A way of doing things better.

River flowing through Currumbin Eco-village

River flowing through Currumbin Eco-village

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)

http://theecovillage.com.au/

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38 Responses to “A way of doing things better.”

  1. bkpyett Says:

    Reblogged this on Barbara Pyett and commented:
    Gerard has included a video of this Utopian community. I hope you find time to visit. What a magnificent sustainable environment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bkpyett Says:

    Gerard, I have reblogged this post, thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed the video. Are you tempted to move there?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Wonderful to be so energy efficient, no doubt, but as an introvert, the place makes me quake a bit.😉

    So glad no decomposition came to happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    There are special rooms for introverts. Made of hoop-pine shared by a solitary kangaroo only and very lovely in its seclusion and total lonelyness.I spent a couple of hours there myself. Very nice.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. M-R Says:

    If only they took on pensioners with no savings …
    You and Helvi moving there soon ?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yvonne Says:

    Could you disguise Milo as a kangaroo or wombat, perhaps?

    It sounds/looks like an excellent, well thought out place.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. auntyuta Says:

    “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.”

    I love this paragraph! Did you take Milo in your car all the way to Queensland? Glad that you escaped the floods. We had here plenty of rain too, but no flooding.

    To live in a yurt in an eco-village sounds tempting. I wonder how much the rent is?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No Uta, Milo went into a dog’s resort with our vet. He had his teeth done this last week so…we thought it best. He behaved very well and was a ‘star’ after been given a pink jacket to wear. He looked so masculine.
      Yes, we were a bit worried about you down there in Dapto. Our garage got a bit flooded and smelled a bit.
      I don’t know about rentals you could ask the agent mentioned in the website of the Ecovillage.
      Abbott is now promising no one will be asked for proof of visa. Even so, the knock on the door at midnight is still wafting around.

      Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Uta; you might find out about rentals from this link;http://theecovillage.com.au/rent/

      Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        They say: “Occasionally houses or rooms within the ecovillage are available for short or medium term rent. Long Term Rentals:
        If you wish to find out what formal longer term rentals are available (or rent your Ecovillage house) please use other real estate websites such as http://www.realestate.com.au or http://www.domain.com.au to search.
        We do not advertise long term rentals on this website.”
        I looked then what was on offer under SALES. It was an eye opener for me. The vacant blocks are about the same price as in our area, the properties with houses on them were about half a million to more than a million. Truly beyond our reach. I thought they might have cottages for much less. Anything that costs more than $ 250,000 would be beyond our reach, for on top of it there would be some costs for selling our home and for the moving! On the other hand it might be a good idea to rent there a place for a limited time to experience a bit the Ecovillage lifestyle!
        I was lucky to find a video about the Ecovillage at Currumbin, and so I published it. Having looked at the video, I can imagine, I would be able to fit in there and be feeling at home there in no time!🙂
        I am sure it is a very beautiful place.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes Uta, housing there is not cheap and reflects the costs of the infrastructure such as roads, the reticulation plant of all water, the lap pool and community hall, the cycling paths, the library and so much more.
        The man who started Eco village was close to becoming bankrupt and tragically died a few years ago as a result of a collapsing shop awning under which he was walking. He certainly had a great vision and saw its completion before he died.
        Even so, the prices are well below most city prices.
        Of course, if councils would just follow basic principles in planning and encouraging community architecture we would not only have better housing but Eco village living would be everywhere. Perhaps drug and Isis attractions would be avoided too, when living in a caring, inclusive and thriving community.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Milo in a pink jacket? I don’t know, I am thinking of that old saying: “If dogs aren’t allowed in Heaven, I’m not going”.
    Planned communities make me nervous. but I can’t argue that we need something like that. Makes me think of all these senior living communities. I guess I still cling to my quirky life. Glad you are back home Gerard.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There are many Eco villages that were started during the hippy period. Some survived but many also collapsed. This Ecovillage is not hippy oriented and more of a family type development with kids, parents and grandparents. No one goes around saying ‘peace man’ and give a two finger salute, nor does one see bare-breasted and nubile women doing wild dances.
      No Milo allowed is a big problem though!

      Liked by 1 person

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      Misbehaving dogs are only expressing the pain inflicted on them by thoughtless people. Otherwise, they are pure love!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Even though that is true, not all dogs and especially cats take wild-life easily in their stride. Many a time, owners said; my pussy doesn’ kill birds but filming that lovely pussy (or dog) at night proved they were relentless killers of birds and wildlife.
        Back on the farm, one of our dogs, a Border Collie, got the hang of joining another dog chasing the neighbours’ sheep. This farmer shot both dogs. Sheep farmers don’t like roaming dogs and killing sheep and cattle by dogs costs millions.

        Like

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        By “misbehaving people” I meant that people don’t take the nature of the animals in account and act accordingly. Our daughter had a trained companion dog, that cost $5,000 to train. You could take it anywhere and it was even allowed even into supermarkets.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, of course that is so true. Cats would be killers of birds no matter how we treat them. Our dogs knew not to chase our alpacas. In fact the alpacas would chase the dogs. Some owner’s dogs did kill their alpacas. Lots of dramas to have paid a fortune and to find that their own dog ended up killing.
        I find it remarkable that the small sniffer dogs at airports can smell food even in capped bottles. I watched a dog stopping a woman’s bag in which she had baby food in an unopened glass jar.

        Like

  9. Andrew Says:

    It sounds wonderful Gerard but where would I put my moth trap? Where would Lulu go? I’m afraid I am quite protective of my privacy. I generally prefer non-human animals. Can you scatter your ashes anywhere on the commune? I’d be happy to go on the compost heap (in due course).

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Your moth traps will be welcome anywhere, Andrew. Your privacy can be as private as you wish. There is room for everyone, even the hermit. One man has identified over a 140 different birds on this estate. You can donate your ashes underneath a lemon tree, the Pawpaw or the Kipfler potato.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. elizabeth2560 Says:

    The eco-village looks like a great lifestyle.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. stuartbramhall Says:

    It’s very inspiring to see the growing number of eco-villages springing up in the industrialized world. We already have a number here in New Zealand.

    Like

  12. Patti Kuche Says:

    You sound seriously tempted by this one Gerard . . ..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    This is interesting Gerard. I love the sustainability/eco friendly aspect. I was ( in my days as a Hippie) part of a multiple occupancy development in Northern NSW. I think the laws around this type of village may be simpler, but there is always the people factor, they can be great or they can be crappy. Hopefully a good balance of the two. But how long with it last? Big decision, but also a great opportunity!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Very true, just because they are into sustainability doesn’t make for lovely and friendly neighbours. The human factor crosses ideology. Patrick White was a great writer but a very difficult person capable of spite and hurtful invective.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    I wonder how they will cope with the humidity in summer, compared to the temperate climate of Bowral

    Like

  15. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    My jaw just kept dropping further as I read on. Such a place exists? It isn’t a fantasy? (half way through I thought you were making it up!). I am seriously cheered.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Hilary. It is all true. It seems unbelievable. Perhaps with all those shark attacks on people invading their territory, attention by people and tourists might well turn inwards and towards the land instead of the sea (and all that wet water).
      Maybe many will seek shade and the comfort of trees to lean against and…take to reading…all nice and safe.
      There has to be comfort in taking in lovely words.

      Like

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