Why not protect our backyard?
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