The family of an elderly farmer accused of murdering an environment officer says their father crumbled after a long-running dispute over land clearing.
Ian Robert Turnbull is accused of shooting Environment and Heritage Office inspector Glen Turner north of Moree, in northern NSW, on Tuesday.
Mr Turner, 51, was carrying out land clearing inspection duties at rural Croppa Creek when he was allegedly shot dead.
Turnbull, 79, had been locked in an ongoing dispute with the environment office over clearing of vegetation on properties in the area.
His family told News Corp that Turnbull was pushed beyond what he thought he was ever capable of.
"What happened I don't know, I was not in his mind," a family member said.
The Turnbulls said the contentious issue of land clearing - regulated by the controversial Native Vegetation Act - had become all-consuming.
Turnbull was not a "hermit who lived away in a cave" but an active community member who volunteered and helped build old people's homes, the family said.
"He has held this all in, he has crumbled, he has tried to carry this all to himself," the Turnbulls said.
The Turnbull family sent their condolences to Glen Turner's family.
"It is devastating for both families. I could not imagine losing a father," the Turnbull family member said.
"I do not know him (Mr Turner) but it is not right.
"They would be in massive grief. There is a family out there without a dad."
Turnbull was refused bail in Moree Local Court on Wednesday, charged with murder.
Mr Turner was based in Tamworth and leaves behind a wife and two children.