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Dam safety authorised officers

Authorised officers conduct inspections to monitor and make sure dam owners/operators comply with the referable dam legislation.

Typically an officer may inspect a dam or nearby land, or records about a dam, to ascertain:

  • if there are factors likely to cause dam failure
  • the impact such failure would have
  • if development conditions are being complied with.

Authorised officer powers

Officers have various powers under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 to help them perform their duties. These include the power of entry and power to obtain information.

An authorised officer may also enter and cross any land to access a dam. They don’t need to obtain consent to do this for inspection purposes.

The Act specifically includes the power to:

  • inspect, measure, test, photograph or film any part or anything at the property
  • take items or samples for analysis or testing
  • take onto the property, any person, equipment or materials reasonably required.

It is an offence for a person to fail to comply with an authorised officer’s requirement unless the person has a reasonable excuse (defined in the Act as when complying might incriminate the person).

Identity cards

Authorised officers are issued with an identity card showing their name, photograph and signature.

Officers have to produce their identity card for inspection, or have the identity card clearly displayed. If this isn’t practicable, the officer must produce the identity card at the first reasonable opportunity.

Related information

Last updated
17 January 2014