PROPERTY owners in Walgett are off the hook after a NSW Land and Environment Court judge ruled prosecutors did not prove they took water while meter equipment was broken.
Mercadool and Four G landholders Peter Harris and Justin Timmins faced six offences brought by the Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR).
All six offences were dismissed by Judge Nicola Pain at the end of July.
It was an unexpected loss for NRAR chief regulatory officer Grant Barnes who said he was disappointed with the outcome.
"We are carefully reviewing the judgement and considering our legal options," he said. "NRAR was created to deliver effective, transparent and accountable compliance and enforcement, and to maintain public confidence in enforcement of the stat's natural resources management legislation.
"We will continue to forge ahead with our mandate to enforce water law in NSW." NRAR had alleged that when a WaterNSW meter reader attended the properties to check and record the data, none of the meters were working properly.
The "offences" were alleged to have occurred across a two-day period in August 2015.
Lawyers for Mr Harris and Mr Timmins submitted that there is no evidence in the water access licences or approval for meter equipment to be installed at any of the pumps.
Court documents showed there was no evidence any notice had been given to either of the pair to require installation of metering equipment, and according to the regulations it is not required.