Murray River irrigator slapped with $131k vivid for unlawful water select
A nation solicitor has been fined extra than $130,000 for again and again pumping water from the Murray River onto his irrigation property when he became as soon as no longer authorized to attain so.
- Brian Vance O’Haire pleaded guilty to eight counts of taking water in contravention of the Water Management Act
- He became as soon as charged with taking 1,378 megalitres while his myth became as soon as in deficit between 2016 and 2018
Justice Rachel Pepper chanced on he lacked remorse and became as soon as a moderate possibility of reoffending
The offences took region on eight cases between April 2016 and September 2018, when Brian Vance O’Haire took 1,378 megalitres of water while his long-established security water myth became as soon as in deficit.
The NSW Land and Ambiance Courtroom heard O’Haire had been warned a pair of cases between 2014 and 2016, when his myth had long previous into deficit and WaterNSW officers informed him to rob extra water sooner than continuing to pump on his property, Tapaulin Farm, shut to Euston.
O’Haire became as soon as given two penalty infringement notices for taking water while his myth became as soon as negative in 2015, the court became as soon as informed.
In a voluntary interview with WaterNSW officers in 2016, he conceded he became as soon as no longer the spend of the water accounting system to withhold note of his balance.
O’Haire pleaded guilty to eight counts of taking water in contravention of the Water Management Act final July.
He argued he became as soon as “no longer fascinated about any dishonest behavior” and informed the court cash move alongside with the breeze disorders at his factual educate averted him hunting for water in time to irrigate his vines.
As an different, he blamed the Natural Sources Web admission to Regulator (NRAR) for failing to converse its enforcement powers to quit him taking water.
Water taken while system ‘severely low’
O’Haire had offered Tapaulin Farm as a superannuation investment for himself and his wife however had liabilities of $4 million and his factual educate in the nearby Victorian town of Robinvale became as soon as funding the farm.
He argued in court that he had suffered extra-curial punishment because his offending had been widely reported in regional media and the protection could perchance also have resulted in his factual educate losing some purchasers.
But in sentencing this week, Justice Rachel Pepper mentioned O’Haire became as soon as a possibility of reoffending and had expressed “no remorse or remorse in anyway”.
“Furthermore, at no level has O’Haire demonstrated any insight into his offending,” she mentioned.
Hydrologist Sukhdeep Singh informed the court storages across the Murray and decrease Darling system had been “severely low” in April 2016 and that despite frequent rainfall the following twelve months, dry stipulations in early 2018 had put the NSW Murray below strain.
Justice Pepper mentioned while the proof about its results on other licence holders became as soon as restricted, O’Haire’s offending could perchance also have “contributed to inefficiencies in the water management system”.
She mentioned information presented to the court urged O’Haire offered water at a increased designate than the estimated $198,000 he would have paid “had he purchased water when required”.
O’Haire became as soon as convicted and ordered to pay NRAR’s factual payments, besides to his $131,250 vivid.