Natural Resource officers walking around with clipboards, incidentally may I ask how much are the fines?

  2. I am very pleased with continuing inspections in an industry that keeps saying it is heavily regulated. There may be plenty of regulations, but without monitoring and enforcement, laws are useless. I’m afraid an 85% NON-compliance is evidence that it’s more than a few ‘cowboys’ who are flouting the rules, even if a few of the breaches are minor.

    I will add as examples of “the-law-doesn’t-apply-to-me” that we knew a landholder out on the Northwest Slopes who got caught growing marijuana on his farm (back in the 80s, I think). He protested that it was the only way he could make money out of his property and was rather irate about being charged.

    Another farmer, (who went to jail as I recall), sold his normal grain crop as organic grain to Uncle Toby’s because it wasn’t worth enough otherwise. You can imagine the damage to Uncle Toby’s reputation when the breach was discovered. Again, this was many years ago, when organic grain was harder to find.

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