Man Fined for Illegal Dredging in NSW Waters (Australia)

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Man Fined for Illegal Dredging in NSW Waters

To better protect the local native fish habitat landholders along the Murray River are being reminded that unauthorised dredging works, removal of river snags and the destruction of riverbanks is not permitted.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Supervising Fisheries Officer, Peter Tilbrook, said that current work by the Murray Darling Basin Authority on the Mildura Weir will cause the level of the weir pool to drop for approximately one month, making it tempting for riverfront property owners to conduct their own works.

Unauthorised works can lead to the loss of fish habitat, sedimentation, erosion and other water pollution issues,Mr Tilbrook said. “It is essential that property owners who are considering undertaking works that disturb the river bank or bed to contact the Wentworth Shire Council for approval.”

The approval process allows the relevant NSW authorities to assess the application to ensure works are undertaken in an environmentally sensitive manner and to minimise the impact on the aquatic environment. Unauthorised works may include the construction of retaining walls, jetties or boat ramps; dumping of building materials or soil; or removing or relocating snags and vegetation.

Mr Tilbrook also said that fisheries officers are always on the lookout for unauthorised works, after recently detecting a 50 year old man from Rainbow, Victoria for the dredging of a river bed and the removal of four large snags in NSW waters.

The man will be issued a penalty notice of $1,000, a remediation order to restore the damage caused to fish habitat by the works and will be cautioned for damaging threatened species habitat,” Mr Tilbrook said. “Unauthorised works can attract a maximum penalty of up to $110,000 for individuals or $220,000 for corporations and the cost of remediation can be at the expense of the offender.

[mappress]

Press Release, July 30, 2014

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