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Premiere film screening in Tamworth about the murder of Glen Turner

Thursday, 16 Mar
7:00 pm

Cultivating Murder is a feature documentary that tells the heart-rending story of the murder of Glen Turner, an officer for the Office of Environment and Heritage, killed while doing OE&H investigative work in 2014. He was gunned down on the side of a lonely public road 40 kilometers from Moree in Croppa Creek; the film follows Glen’s wife Alison and his sister Fran, as the case goes to the Supreme Court in Sydney in 2016.

In the film, Fran and Alison support each other and their families, all of whom struggling with their grief. They attend each day of the murder trial in Sydney, to show the judge and jury that they want justice for Glen. The filmmakers also follow environmental consultant Phil Spark, who carries out his own investigations into illegal land clearing, when the government fails to do so, and Alaine Anderson, a farmer from the Moree district who is fighting to save koalas and the remnant native habitat in the face of aggressive agricultural development. She owns the next-door farm to Ian Turnbull, the famer who shot Glen. Before the trial, director Gregory Miller filmed interviews “under the radar” with those directly involved in the events. The film weaves these stories together with the story of the murder and subsequent trial.

The question the film asks is not “Who did it?” but “Why did he do it”? Ian Turnbull, a wealthy NSW farmer, had been previously prosecuted for large-scale illegal land clearing— and claimed the OE&H was bankrupting him and his agribusiness but the claim was disproved in court. Turnbull pleaded “substantial impairment” but that line of defense was also rejected, as was any suggestion that he had been unduly harassed by the OE&H. Glen Turner lived on a beautiful rural property just outside Tamworth with his young family. Phil Sparkes lives in Tamworth and many of Glen’s friends and colleagues live and work in the region and will be attending the Tamworth premiere.

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