Why not pro­tect our back­yard?

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - There’s no need to shy away from the NIMBY ar­gu­ment, writes Phil Giles Phil Giles lives in West­bury.

NIMBY … There is a re­al­ity the ma­jor­ity of us in West­bury do not want the prison sited at the “pre­ferred lo­ca­tion”.

We don’t want it in our back­yard.

I think those of us who are truly op­posed need to be gen­uine in why we don’t want the prison and em­brace the term and not see it as a bad thing.

We need to tell the story of our “back­yard” and why we choose to live here.

I moved here with my wife in March. We pur­chased our prop­erty tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion what it does and doesn’t have in its back­yard. This ex­tends to the West­bury com­mu­nity back­yard – the back­yard that has sig­nif­i­cant colo­nial his­tory, a sin­gle petrol sta­tion, a pub, an IGA, a vil­lage green, a vil­lage com­mon, small busi­ness en­ter­prises run by pas­sion­ate peo­ple, com­muters (such as our­selves), young fam­i­lies, old res­i­dents with his­tory, ru­ral views, tran­quil­lity. Things we like as they are.

In our own back­yard we get to choose (within rea­son, be­cause our life­style should not im­pact oth­ers neg­a­tively) what we put in it, be it veg­etable gar­dens, fruit trees, shed, lawns, spas, pools, based on our cho­sen life­style and choices.

Con­versely we get to choose what does not go into our back­yard and we cer­tainly don’t want to wake up one morn­ing with other peo­ple putting things they don’t want in their back­yard into our back­yard. Well, that is what is hap­pen­ing!

Oth­ers with no emo­tional at­tach­ment to West­bury want to put things into our com­mu­nity back­yard, things that we don’t want, things that will im­pact us neg­a­tively.

While NIMBY is a catch-all term I think we need to ar­tic­u­late the rea­sons we don’t want a prison in our back­yard in a way that em­braces the term NIMBY and makes it a pos­i­tive rather than a neg­a­tive. My wife and I be­lieve if the prison is ap­proved, the fab­ric of West­bury as a quaint his­tor­i­cal vil­lage will be changed for­ever and will sadly fall by the way­side as a com­mu­nity as out­side in­flu­ences stuff up the back­yard.

The down­side of the back­yard ar­gu­ment? All the other sup­posed sites un­der con­sid­er­a­tion will prob­a­bly be some­one’s back­yard. We just have to make a case that our back­yard is bet­ter served by not putting a prison in it. Re­mem­ber the govern­ment spin and ar­gu­ments about em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits, or non­neg­a­tive im­pacts etc are de­signed to re­move emo­tion from the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple with­out an at­tach­ment to West­bury. If they do that they win, they don’t need our 1000 or so votes to main­tain govern­ment, they need the ma­jor­ity of ev­ery other Tas­ma­nian to not care that the prison is in West­bury.

We need to keep the cam­paign emo­tional for all of Tas­ma­nia, not just us, the West­bury com­mu­nity be­cause this sort of “like it or lump it be­hav­iour” with­out any sker­rick of trans­parency or con­sul­ta­tion from the State Govern­ment could hap­pen to any com­mu­nity in Tas­ma­nia as a govern­ment rides roughshod with im­punity.

THEY DON’T NEED OUR 1000 OR SO VOTES TO MAIN­TAIN GOVERN­MENT, THEY NEED THE MA­JOR­ITY OF EV­ERY OTHER

TAS­MA­NIAN TO NOT CARE THE PRISON IS IN WEST­BURY

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