ERIN Brockovich is as passionate as she is fierce.
She is known throughout the world as a bastion of fairness and an advocate for those in need of a strong voice. She's an amazing woman - and a powerful person to have on your side.
Immortalised by Hollywood, feared by industrial giants, adored by the downtrodden. She is a true champion of what's right - and she works hard to make sure those who have done wrong make good and pay up. So now, she has turned her sights on Gladstone - among other industrial centres in Australia.
She is the face of Shine Lawyers - themselves champions of the brand of law associated with tough, bulldog-style tactics.
And last week, on national tabloid TV she cried real tears over the plight of Gladstone and the destruction of everything from the Great Barrier Reef to the fishing industry.
Good for her for standing up for a cause. Good for Shine for having the marketing prowess to get someone like Brockovich on payroll - at least then, media who previously cared little for the plight of our city have fallen for a bit of star power. But what's not so good is that this entire situation has degenerated into an over-emotional destructive smear campaign.
What's even worse, is that it is just so unoriginal - every single interview grab, every last sound bite is as contrived as it is cliched.
That does nothing to solve what's really happening. Undeniably, this is an issue that cannot be swept under the carpet. But Gladstone region is not a toxic cesspool.
That message might suit Shine's case - just as it might make Brockovich look like an even bigger rock star advocate.
But in simplest terms, it is not the truth. Not that that has been an issue in many reports on this matter to date. Apparently, fairness just doesn't rate.