Land and Environment Court of NSW


Issues about water arise in a wide variety of civil and criminal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court.

Appeals under the Water Management Act 2000

Appeals under the Water Management Act 2000, including appeals against decisions to refuse or grant a water access licence or approvals for water use, water management, work or activity on waterfront land, or for aquifer interference, may be made to the Court.

Other merit appeals

Water issues may arise in other merit appeals in the Court’s Class 1 jurisdiction relating to the grant or refusal of a development application to carry out development that will affect or be affected by water, water resources and water-dependent plants and animals. The cases raise questions of the degree of impact and the efficacy of mitigation measures.

Civil and criminal enforcement cases

Water issues also arise in civil and criminal enforcement proceedings before the Court.  Persons may breach legislation protecting water, water resources, and water-dependent plants and animals, including the Water Management Act 2000Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979Fisheries Management Act 1994, and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.  A breach of these statutes is a criminal offence. Civil proceedings in Class 4 of the Court’s jurisdiction may be brought to restrain and remedy breaches of the statutes and criminal proceedings in Class 5 of the Court’s jurisdiction may be brought to prosecute the offences.

Judicial review cases

The Court may also be required to consider water issues in judicial review proceedings in Class 4 challenging the validity of a consent, approval or licence for use of or harm to water, water resources or water-dependent plants and animals or to carry out an activity which has that effect.

More information

Information on water and the legislation and cases involving water issues is available at Water overview.

Need legal advice or information?

In NSW, there are a number of places where you can get specialised legal advice on the sorts of legal problems heard by the Land and Environment Court. Find out where to get legal advice and information

Fast track ...

Need to know more about cases involving water issues? Go to Water overview.

Last updated:

08 May 2023

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