More than 10,000 people were arrested in a crackdown on organised crime linked to the water pump network.
Key points:More than 100,000 litres of water were pumped into communities across the countryA new law requires pump operators to pay fines for every breachThe Government is also cracking down on organised criminals in the water industryThe crackdown on water pump offences is part of a broader crackdown on criminal organisations linked to water supply and pollution, the Attorney-General said.
Key facts:More people were charged under the new legislation than under any previous Government crackdown.
The majority of those arrested were charged with contravening the State Water Board’s regulations and breaching the Clean Water Act.
More than 10 per cent of those charged had previous convictions for offences including drink-driving, drugs and breach of health and safety rules.
“Today’s actions show Australia is committed to stamping out organised crime in the supply of water,” Attorney-Gen George Brandis said.
“The Government will continue to aggressively pursue the supply chain of criminals who use our water to commit serious criminal offences, and those who profit from their illicit activities.”
We are determined to make sure the supply network of criminals does not operate in the public interest.
“In the past, the Government has been very clear about its priorities in fighting the supply-chain issue.”
It is important for all Australians to understand the actions we are taking to address the water supply crisis.
“Mr Brandis also confirmed the Federal Government would increase fines for breaches.”
This Government is taking strong action to stop water criminals from using our water supply for illicit gain, and we will be increasing the penalties for those who breach the law,” he said.’
Trying to stop people doing drugs’The Attorney-Generals new enforcement strategy aims to deter organised crime by increasing the fines and penalties for breaches of the Water Supply Act.
Mr Brandiss said the government was also cracking Down the Networks (DNS) and Counter-Organised Crime groups, which target water supply infrastructure.”
While we are aware of organised crime groups operating in the distribution network, we are committed to cracking down in every aspect of the supply system to deter those who benefit from the water network’s criminal activity,” he added.”
By cracking down, we will deter those involved in criminal activity, and will help to prevent people from doing drugs.
“Water industry and retailers will also be targeted, including by the State Government, the Competition and Consumer Commission and other regulatory bodies.”
Our water supply network is under the greatest threat we’ve ever seen,” Mr Brandis added.
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