I feel like it is important to be a little cautious throwing the label of ‘Nimbyism’ around as some measure of it is perfectly natural. We would all prefer that necessary changes and developments required to meet the needs of our growing society, came at no cost to us personally.
So I get that everyone has a right to object when proposals may impact them. But sometimes you have to be willing to give up a little bit for something that will mean a lot more to others. I don’t think it is unreasonable that we ask people to show a little empathy for others in these circumstances.
The vociferous and hysterical protestations to the new surf club development at Kingston beach was a good example of this. From everything I could see, this would have been a really positive development for the area, and would have provided assistance to the Kingborough Surf Lifesaving Club who volunteer a huge amount of time over the summer months. While I don’t think the protest movement actually had a lot of support, the Kingborough Council rejected the final proposal recently, after spending a lot of its ratepayers’ money actually supporting it. It certainly won’t surprise me if that land ends up being sold and used for new residential property and the community loses access to the aging toilet block that was there.
Similarly, the reported local community outrage that met a proposal to build an aged care home in Bellerive seemed a little hard to reconcile. Our state has a chronic need for aged care facilities and the Bellerive/Howrah parklands are an extensive area of space that could easily accommodate a new facility without losing its utility as a recreation area.
The argument, “I liked it better how it was,” ignores the fact that the world changes and sometimes we have to make unwanted changes to adapt as best we can. Changes to populations, climate, international security and our economy may all impose some measure of unwanted change upon us in the future. By all means stand up against injustice and stupidity, but have the self-awareness to know when you are being a selfish jerk too.