Turnbulls fined $708,750 for illegal land clearing in North West NSW

The Turnbulls had both pleaded guilty to the charges of illegal clearing of native vegetation in the Moree area between 2012 and 2013. Photo OEH.
The Turnbulls had both pleaded guilty to the charges of illegal clearing of native vegetation in the Moree area between 2012 and 2013. Photo OEH.

THE grandson of deceased Croppa Creek murderer Ian Turnbull has copped a record $393,750 land clearing fine, while the killer’s son, Grant Turnbull, was also ordered to pay $315,000 by the NSW Land and Environment Court today. 

Cory Turnbull was fined $393,750 for one charge under the Native Vegetation Act of unlawfully clearing native vegetation on the property Strathdoon in 2012.

This is a record fine imposed for this offence.

Grant Turnbull – Cory’s uncle – was fined $315,000 for one offence of unlawfully clearing native vegetation on the property Colorado between June 1, 2012, and January 5, 2013.

The Turnbulls were also ordered to pay the costs of the Office of Environment and Heritage.

The Turnbulls had both pleaded guilty to the charges of illegal clearing of native vegetation in the Moree area between 2012 and 2013. 

Office of Environment and Heritage chief executive Anthony Lean said the high sentences were a reminder that any clearing must be within the law.

“This was the second phase of clearing on these properties, the first of which occurred in 2011 and was the subject of a successful prosecution of relative Ian Turnbull.

“The sentences send a clear message that the court takes the protection of native vegetation very seriously.”

In June last year Grant Turnbull was ordered to carry out repairs worth $4.5 million to a family property after it was found he was responsible for illegally clearing 508ha of land over an 18-month period in 2013-14. 

The dispute over the Turnbulls’ land clearing came to a head on July 29, 2014, when Ian Turnbull, then 79, shot and killed OEH officer Glen Turner, who was inspecting one of the family’s property at Croppa Creek with a colleague.

Last year, after a five-week trial, Mr Turnbull was found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 24 years in jail. 

He died in prison in March.