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A Werribee South vegetable farmer has been placed on a good behaviour bond for three years after pleading guilty to a water offence.

Nick Liangos, a director of Western Fresh Produce, appeared before the Werribee Magistrates Court last Tuesday, where he was charged with one count of interfering with works belonging to Southern Rural Water.

The court was told that a Southern Rural Water field officer, who was visiting property leased by Mr Liangos, noticed an object stuck in the meter for the property’s groundwater bore.

The object prevented the meter from properly recording the amount of water being used.

Mr Liangos pleaded guilty to the offence and was placed on a three year good behaviour bond. He was also ordered to contribute $2,000 to the Sacred Heart Mission in St Kilda, and to pay costs to Southern Rural Water of $3,500.

Southern Rural Water’s General Manager Groundwater and Rivers, Craig Parker, urged local irrigators to consider trading for more water if they require it, rather than resorting to water offences.

“Meters are there so that we can protect groundwater supply for everyone – for farmers, for the district, for the environment,” he said. “If everyone took more than their fair share, we would ruin the resource.

“We encourage any irrigator wanting more water to consider trading – Southern Rural Water’s free online trading forum, Watermatch, has been used by many people in the district wanting to buy or sell water.”

For more information about complying with licence regulations, or water trading, contact Southern Rural Water on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au.

ENDS.

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