John Watts retired from legal practice in mid-2017 after working in Sydney for many years as a barrister and before that, as a solicitor. John and his wife Sue moved to Gloucester a few years ago whilst John continued to work part-time.
On several occasions John was a member of an Australian Bar Association team, teaching advocacy skills to young Bangladeshi lawyers. He was a also an accredited advocacy teacher with the Australian Advocacy Institute and a part-time lecturer in law at Western Sydney University.
Until his retirement John was a Claims Assessor under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act.
John has significant concerns about the way our legal system so often favours the rich and powerful.
Soon after moving to Gloucester John became concerned about the proposal by AGL to construct a coal seam gas field in the beautiful Gloucester valley. John realised that the CSG field would destroy the character of Gloucester and as time passed, he became more heavily involved in the opposition to the gas field. Apart from the environmental impact John was shocked by the way a small community was being treated by AGL and the NSW Government. His book, ”The Town that Said No to AGL-How Gloucester was saved from coal seam gas” tells the story of his personal involvement.
During the AGL fight John came to realise that, just like in the legal system, money and power corrupts the planning and mining areas through such things as political donations, the revolving door of job opportunities, and other means.