Friday, December 26, 2008

Brief Outline


Caring for the environment and each other.

    Our purpose is to establish a network of Conservationist's Parks around Australia, based on Mobile Home and Caravan Park legislation. It is a hybrid of Cohousing, Ecovillages, Woofing, Cooperatives, Meditation Retreat, Spa Resort and Caravan Park. We place emphasis on flora and fauna conservation, bush regeneration, sustainability and the practice of Permaculture and stewardship of the land and importantly on members caring for each other.

     A member controlled Not for Profit Foundation will hold in trust all land and improvements. It is anticipated that all residents volunteer their energy for a few hours a day (as appropriate to their ability) for the planning, construction and operation, by joining an activity they are passionate about and beneficial to the community. Activities could range from gardening, livestock, cooking, massage and other healing modalities, as well as music, theatre arts and drama or craft work. By members combining their creative skills, many small enterprises will flourish. It is not to be confused with any kind of retirement village. It's really a Living Village.

    We plan to offer our services to environmental organizations such as the Wildlife Conservancy, Bush Heritage, Wilderness Society, Land Care and others. We can provide teams of volunteers to plant trees and do bush regeneration or contract with Councils and farmers, as well as the remediation of former mining sites, in exchange for the right to establish our Base Camps locations on site.

     An on-line Participatory Decision Making Process allows all members an equal voice in planning and governance. It is designed to avoid conflicts typical of other communities that have elected hierarchies and committees. 

    Branches of Sustainability Research Institute of Byron Bay will be established at many Base Camps locations, to carry out scientific research on various environmental projects. Also to monitor drinking water and effluent treatment etc.

    To reduce the carbon footprint, a car pool of about 30 vehicles will be available for the members to hire at a nominal cost, rather than each resident having to own a private car. Vehicles may only have occasional access to residential areas for delivery or emergencies, by straddling the network of bicycle and walking paths.

    Our modal provides affordable accommodation and a healthy abundant lifestyle for people living on (in particular but not exclusively) a limited fixed income such as savings or Centrelink Pensions and Benefits. It actually reverses the usual flow of rental payments away from the coffers of real estate agents or land lords and accumulates these funds to be held in trust by the Not for Profit Foundation, for the mutual welfare of the environment and the members.

    Our demographic research indicates that to be economically and socially viable, each Base Camps location should have at least 100 residents maximizing at 500, but averaging at 300. Clusters of from 10 up to 30 residents can share a common house for meals and socializing, spaced around the property affording various styles of accommodation and lifestyles according to the democratic decision of the cluster residents. Residents may easily relocate to different clusters or other future locations, without penalty or restriction, upon adequate notice. 

    Security of tenure for the life of the members is guaranteed. Membership to be intergenerational and disability friendly, with the opportunity for residents to mutually care for each other and "age in place with dignity"among friends, to reduce the need to employ costly outside nursing staff. Storage units will be available for members' excess belongings.

     Locations on or adjacent to the Bicentennial Walking Trail (BNT), (which runs 5330 kms up the eastern ranges from Victoria to Cooktown), as well as good road access and adequate water resources, will be prime selection criteria.

    Base Camps locations will become destinations in themselves, as each one develops a unique character co-created by the residents' diverse backgrounds, skills, volunteered energy and the specifics of the location. Central to the residential clusters will be a large dome or other structure available to hold gatherings of say 500 people. Surrounding this may be cafes, shops, administration, library, gym etc. A short term caravan park will be available for travelers, guests and students.

      To commence quickly without having a long wait for councils to approve D.A's. etc we will lease or purchase an existing caravan park. Accommodation initially, to be in caravans and mobile homes, super tents etc. Eventually, these will be replaced with self contained council approved cabins and units, built by the members wherever possible. Solar heating/cooling and power generation included. 

    Members' joining fee is currently set at $5000, with weekly rent of $100 to cover accommodation and share of food produced by the members. With 300 residents at each location, assuming the average time in our network per resident of 10 years, we can expect each location will accumulate more than $16 million and should 20 locations develop, we can predict the total accumulated capital invested to be in excess of $300 million. Not a bad effort for a bunch of pensioners, without seeking government grants or other assistance. These may also be investigated later.

Expressions of interest to become co-creators or other information? 

Please contact: John Waters (Co-Creator)

Mob: 0409 646 993   Snail: P.O. Box 214 Chevron Island Q 4217

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