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Statues of Conflict and Mockery: A View from Margaret River on Participatio...

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UCL Faculty Of Laws

Bentham House

4-8 Endsleigh Gardens

London

WC1H 0EG

United Kingdom

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A Centre for Law and the Environment event

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This paper concerns a conflict over a statue built by a wealthy landowner in the Margaret River wine region in contravention of the Western Australian Planning and Development Act 2005. Despite community opposition to the statue and a refusal of the local council to grant a retrospective development approval for it, the landowner resisted dismantling the statue, and instead succeeded in obtaining approval from the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia in the case of Pivot Group Pty Ltd v Shire of Busselton [2007] WASAT 268. Throughout the legal process there was minimal conventional community consultation despite persistent media coverage, and the community considered itself unheard during the planning and tribunal processes. The local community’s view about the process and the statute itself is captured by and embedded in a ridiculing statue that it erected nearby. The paper looks at the contemporary transnational conflicts over statues in place, and ideas of objects and people belonging, and it seeks to apply those ideas to the statutes of Margaret River. The paper argued that the controversy was about whether the statue or its owners belonged in the landscape, and it asks whether the mocking statue was an expression of participation in a process that community members felt excluded from.

About the speaker

Dr Brad Jessup is an environment specialist at The University of Melbourne. He researches across disciplines of law and geography, society and policy. His PhD was an empirical analysis of environmental justice in Australian planning and environmental law. He is the co-editor of the book Environmental Discourses in Public and International Law (Cambridge, 2012) He teaches torts, environmental and introductory law subjects, and developed the clinical law subject Sustainability Business Clinic. Brad joined Melbourne Law School in 2012 from the Australian National University, where he had been teaching and researching within the ANU College of Law since 2007. Previously, Brad worked for five years as a planning and environment lawyer within Herbert Smith Freehills's Melbourne office.

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UCL Faculty Of Laws

Bentham House

4-8 Endsleigh Gardens

London

WC1H 0EG

United Kingdom

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