Thursday, September 18, 2008

The vision of Base Camps Network

Our vision is to develop a template and the tools for people trying to live on limited fixed incomes such as Centrelink Benefits or Superannuation, to join together and co-create a caring and sharing environment and enjoy a bountiful lifestyle. There are presently hundreds of thousands of Australians living in unsuitable rooms and flats as well as caravan parks, always at the mercy of greedy landlords. Many are interested to move to a semi rural conservation community.

The Baby Boomers are just coming into retirement. In the next 20 years or so 4.2 million people will retire and the government is aware that more than1.2 million will only have the Aged Pension to live on. As well there are thousands of people on various forms of Disability Benefit, and many of these are capable of at least a few hours a day of productive activity.

It is desirable to be inter-generational and not just for the over fifties. Single parents will be welcomed, but it is not intended for the typical nuclear family of two parents with 1.8 children, however they are also welcome, if they feel it is practical for schooling and general living etc.

At present, we feel that the member residents can afford $100 per week as rent from their Centrelink benefits. It is probably less than the amount they normally would pay for accommodation. By diverting it into a common fund, the group will accumulate a sizable fund. We propose each location have between 100 and 300 residents. If they stay an average of 10 years, then each member will have contributed $52,000. Times this by 300, we will have more than $15 million. Supposing 20 locations develop around Australia, then the total capital invested will exceed $300 million.

Imagine the productivity of say 300 creative mature aged people living and working together, taking part in activities they are passionate about. There is no limit as to what can be achieved.

There should be fully equipped wood working and metal/mechanical workshops, not simply a "men's shed". Equally, we anticipate the provision for pottery kilns, horticultural seedling propagation etc, as well facilities for healing, theatre arts and drama, painting and music.

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