Wednesday, March 17, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 696

Today’s is the first of two linked posts:

The White Shoe Brigade was a group of boisterous, arrogant and Government-advantaged Queensland property developers in the 1990s. The rationale of this contemptuous name’s explained here. One of the Brigade’s higher profile members was Keith Williams (pictured). After successfully developing Sea World and then Hamilton Island, Williams proposed a large ‘integrated resort’ development called Port Hinchinbrook, near Cardwell in North Queensland – adjacent to the wondrous tropical wilderness of Hinchinbrook Island, and whose construction would annihilate acres of mangroves. So predictably Williams’s proposal met with staunch opposition from a large group of concerned citizens (including Sweetheart Vivienne and me) – the Friends of Hinchinbrook [FoH]. Williams responded to his opponents not with true concern and respectful dialogue; but rather (in 1994) with writs against FoH’s leaders.

Thus was my introduction to SLAPP (i.e. Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation).

SLAPP is a form of bullying and intimidation which aims to stifle free speech and pubic protest by initiating a lengthy and expensive legal process in which there’s a massive disparity of financial (and other) resources between the two sides.

A year or two later, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation threatened Save Albert Park’s leaders with SLAPP writs.

Then in 2005 Gunns Limited issued SLAPP writs against 20 opponents – the Gunns20 – of its State-sanctioned environmental plundering.

(Continued tomorrow.)

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

It's funny communicating between Canada and Australia because here it is still Tuesday and you wrote on Wednesday and I am looking forward to the continuation on Thursday which I will read on Wednesday. It may be a good thing we live far around the world from each other as it sounds to me as thought you have trouble with the same things that ruffle my feathers.
Life is good again, I have my treadmill up, but it is scary how fast this rotten disease has weakened me. But going to keep fighting back!
You are the most interesting blog I have encountered so it was easy to say good things,
Our second daughter was born in Mount Gambier S.A; she left at 18 months but has held on to her Aus citizenship until an excellent Federal Gov. job here, recently seduced her into becoming a Canadian.