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Is the NIMBY the death-stroke for timber towns?


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When it comes to the biggest problems facing Australia today – surely the rise of the NIMBY ranks among those near the top of the list.

The NIMBY (not in my backyard) group are symptomatic of an ideology that espouses the cessation of any development of our home-grown resources in favour of turning to similar (but often inferior) resources or developments in other regions or from other countries. Simply put they believe we should turn away from forestry, mining, fishing and housing development at any cost to our regional communities – and at great economic and social cost to those communities overseas who suffer from the pillaging of their resources in dangerous and unsustainable ways.

It must be remembered that the areas where the NIMBY has done the most damage are regional, rural and remote areas – where this economic damage is felt most acutely.  According to the National Rural Health Alliance Inc.  in their submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Extent of Income Inequality in Australia – The most important determinant of income inequality between major cities and remote and regional areas is the availability of work.

“Rural, regional and remote areas consistently have higher rates of unemployment and – more hidden but equally important – underemployment. Not only are there fewer job opportunities in rural and remote areas but those that exist are in a narrower band of occupations, many of which are unskilled or semi-skilled”

Turning away from using sustainable native timber in Western Australia and Victoria – alongside the continuing overt attempts at shutting down our sustainable sector by so-called environmental groups in other areas of the country (whom I term overseas devastation enthusiasts) – not only are these NIMBY’s directly responsible for environmental, social and criminal devastation in poorer countries worldwide –  they are directly responsible for severely damaging employment opportunities within our regional, rural and remote communities. Through reduced employment outcomes and damage to social and familial networks – the NIMBY is directly responsible for a reduction in quality of life for those within the Australian community that can least afford it.

While the NIMBY will protest against Australian forestry, fishing, farming, mining and housing development projects at the drop of a hat – they are often seen sporting the latest fad clothing brand (made from Oil based synthetics) or popping into a big box hardware store to grab some Merbau timber to build a deck (sourced from unsustainably logged Indonesian rainforest).

While as a society it is imperative that we have strict environmental regulation to ensure a world in which our children will be able to enjoy the world we have become accustomed to – we must do our best to disentangle the web of virtue-signalling obstructionists that seek to destroy our world class home-grown industries and the regional and rural communities that depend on them.

When the NIMBY is successful – those at the bottom end of the socio-economic scale pay the price – both within our Australian regional and rural communities and in far-flung parts of the world where corruption and environmental devastation are the norm.

If we allow the continued rise of the NIMBY we are inviting the destruction of country towns Australia wide. It is imperative that we continue our education of those who are interested in seeking the truth behind our well regulated sustainable native timber sector (not to mention the other sectors they target)  – while in concert continuing the push for harsher penalties for those who continue to flout the law and disrupt legitimate business practices.


For further comment, please contact
FWCA executive officer Michael Harrington;

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