Parties of men destroyed or damaged more than twenty-five dams on the Yanko Creek, which runs between the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers.
1861 to 1870.
Some graziers built dams on creeks and guarded them with armed men against reprisals from aggrieved landowners further downstream. Partially Referenced from: 'SNOWY - The Making of Modern Australia' Author: Brad Collis
"....itís my view that anyone who is illegally involved in diverting water in the Murray-Darling system during this crisis is engaging in an act of terrorism against the people of Australia. " Source: Mike Rann Premier of South Australia http://www.ministers.sa.gov.au/news.php?id=3569&page=1 August 15, 2008
Satellite surveillance and hefty fines to halt Water theft. July 22, 2008
N.S.W Governmemt Crackdown on Water Theft.
Farmers are being warned those who take more than their allocated water supplies could be fined up to $1.1 million and jailed for two years.
Corporations which offend may face fines of up to $2.2 million and $264,000 for each day the offence continues.
According to Water Minister Nathan Rees the hefty new penalties match what he calls the worst category of monetary and environmental crime.
“Long gone are the days of water being seen as a free commodity.
The use of water comes at a cost and we want to make sure that users are not being unfairly disadvantaged by those few doing the wrong thing. ”
Partially Referenced from: Media Release - Department of Water and Energy
Satellite surveillance to halt Water theft. August 22, 2007
Boat patrols and special surveillance flights will be used in the driest areas of NSW to investigate water theft from the Murray and
Murrumbidgee rivers as well as from one of Australia's most important waterbird breeding sites.
The NSW Minister for Water, Phil Koperberg, warned that water theft was a serious offence and said officers would be deployed to carry out random checks. Satellite imagery would be used to crack down on farmers stealing water to top up their allocations.
The NSW Minister for Water, Phil Koperberg said "Water theft is a serious crime and despite the recent rain, over 75 per cent of NSW is still trapped in the worst drought in living memory." and "The drought intensifies the temptation to misuse basic landholder rights, but all farmers and other water users are required to stick to the limits," he said. "I understand many people are doing it tough, but that's no excuse to steal what is a very precious resource and it can't be tolerated." Refrenced from:The Sydney Morning Herald.
Water theft and a jail sentence. 4th April 2007
A CRANBOURNE South man is the first person to be found guilty of water theft since new water restrictions came into effect last
He pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday last week to stealing millions of litres of water from a Water Company to fill a dam on his property.
The Magistrate convicted him and he was sentenced to one month in jail, fully suspended for a year. He was also ordered to repay $2630 for the cost of the water plus court costs. Source Star News Group
Water theft from farms. 27 November 2006
Water theft is on the increase with thieves siphoning off thousands of litres from farm dams and rainwater tanks. Most at risk are large properties where vast tracts of land are left unattended and smaller "lifestyle" properties whose owners work in town during the week. Police intelligence officers believe water is being siphoned from dams in unlocked paddocks and tapped from rainwater tanks that are visible from roads. Source Sun Herald, 26/11/06
Water theft from farms. 27 October 2006
DROUGHT-ravaged farmers heading into summer are facing a new and previously unknown threat: water bandits.
Police at tiny Gundaroo village near Canberra today Wednesday said they were hunting thieves who used crowbars to crack open water tanks and steal the precious contents. "I came to the tap to get a glass of water and all I got out was mud. I couldn't really believe it had happened," a local farmer said.
In nearby Bungendore, water has been stolen from village dams and tanks, while 50 kilometers away in Yass police have reports of theft from the city's near-dry river.
More than 90 per cent of the most populous state of New South Wales is in drought, with many farmers enduring five continuous years of below average rainfall.
The area around Gundaroo and the nearby town of Goulburn have been particularly hard-hit, with Goulburn's main dam having run dry. A local farmer lost 75,000 litres from their small Gundaroo olive grove and cattle farm while they were out.
Nearby, in the village main street, a local said thieves emptied two 30,000-litre water tanks, used to provide water for the house and for their vegetable garden.
Police in the regional Goulburn headquarters said they were investigating several incidents of water theft and advised people to lock their water stores as summer draws closer. Source NEWS.com.au, 27/10/06
The World Today - Friday, 29 November , 2002 00:00:00
ELEANOR HALL: In times of drought it must rank as one of the lowest acts imaginable, cheating your neighbours and your local community by
But authorities are warning that in areas left parched by the dry conditions, theft of the scarce and increasingly valuable resource is on the rise.
