Attitudes to the social, environmental and economic impacts of the construction of an armaments complex
This study examined public attitudes towards the social, environmental and economic impacts of the proposed construction of an armaments complex at Jervis Bay on the east coast of Australia. The purpose of the study was to ascertain whether support or opposition to the facility could be characterised as a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) response or whether it was governed by concerns about the natural environment or considerations of economic benefits to the region from the construction of the facility. Respondents to a telephone survey, who were opposed to the facility being constructed at Jervis Bay, indicated that the predicted social, environmental and economic impacts of the facility would be more unacceptable than those who supported this location for the facility. Contrary to expectation, distance of respondents' residence to the location of the proposed facility was not associated with opposition or support for the facility. According to area of residence, there were diVerences in attitudes to the possible impacts of the facility on Jervis Bay. Residents of the Jervis Bay area considered the impacts of limitations to residents' recreational use of the bay and the safety risks of transporting munitions to be more unacceptable than residents of Nowra, an urban area 24 km from Jervis Bay. Residents of the Nowra area considered negative impacts on commercial use of the bay to be more unacceptable than residents of the Jervis Bay area. This assessment of attitudes indicated that opposition to the Jervis Bay site was not a NIMBY issue but was primarily based on concerns about risks to the natural environment and human communities in the area.