I have been thinking about the ferocity of the anti-shark cull campaign here in the west. I keep wondering why it is so intense. Sure, people get het up about these things all over the globe, but generally not to the extent we've seen here recently

For example, there have been drum lines and shark nets in Queensland and NSW for decades. Yet they have caused little controversy. There were even people demonstrating about the West Aussie measures in those states. Makes you wonder why they didn't also complain about what was being done in their own backyards ... 

Clearly, West Aussie greenies are extremely motivated as well as being well connected and influential in other states.

Why is this? Well, I think it's got something to do with the nature of the state -- and I mean that in a couple of ways.

There's its size, for one. It covers an absolutely massive area, big enough to fit several small countries. And much of that is wilderness. Sure, it's mostly flat, desolate land. But it's certainly pristine.

A great piece of music that conveys WA's vast timelessness is "Great Southern Land" by Icehouse. Sure, it's about Australia in general. But it is particularly evocative of the atmosphere of this state, I believe. 

Then there's the isolation of the city of Perth. Yes, it is a rapidly growing, booming metropolis. But if you live here you are constantly aware of its isolation from the bulk of the Australian population in the east. The most obvious manifestation of this is the three hour time difference. (I always notice it most on Monday nights when Q and A is on. If I want to tweet about it while it's still live for most Aussies, I have to listen to it on ABC News Radio.)

Not only is Perth disconnected from the bulk of the Aussie population in the east. It also dwarfs all other urban areas here, and is separated from them by hundreds of miles of bush and farm land. 

If you live in say, Sydney, you can go for hundreds of miles in the direction of Victoria or Queensland and never truly hit the "country". Sure, you get patches of it. But not only does the city sprawl hugely to both north and south, there are also numerous towns along the way. It's like that whole eastern seaboard is one massive built up area.

Over here, on the other hand, it really is the wild west. So it's not surprising that local environmentalists are so passionate about keeping it that way.