MOREE Plains, and the nation, were shaken when a Croppa Creek farmer shot dead an environment protection officer in 2014.
After many years of court sittings and a trial, farmer Ian Turnbull was convicted of murdering former Telegraph Point man Glen Turner and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment with a 24-year non-parole period.
After reading about the case writer/director Gregory Miller approached Glen’s family with the possibility of telling their story through a documentary.
Since then, Mr Miller and his team have been filming ‘Cultivating Murder’.
“Cultivating Murder is a documentary film about the tragic murder of NSW Department of Environment officer Glen Turner by Moree farmer Ian Turnbull,” Mr Miller said.
“The story highlights the tensions over illegal land clearing in regional Australia and the efforts of some large-scale farmers to water down the Environment Protection Laws which protect native vegetation and critically endangered species.”
Throughout the filming stage, Mr Miller interviewed Glen's widow Alison and sister Fran before and during the two-month trial.
He also filmed residents of the Moree Plains to construct a picture of the pressures facing local farmers.
Through interviewing environmental experts, such as Turner’s colleagues in the Department of Environment and Heritage, he learned what was happening in regional Australia.
“As a compliance officer, Glen Turner’s job brought him into conflict situations similar to those that police deal with on a daily basis,” Mr Miller said.
“In the film Glen’s job is described as being an environment cop. He investigated, gathered evidence and reported on alleged breaches of the Native Vegetation Act.”
Cultivating Murder presents personal stories from the front line of this new environmental battle, shaping up to define the future of farming practice and environmental protection in Australia.
“With both sides unhappy with the draft laws, we are now in limbo with the NSW and Queensland governments soon to debate new bills.”