Company responsible for Carnaby's Park water licence cops hefty fine for illegal water usage

A Myalup business which drew more than 34,500 kilolitres of ground water without a licence to do so was fined $45,000 in Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday.

Mermaid Towers Pty Ltd, the company responsible for water licensing for Carnaby’s Park at 5713 Forrest Highway, did not appear in court and was convicted in their absence of three counts of taking water from an underground water source when not the holder of a licence granted by the Minister.

The company, which has since gone into liquidation, had previously held a licence to draw ground water, but was not licensed between October, 2016 and January, 2017, when Department of Water inspectors uncovered the anomaly in their water meter.

A Department prosecutor said Mermaid Towers had been warned previously about their use of ground water, which was drawn from a superficial aquifer and therefore subject to seasonal variations.

The annual entitlement for those with a licence to draw ground water is 38,500 kilolitres per year.

Mermaid Towers used 90 per cent of this amount of water in just months, during which time they were entitled to none.

Magistrate Mark Millington said there was “little to no prospect of recovering any money on the basis they are in liquidation”.

Mermaid Towers was fined $15,000 for each charge.

“Hopefully this sends a message these resources are scarce and need to be protected,” the magistrate said.