So leave your water meter alone, ok?
Simon Corbell is claiming that the new The Water Resources Amendment Bill 2013 being debated today will help the government protect our water resources though the use of new laws and harsher penalties.
“Tampering with a water meter will become a criminal offence and will apply to licensed water extraction from our rivers, lakes and bores,” Mr Corbell said.
“The maximum penalty for this offence will be fines of up to $5,500 for an individual and $27,500 for a corporation.
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“Fines would be issued through successful prosecution in a court process, where a judge reserves the right to set a lower penalty.
“Taking water for road works, earthworks, construction and landscaping will also become licensed activities, meaning those operating without permission will face the same enforcement actions as existing licensees.”
The Water Resources Act 2007 serves to regulate water use from rivers, lakes and underground aquifers in the ACT.
“This Amendment Bill will bring our region in line with the National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management,” Mr Corbell said.
“Other changes include new offences for undertaking unauthorised works in a waterway or for failure to submit a groundwater bore completion report.
“Infringement notices will be introduced for minor environmental offences in an effort to deter non-complianceand to provide an alternative, where appropriate, to criminal prosecution.”
The ACT is participating in the National Framework for Compliance and Enforcement Systems for Water Resource Management, which is a collaborative reform program agreed by the Council of Australian Governments and funded by the Australian Government.
“These amendments will ensure the ACT’s legislation remains contemporary and protects this valuable natural resource,” Mr Corbell said.