Despicable water theft hits drought-hit town hard
Thieves have stolen 300,000 litres of water from a property in a drought-hit community in New South Wales.
NSW Police said a farmer in Evans Plains, about 10km south west of Bathurst, reported the huge load of water missing from two tanks on his property on Sunday.
Today, the force has appealed for information - asking anyone who might have seen water trucks or vehicles fitted with equipment to cart water in the Evans Plains area between the December 9-15 contact Bathurst Police Station.
NSW is currently in the midst of one of its worst droughts on record.
Bathurst councillor John Fry told The Fifth Estate the town has been badly affected by the dry.
He said Bathurst's dam had fallen to 37 per cent of capacity - the lowest level since the dam was rebuilt in 2000 - and it was evaporating at 1.1 per cent per week, with "no reasonable hope of decent rainfall."
It comes as the Morrison government is set to push on with a federal inquiry into water-sharing arrangements - despite state governments in South Australia and Victoria refusing to support it.
The move is aims to look at whether more water can be found to support communities gripped by drought.
However, South Australian Water Minister David Speirs said the two states were united against the former Australian Federal Police commissioner's inquiry.
"We didn't believe as a collective there was a problem with water-sharing arrangements as they stand," he told reporters after a ministerial meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Federal Water Minister David Littleproud said states should support the inquiry if there was widespread confidence rules were being followed. "If you have nothing to hide, let's dance," he said.
- with AAP