AN ELDERLY man accused of the shooting murder of an Environment and Heritage officer near Moree has been refused bail.
Ian Robert Turnbull was charged with the murder of 51-year-old Glen Turner and fronted Moree Local Court on Wednesday.
The court was told Turnbull allegedly fired a number of shots at Mr Turner before a bullet, which struck him in the back, fatally injuring him.
Mr Turner had been serving a notice about 5.40pm on Tuesday near Talga Lane at Croppa Creek, relating to an inspection of a property after reports of illegal land clearing in the area.
Turnbull appeared distraught and emotional when he was led into the dock following his arrest late on Tuesday night.
The court heard the 79-year-old had been in a long-running dispute with the Office of Environment and Heritage over illegal land clearing in the Croppa Creek area.
Magistrate Darryl Pearce said the serious nature of the allegations meant imprisonment would be likely if he was convicted.
The 79-year-old will remain in custody until the case returns to court on August 5.
EARLIER WEDNESDAY: A 79-year-old man is due to appear in Moree Local Court on Wednesday charged with the murder of Environment and Heritage worker Glendon Turner.
It is believed Mr Turner, a 51-year-old, from Dungowan, was serving a notice on the accused Ian Robert Turnbull, at a property in Croppa Creek when he was shot.
A colleague of Mr Turner’s was with him on Tuesday afternoon when the notice regarding illegal land clearing was delivered. That worker is understood to be in shock but otherwise uninjured.
Police are still on the scene at Talga Lane on the Newell Highway at Croppa Creek after being called to the property late in the afternoon.
Mr Turnbull was arrested on Tuesday night and charged with murder at Moree police station on Wednesday.
Waves of grief are being experienced across the north-west as communities come to terms with the situation.
“A man has lost his life, a lady has lost a husband, kids have lost their father,” Moree Plains Shire mayor Katrina Humphries said. “He [the alleged shooter] has got family too. There is no way to console anyone over this.
“When somebody goes to do their job, and when they don't make it home, that's the biggest tragedy of all, that a man has lost his life. There are so many innocent parties drawn into it."
It is understood the matter of illegal clearing on the property has been on ongoing issue.
The government workers told Mr Turnbull there would be a formal inspection of his property on Wednesday.
Mr Turnbull recently pleaded guilty in the Land and Environment Court to illegally clearing the Croppa Creek properties. Justice Terence Sheahan is currently reserved on the penalty.