Issues about water arise in a wide variety of civil and criminal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court.
Appeals under the
Water Management Act 2000, including appeals against decisions to refuse or grant a water access licence or approvals for water use, water management, work or activity on waterfront land, or for aquifer interference, may be made to the Court.
Water issues may arise in other merit appeals in the Court’s
Class 1 jurisdiction relating to the grant or refusal of a development application to carry out development that will affect or be affected by water, water resources and water-dependent plants and animals. The cases raise questions of the degree of impact and the efficacy of mitigation measures.
Water issues also arise in civil and criminal enforcement proceedings before the Court. Persons may breach legislation protecting water, water resources, and water-dependent plants and animals, including the
Water Management Act 2000,
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,
Fisheries Management Act 1994, and
National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. A breach of these statutes is a criminal offence. Civil proceedings in
Class 4 of the Court’s jurisdiction may be brought to restrain and remedy breaches of the statutes and criminal proceedings in
Class 5 of the Court’s jurisdiction may be brought to prosecute the offences.
The Court may also be required to consider water issues in judicial review proceedings in
Class 4 challenging the validity of a consent, approval or licence for use of or harm to water, water resources or water-dependent plants and animals or to carry out an activity which has that effect.
Information on water and the legislation and cases involving water issues is available at
In NSW, there are a number of places where you can get specialised legal advice on the sorts of legal problems heard by the Land and Environment Court. Find out
where to get legal advice and information.
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