THE son of an accused murderer has been ordered by a court to stop land clearing on his property near Moree amid claims of unlawful damage to native vegetation.
The temporary injunction against Croppa Creek farmer Grant Turnbull was granted by Justice Rachel Pepper in the Land and Environment on Friday, restraining him from clearing on his property, Colorado, for five days.
The extraordinary move was brought on by Ross Fox from the Office of Environment Heritage (OEH), who submitted an affidavit claiming “only a small proportion of native vegetation now remains on Colorado by reason of the continued unlawful clearing on that property”.
The OEH submitted the interlocutory relief was to restrain Mr Turnbull from any further land clearing on the property which would contravene the Native Vegetation Act 2003.
Mr Turnbull is the son of Ian Robert Turnbull – the man accused of the shooting murder of 51-year-old OEH compliance officer Glen Turner, in July. Ian Turnbull was last week fined more than $140,000 after being convicted of illegally clearing native vegetation on the same property between November 2011 and January 2012.
Grant Turnbull has been ordered to remediate an area as a result of his father’s actions, but he too is being prosecuted in the Land and Environment Court, amid allegations of unlawful clearing between June 2012 and January 2013.
On Friday, the OEH tried to have the temporary injunction heard on an ex-parte basis, without Mr Turnbull present, arguing further clearing would occur if Mr Turnbull was made aware of the order sought.
The OEH told the court, that in addition, investigators are examining further alleged illegal clearing on Colorado since January last year, based on satellite and aerial imagery.
Ecologists, along with officers from the Specialist Investigations Section and NSW Police have inspected the area in question on the property. Justice Pepper rejected the ex-parte application and stood the matter down briefly to allow Mr Turnbull’s solicitor to be notified and instructions sought.
According to the injunction judgment, Justice Pepper said in her opinion, “the affidavit evidence of Mr Fox plainly demonstrates that, if the allegations contained in it are demonstrated, Mr Turnbull is likely to have breached the Native Vegetation Act”.
“As the ecologists have indicated, only a small proportion of native vegetation is now left on the property by reason of the past and present unlawful clearing of the land.”
Justice Pepper added there was a “need to take immediate action to protect whatever native vegetation remains on Colorado”.
She ordered that Mr Turnbull be “restrained from clearing, or causing, or permitting the clearing, of native vegetation on the land” until 5pm today. The matter will return to court today.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.