Farmer steals water from quarry to keep his cows hydrated
A FARMER who has been taking water from a quarry for five years was busted by police patrolling Banana Bridge Road in Kogan.
The court heard that Kerry Scott Williams has been taking water from the quarry for five years for his livestock.
Williams pleaded guilty at Chinchillas Magistrates Court on Thursday November 21, to one count of stealing and one count of trespass.
Police Prosecutor Jodie Tehana said the Western Downs Regional Council had made complaints to the police about people trespassing, and while patrolling the area they noticed a car down by the quarry.
"There was a vehicle by a dam at the quarry and police noticed a water tank in the tray…. and it was full," Senior Constable Tehana said.
"The defendant noted that he had been taking water from the quarry for nearly five years.
"He became belligerent and went on to say he was given permission but refused to say who gave him permission… he said it was a joke that he was just a farmer trying to get water for his animals."
Up to 500l had been taken, Tehana said Williams did not seek council approval to take the water and he said at the time that he didn't know it was an offence to take the water.
"He remained belligerent and argumentative with police… and kept repeating 'yeah do your job, just do your job,'" Snr Const Tehana said.
Williams said he relies on rain as he does not have town water at his property, although he has recently made arrangements to get water elsewhere.
"I'm now getting water from a member of the (Western Downs Regional) Councils property," Williams said.
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said there are signs prohibiting people from entering the quarry for a reason.
"There are all sorts of reasons why, the other thing is there could be danger in relation to what is contained in the water in the quarry that could be harmful to your animals," Magistrate Mossop said.
Williams was placed on good behaviour for three months with no recorded conviction, if he breaches the order a fine of $200 will be issued.