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Author Topic: Illegal Murray foreshore works prove costly  (Read 1175 times)

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Illegal Murray foreshore works prove costly
« on: August 27, 2012, 11:10:27 PM »
Illegal Murray foreshore works prove costly
27 Aug 2012 - nSW Fisheries

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has issued thousands of dollars worth of fines and written cautions to Murray riverfront residents for allegedly undertaking unauthorised reclamation and snag destruction works on and adjacent to their properties in recent months.

DPI Supervising Fisheries Officer, Peter Tilbrook, said the Murray River adjacent to the towns of Corowa, Mulwala, Tocumwal and Barooga is under pressure due to unauthorised development and inappropriate land management practices.

"Recently, three people have been issued with infringement notices of $1,000 each for illegal reclamation works at Corowa and Barooga that would lead to the loss of fish habitat, sedimentation, erosion and other water pollution issues," Mr Tilbrook said.

"A number of written cautions have been issued in the area for matters involving destroying or interfering with snags and reed beds, and investigations are currently underway into several cases of unauthorised reclamation and dredging.

"Fisheries officers have identified seven residential properties and two mooring sites adjacent to Corowa and Cobram/Barooga that have conducted unauthorised works including the construction of retaining walls, pontoons, wharves, jetties and boat ramps, dumping of rocks and bricks, removing or relocating snags and removing riverbank vegetation.

"Riverbank vegetation provides many benefits to aquatic fauna by stabilising the riverbank, reducing bank erosion and siltation, providing food for fish and aquatic insects and helping to regulate water temperature through the provision of shade.

"It also acts as a natural filter by preventing pollutants such as soil, pesticides and fertilisers washing into our waterways."

Mr Tilbrook said Murray riverfront property owners should be aware that the Murray River is managed by NSW authorities and should check with their local council or DPI on required approvals before undertaking any foreshore works.

"Regardless of whether you own the land or not, you can’t just build a structure on the riverbank or in the river without getting approval first," Mr Tilbrook said.

"Local councils in NSW work closely with DPI, Office of Water and Roads and Maritime Services to minimise the impact on the aquatic environment by assessing applications to ensure the river's values are protected and the works are undertaken in an environmentally sensitive manner.

"Unauthorised works can attract penalties up to $110,000 for individuals or $220,000 for corporations and remediation cost can be at the offender’s expense, which can be a costly exercise."

For a free brochure 'Living and Working on a Riverbank' contact DPI on 02 6042 4200.

For more information call NSW Fisheries Conservation Manager Luke Pearce on (02) 6042 4200 or visit the
DPI Living and working on a riverbank web page.

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