Claims that dams were “illegal” are wrong

Claims that dams were “illegal” are wrong

03 September 2018

Allegations of illegality involving dams and channels approved by WaterNSW in the Barwon-Darling are unfounded.

The structures in question have always been “legal” under the rules of the day when they were built.

The dams and channels – owned by Bengerang Ltd - did not require approval when they were first constructed.

Subsequent changes to legislation mean that new structures of this kind are now subject to a formal approval process – but pre-existing structures are exempt.

Bengerang Ltd voluntarily took the option of having the pre-existing structures assessed against the new rules. These structures were found by WaterNSW to meet the new criteria and approved this year.

Far from being conducted “secretly” as alleged, WaterNSW followed procedure by publicly advertising the applications in regional media.

These public notices published in early February included details of a 28-day period during which public submissions on the applications were invited. No objections were received.

WaterNSW continues to receive applications from landholders with on-farm works built before legislation required formal approval.

WaterNSW Executive Manager Customer and Community, David Stockler said some customers are pro-actively seeking certainty around structures built before formal approval was required.

“The Bengerang case is one of many approaches we have received from some landholders seeking advice about structures on their properties that may have been there for many years, well before the current rules came into place,” he said.

“We are working with customers to provide certainty on the rules associated with the assets they require to operate their businesses.”

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

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