Criminal defense lawyer Rob Stary’s self-congratulation on his successful defence of his clients’ rights to protest in his opinion piece in the Herald Sun ventured into wider issues of foreign policy and history, far from his narrow sphere of expertise.
The media savvy lawyer should be more cautious before he next ventures into social and political commentary. Stary is best known for his thankfully unsuccessful advocacy of various people now convicted of terrorism.
He became particularly notorious (publicly known for a particular trait) for his lecture at the Preston Mosque where he advised congregants not to cooperate with Australian Security Services.
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In the iconic Kimberley region of West Australia one of Australia’s biggest recent environmental battlegrounds has emerged in the red cliffs and turquoise waters of James Price Point, about 20 km north of Broome. This is a battle that might ultimately be won in the investor board rooms rather than on the front lines of blockades.
The Browse Basin gas hub development has stoked up so much opposition on so many fronts that many investors are now asking if the project is still economically viable, or if in fact Woodside’s ‘social licence’ to proceed has disappeared in the red dust that graces the Kimberley coastline.
Australian business is all too familiar with the impact strident community opposition can have on controversial major projects, yet some large corporations and investors continue to discount the importance of maintaining their social licence and protecting the environment.
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