A break from blogging and delving into the past was welcomed with open arms. So, if responses to some of you dear friends went missing, a mea culpa. We are now back again. We decided to drive to Queensland and escape the tail end of winter. Apparently, no sooner after we left the Highlands, the heavens opened up. Over 400 millimetres of rain fell within a couple of hours. There were trees blocking roads and weirs overflowed. Evacuations of people into church halls were organized. Volunteers made sandwiches and gave comforts to those whose houses became flooded. Cars were seen being washed down causeways, yet children were cheerfully defying the rain, splashing about, no care in the world. Why should they? Life is yet to arrive for them.
My sister and husband after many moves here and there, told us they had found their ideal nesting ground at a place called Currumbin. Currumbin is just over the border in a state called Queensland which is even closer to the Northern sun than where we live in New South Wales. Queensland has a warm and sunny disposition. People wear sandals if not going around barefooted. Most also wear shorts all year around. The closer to the beach the more you are likely to see bikinis for girls and board shorts for boys. Shark attacks have put a dent into surfing but not into casual living. What more could one wish for?
We arrived at my sister’s place late in the afternoon after getting hopelessly lost on top of a mountain top. The GPS system must have had murderous intent and deliberately put us into great danger. We were close to a final embrace and quite prepared to be found in a state of an advanced decomposition some weeks later.
Some of you might know my stance on endless suburbia were people succumb to such a state of spiritual if not physical inertia and dehydration, that even the fear of Border Control Force Protection Patrol with guns drawn, can’t get a single twinge of life out of the millions of hapless inhabitants.
Well, Currumbin Eco Village is where the good ones finally find life back again. It offers salvation to the true believers of a form of communal living like nowhere else. It is a place of good design and harmony with interaction between people encouraged instead of the discouragement of being fenced off, privacy till the end, (in the grave while still alive), colour-bonded separated Zinc Alumina side seduced by smarmy Estate Agents sold as the Australian dream of ‘Own Home.’
Instead of rows of separated fenced off cottages it offers clusters of free standing homes around central hubs. Fencing is not allowed. Instead of having numerous small pools it has one large communal pool suitable for real swimming. A community hall for residents to meet and mingle. Communal wood-fire places to sit around for those who feel like getting back to the days of campfire and talking with Adam and Eve. Post boxes together in an encouragement to meet each other. In fact, this Eco-village was designed for living together instead of the much accepted dreadful separated and obsessively private till the grave, way of life which so many seem to end up with.
The Ecovillage at Currumbin achieves:
Self-sufficiency in energy usage and complete autonomy in water and waste water recycling:
- 80% of site as open-space, 50% environmental reserve, and the same yield as standard development
- Food and material self-sufficiency through edible landscaping and streetscaping, household farming and other productive strategies
- Preservation of natural landforms and rehabilitation of the degraded site’s environmental integrity
- Extensive wildlife corridors, negligible vegetation loss and extensive native plant regeneration
- Cutting edge integrated water quality measures to exemplify Water Sensitive Urban Design
- Cultural Heritage honoured and integrated
- Mix of socially-oriented innovative ecological, energy efficient housing catering for diverse needs
- On-site work strategies and facilities for village and local community
- Waste recycling strategies including an innovative RRR recycling centre
- Comprehensive traffic saving strategies to reduce vehicle impacts on and off site
- Well researched administrative framework providing social equity & enduring community integrity
- Initial and ongoing social planning to foster cohesion and promote sustainable community
- Continuing education of sustainable living and development practices via the Interpretive Centre
- Sustainable economic performance both with the development and the ongoing community.
Have a look for yourself. ( Obligatory solar panels, thermal mass, recycling of all waste including all water,
communal vegetable growing. etc. One drawback, because of the abundant wildlife, no pets)