Thursday, August 11, 2011

Battle for the last great wilderness - The West Australian

"Every member of the WA community has a right to voice their opinions in a peaceful and lawful manner. It is up to each person how and when they voice their opinions and they should be able to do so openly."

Woodside, the police, the shire and the Government know they have a problem on their hands. Woodside's own polling confirms deep divisions in the community.

So have any of our political leaders stepped up to the plate and faced the issue head on? Not on your life. After all, entering the fray on any side would ostracise a big number of voters in a seat that the ALP is desperate to hold in the 2013 election but one which the conservatives are eyeing.

Police Minister Rob Johnson, normally a blinkered cheerleader for the State police, was unusually quiet when the boys in blue broke up the protesters last month.

Local MP Carol Martin has gone missing in action.

Opposition Leader Eric Ripper has not engaged the issue, despite saying he believes the hub should go ahead.

And Mr Barnett has hardly been using his sky-high approval ratings to bring quiet to the troubled town.

"I have been appalled by the personal nature of some of those attacks on individuals," he told the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

It would be far more helpful if he said the same thing on Broome's Carnarvon Street, rather than in State Parliament.

It's not for nothing that they call it cowards castle.

Battle for the last great wilderness - The West Australian

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