A NEW England landholder as well as an earthmoving company are set to fight water theft allegations linked to what the water watchdog claims is an illegal bore.
James Ian Ferris is accused of three charges, while Queensland-based company Johanson Earthmoving & Construction faces 10 separate allegations.
The two did not appear in Tenterfield Local Court on Thursday when the cases were mentioned for the first time.
They're being prosecuted by the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) and were charged last month.
NRAR alleges the earthmoving company built an illegal bore two years ago.
NRAR claims the company constructed the unlawful bore in the Border Rivers area in March 2019 before the landholder allegedly took water unlawfully between July and August that same year.
NRAR claims the landowner connected to the company allegedly used the unlawful bore without the proper approvals to take water, or to capture and store it at the property.
Solicitor Stacey Nugent appeared as agent for both Ferris and the company, and formally entered pleas of not guilty for Ferris.
He's accused of using water without water use approval; and two counts of constructing or using a water supply without work approval.
Ms Nugent also pleaded not guilty on behalf of the company to five counts of carrying out controlled activity without activity approval; and five counts of constructing or using a water supply work without work approval.
Under the Water Management Act 2000, the offences carry maximum penalties of $500,500 for individuals, and $2 million for corporations, if convicted.
Solicitor Douglas Bassett appeared as an agent for NRAR during the proceedings.
After the pleas, magistrate Roger Prowse fixed the charges for a two-day hearing in September in Tenterfield Local Court.
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