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Illegal pumping “unfounded”

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

By Emily McInerney

Reports of illegal water pumping in the north were unfounded, according to the NSW Natural Resources Access Regulator.

The NRAR opened up an investigation last week after several allegations were made about illegal pumping in the Namoi Valley where an embargo had been placed on flows coming down the river from the recent rain.

The illegal take was allegedly detected on a number of properties well after the embargo came into effect.

NRAR sent staff into the Namoi and Macquarie rivers and yesterday its Chief Regulatory Officer, Grant Barnes, said they had been monitoring the situation for a week.

“Our teams detected no breaches of the embargoes,” Mr Barnes said.

“Our staff have been meeting with landholders and water users as well as monitoring the embargoes,” he said.

“We expect to be out and about and have boots on the ground next week.”

Mr Barnes said the water users and landholders knew that the embargoes were in place.

“They understand their obligations and even though there were reports of widespread non-compliance, that is not the case.”

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