Ministers in the New South Wales and Queensland Governments say thieves have been using a wide variety of methods to get access to water.
And they are warning that the culprits face big fines if they get caught.
But Nick Grimm reports, some locals say the thieves should be worried not so much about the Police but about the reaction of any farmer who catches them stealing water.
NICK GRIMM: It can be surprisingly easy to carry off a big water heist. All some thieves have to do is simply tamper with the meter on their existing outlet. Others resort to even bolder methods. In some towns supply tanks have been raided and pumped dry. Elsewhere, it's believed earth-movers have been used to scoop water into trucks which is then sold to unsuspecting farmers forced by the drought to buy in extra supplies.
It's not even yet summer, but in Queensland authorities are already investigating around 150 cases of water theft. In NSW, the State Government is also warning offenders that they will be detected. The State's Minister for land and water conservation, John Aquilina.
JOHN AQUILINA: Well anyone who may be contemplating water theft had better watch out. First of all the penalties are very severe. It could mean that your access to water in the future could be very severely restricted, but also it's very un-Australian. It's sad that some individuals are taking advantage of the little water that is available.
NICK GRIMM: Well, typically, how is water theft occurring?
JOHN AQUILINA: Well it can occur in a number of ways. Out at Coolabah for example, a small village in the central west of NSW, we had a situation there where we had been carrying water to the town on a daily basis because the water had completely dried up. On a couple of occasions we found that after the water had been carted, there were two loads of water, approximately about 44 kilolitres had disappeared.
Up on the north coast, we had reports of irregularities relating to pumping river water, and the condition of so-called domestic water. In the Murrumbidgee we actually caught one irrigator who had taken about 1.8 million litres of water that he wasn't entitled to for the current water year.
NICK GRIMM: What action has been taken against the individuals who've been detected doing this?
JOHN AQUILINA: The person who took the water from the Murrumbidgee has now had his bore licences suspended, so in actual fact, we've cancelled the licences that he had which means he won't be able to extract any water. When we have instances or evidence of theft of water, then we take action to stop that happening, and where possible, we prosecute the individuals.
NICK GRIMM: For its part, the Queensland Government is threatening water thieves with fines of up to $70,000. Meanwhile proponents of plans to enclose rural water channels inside recycled plastic pipes argue that that will help cut back on theft.
Leith Boully is a member of the Wentworth Group which was formed recently by concerned scientists to urge state, territory and federal governments to tackle the drought by applying sound environmental science. A trained scientist herself, Leith Boully chairs the Murray-Darling Basin ministerial advisory committee. But she's also a Queensland farmer and is disturbed by the talk of a black market in water.
LEITH BOULLY: Personally, I'm horrified because water's definitely the most precious resource we have at the moment given the current drought conditions. And I can't imagine anyone stealing water which is what it is effectively from others who may need it more and this is the time when we should all be honest and above board. And if we have a need, we should be talking to those who can perhaps provide the need.
NICK GRIMM: Have you been aware of practices like this occurring?
LEITH BOULLY: I've heard of one or two instances and most of those have been dealt with by local irrigators or people's peers within the community.
NICK GRIMM: What do you mean by that? Can you elaborate?
LEITH BOULLY: I do know of irrigator groups who have the view that they should themselves stop people doing the wrong thing, whether it's taking water when they shouldn't or taking water that belongs to others. Intervening before the regulatory authorities come on board and have to take action. And most of these groups do it because they, they don't want one or two individuals to make the rest of them appear to be people without values.
NICK GRIMM: And the NSW Water Resources Minister, John Aquilina, agrees that water thieves may have more to fear from their neighbours than authorities.
JOHN AQUILINA: Out in rural communities, that sort of thing is detected very quickly. Those individuals become outcasts very quickly and quite frankly I don't think they'd want to live in those communities.
ELEANOR HALL: The NSW Land and Water Conservation Minister, John Aquilina, ending that report from Nick Grimm.
This is a transcript from The World Today. The program is broadcast around Australia at 12:10pm on ABC Local Radio.
|Australian Drought ( Henry Lawson 1900 )|
|Early Australian Settlers.|
|View article The Great Australian Drought|
|View Photo of recent local drought. 2006 - 2007|
|View article The Australian Drought a natural phenomenon.
|Read article about how we have changed in the past 100 years.|