The state's water watchdog is taking action against an individual over the alleged unlawful construction of boat ramp in the Clyde River catchment.
The Natural Resources Access Regulator says it launched legal action on August 27, 2019, for alleged offences between June 2016 and February 2018.
The regulator alleges unlawful works were undertaken on the Clyde River at Benandarah.
"The individual is facing four charges of carrying out a controlled activity without approval, an offence under s91E of the Water Management Act 2000," a spokesperson said.
"Controlled activities are works carried out on, or within 40m of, a waterway.
The regulator said the charges were for:
- allegedly constructing an access path and boat ramp
- alleged removal of material (soil, sand, gravel and dredged material in connection with the path and ramp)
- alleged removal of vegetation (in connection with the above structures)
- alleged deposition of material (soil, sand, gravel, dredged materials, slump concrete, concrete blocks, turf and top soil in connection with the above structures).
"The maximum penalty in the Local Court for each offence is $22,000," the regulator said.
A spokesperson said the regulator prosecuted "in the most serious cases" and since its establishment in 2018 had commenced nine other prosecutions, three in the Land and Environment Court and six in the Local Court.
"Three of these cases relate to allegations of large scale unlawful water take," the regulator said.
"Three of the prosecutions have been finalised, with the defendants paying substantial fines. There are now seven cases still before the court.
"In the first half of 2019 NRAR has also issued 18 penalty notices - 12 to individuals and six to companies - and 21 directions. The directions were mainly stop work orders, install and maintain metering equipment and protect a water source.
"Investigators and compliance officers travel all over the state's 57 water sharing plan areas, inspecting properties and assessing compliance with water users' licences and the Water Management Act 2000.
"To make a confidential report on suspected water misuse, contact the NRAR Hotline on 1800 633 362 or email email@example.com. For more information about NRAR and what it does, visit industry.nsw.gov.au/nrar."