High Court dismisses Turnbull unauthorised land clearing appeal

The High Court dismissed an application by Grant Wesley Turnbull, owner of the property known as “Colorado”, this week (8/11) for special leave to appeal against orders made by the Land and Environment Court in 2016 requiring him to remediate areas of his Croppa Creek property near Moree, following unauthorised land clearing.

Mr Turnbull was also ordered to pay costs and is required to comply with the original Court Orders requiring him to remediate certain areas of his property, after approximately 500 hectares of native vegetation was cleared on the property in 2014.

Welcoming the High Court’s dismissal of the application, Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Executive Director, Ian Hunter, said a clear message is being sent to anyone who thinks they can avoid the law.

“Landholders have rules to follow to enable them to be productive and protect the environment,” Mr Hunter said.

“People simply need to follow these and if they are in any doubt contact their Local Land Services for assistance.

“The community can be confident that OEH will continue its important role to ensure the legislation protecting the environment is upheld.

“OEH will investigate reports of alleged unlawful land clearing and encourages people with specific information about alleged unlawful clearing to call the Environment Line on 131 555,” Mr Hunter said.

In 2014, OEH commenced civil proceedings against Mr Turnbull in the Land and Environment Court (LEC), and in 2016, the LEC handed down its decision ordering Mr Turnbull to remediate certain areas of the property.

Mr Turnbull subsequently appealed the LEC’s decision to the NSW Court of Appeal, which was dismissed with costs.

Earlier this year Mr Turnbull filed an application seeking special leave to appeal to the High Court against the NSW Court of Appeal’s decision, which was dismissed yesterday.