Fisheries (Consolidation) Act, 1959

Alteration of abandoned and disused dams.

117.—(1) Whenever the Minister is satisfied that any dam constructed or placed in any river has been abandoned or disused for not less than five years or has not during that period effectively been used for the purpose for which it was constructed and directly or indirectly obstructs or contributes to the obstruction of the free passage and migration of fish or affords facilities for the unlawful destruction of fish, the Minister may cause to be served on any person who appears to him to be the owner or the occupier of such dam a notice requiring such person to execute within the time (not being less than one month from the service of such notice) specified in such notice such alterations (including additions and complete or partial removal) of such dam as shall appear to the Minister to be requisite for securing the free passage and migration of fish or removing the facilities for the unlawful destruction of fish (as the case may be) and shall be specified in such notice.

(2) Where a notice has been served under subsection (1) of this section and the alterations specified in such notice are not executed within the time specified in that behalf in such notice, the Minister may enter on the dam to which such notice relates and any land adjoining such dam and execute the said alterations of such dam.

(3) Where the Minister executes under this section any alterations of a dam and is satisfied that such alterations became necessary by reason of the wilful neglect of the owner or the occupier of such dam, the Minister may recover as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction from such owner or occupier the expenses incurred by the Minister in the execution of such alterations.

(4) Whenever the Minister is entitled under this section to serve a notice requiring alterations of a dam to be executed, the Minister may, before serving such notice, cause such dam to be inspected and examined, and any officer of the Minister or other person appointed by the Minister to make such inspection and examination shall be entitled for that purpose to enter at all reasonable times on such dam and any land adjoining thereto.

(5) The Minister shall not be liable for any charges for the maintenance of any dam required by him to be altered or altered by him under this section, or for any consequential damages to any property or person arising out of such alteration or the carrying out thereof.

(6) Whenever the Minister proposes, in relation to any abandoned or disused dam which was constructed or placed in a river for or in connection with the sustaining of water for navigation, to serve a notice or execute any alterations under this section, he shall consult with the Minister for Industry and Commerce before serving such notice or executing such alterations.