THE NSW government has told parliament it won’t entertain any debate at this time on legislation surrounding native vegetation in the aftermath of the shooting of a compliance officer.
Labor frontbencher Paul Lynch used question time in parliament this week to quiz Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner on why he had “failed to condemn the appalling comments” by National’s MP Andrew Fraser that the recent shooting death was brought about by “bad legislation”.
Mr Stoner said the family and friends were grieving and trying to cope with the tragedy, and it was not the time for anyone to be playing politics.
“Two families have been thrown into chaos as a result of last week’s tragic events,” he said on the floor of parliament on Tuesday.
“I am not going to try to justify in any way what occurred; I am not going to talk about the role of the government.”
It comes after both sides of parliament paid tribute to Tamworth-based Office of Environment and Heritage worker, Glen Turner, who was tragically killed on duty during an inspection at Croppa Creek last week.
Environment Minister Rob Stokes told parliament, and a gallery littered with Mr Turner’s colleagues and members of the department, the death was “shocking”.
“Glen was faithfully performing his duties as required under legislation created by this parliament. Glen’s family should know that the objects of that legislation are valuable and important tasks that relate to the maintenance of our soil and water quality, our biodiversity and the containment of salinity in our productive lands,” he said.
“There can be no justification for acts of violence on public officials who are simply doing their job. It does not matter what the law is. Our laws are made by the NSW parliament, not by the people who are tasked with implementing them – whether they are police officers, council officers or environment officers.”
Mr Stokes said this weekend flags will be flown at half mast on all Environment and Heritage offices across the state as a mark of respect for Mr Turner.
“Glen Turner’s life mattered. He has made the world a better place through his contribution to protecting our landscape, our soils and water, through his service to his local community, through his friendship and loyalty to his colleagues and, most importantly, through his love and commitment to his family,” Mr Stokes said.
Labor Deputy Leader Linda Burney paid tribute to Mr Turner’s dedication to his work, his legacy, adding it would be a tragedy felt for a very long time.
“We acknowledge Glen’s passion for protecting the environment and for his family, his community and his cause. All who work for the Office of
Environment and Heritage share that cause,” she told parliament.
“Humanity and our connections to each other are underscored in the brief and heartfelt condolences offered by both sides of the House upon the tragic death of Glen Turner.”
ORGANISERS behind a fund set up to assist the family of slain Tamworth man Glen Turner are urging the community to keep the donations coming in.
The fund was launched by members of the Croppa Creek community in the days after Mr Turner was tragically shot and killed last week.
Waggamba Landcare’s Bec Morrissy, who assisted residents in founding the appeal, said she hoped people all across the north-west region would make a donation.
Mr Turner was carrying out his duties as a compliance officer for the Office of Environment and Heritage when he was fatally shot on July 29.
National Australia Bank
Croppa Creek trust for Glen Turner’s family