Cotton Australia statement on guilty plea to water theft charges

Monday, 26th November 2018 // Media Releases, Featured // Comments (0)

Statement attributable to Cotton Australia’s Acting CEO, Michael Murray:

“Today, irrigator Anthony Barlow pleaded guilty in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court to charges relating to the pumping of water during an embargo while metering equipment was not working.”

“The Australian cotton industry has zero tolerance of illegal behavior of any sort by growers, and therefore condemns the actions that led to these charges and welcomes the resolution in the courts.”

“It must be acknowledged at this time that there are 12,000 irrigators in New South Wales. Today’s guilty plea in court is for the conduct of one irrigator. The overwhelming majority of irrigators believe water theft is not acceptable.”

“Since the allegations were raised, there has been significant reform in the water industry. Cotton Australia is very supportive of this regulatory reform. Compliance with the law is a priority for the industry; however, we believe any such reform must be both effective and cost effective.”

“Cotton Australia does not comment on ongoing legal proceedings. The judicial process must be allowed to run its course, free from commentary and prejudice.”


Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry.


Cotton Australia media contact:

Robert Virtue

Acting Communications Manager, Cotton Australia

0401 843 018