News Article

Disrupting waterways isn’t taken lightly

Works without a permit on a waterway, Steavenson River at Buxton. Photo GB CMA March 2020

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Jul 5, 2022

ON Wednesday, June 22, Shepparton Magistrates Court, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA) brought a case against a Buxton man, aged in his 60s, for the interfering with a waterway without authority in Buxton. The offending occurred on March 20, 2020 where the undertaking of works without a permit took place.

The man was on a good behaviour bond for his first offence in 2018 over vegetation clearing along the Steavenson River. The works that had taken place occurred on Crown land not the man’s property.

A legal representative said the man “wasn’t aware it was Crown land prior to doing but [he] and his father had maintained that land by removing blackberries and cleared fuel as a bushfire prevention strategy.“

The lawyer representing GBCMA said, “[He] has interfered with the waterways, Steavenson River is Crown land and it requires a works permit that is easily obtained. It’s not difficult to get as you can apply online. This has a localised affect, and it wouldn’t have been illegal if he just asked first.”

Following the case, GBCMA chief executive officer Chris Cumming said, “The laws are in place to protect waterway health and the environment and people should not be doing any works on a waterway without approval.”

Undertaking regulated works on a waterway without authority is a prosecutable offence under the Water Act.”

The man was sentenced with conviction to be released on an adjourned undertaking for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of $25,000 to the GBCMA.

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