Re: Formation of Gold Coast group
From: Brendan Brewster (brewstertechnet2000.com.au)
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 1997 10:52:35 -0500
Date: Saturaday 11October 1997

The first cohousing group has been formed at the City of Gold Coast in
Queensland, Australia following a "Living City" conference and Expo in
August on sustainable development.  Incidentally Gold Coast is
geographically the second largest city in Australia after Brisbane and has
360,000 resident population, with 2 million tourists each year. It is in
the fastest growing area of the country and would be equivalent to
California and Florida as a "sunbelt location". The local council is
supportive of innovative housing development and is currently reviewing its
planning scheme. Its vision is to build a sustainable world class city. 
Hence it is an excellent base from which to promote cohousing in Australia.

The convenor and contact for the Gold Coast group is currently me - Roger
Brewster - an environmental planning consultant.  If anyone in southern
Queensland or northern NSW lurking on this list wants to be involved please
phone me at Landplan Australia Pty Ltd on (07) 55 911811 business hours or
fax 0755 911380.

We have held a first meeting with 10 starters - several of them are single
parents, who would greatly benefit from community living.  Some of you will
know Graham Meltzer from Queensland University of Technology, who is doing
his PhD on cohousing and has visited several USA groups.  He is our mentor
and we his guinea pigs, so we are lucky to have academically strong
assistance and support. 

We have made contact with a group of 18 households in a group at Byron Bay
in northern New South Wales, which is only 90 minutes drive south from Gold
Coast.  At our second meeting on Tuesday 14 Oct, one of their members is
talking about the 18 months process they have gone through, just to get to
site selection stage!  Hopefully we will learn valuable lessons from them
as much as from the wonderful insights I have gained from the cohousing
list.  Bless you all for your sharing of experiences good and bad.

The strategy I would like to adopt is to buy an acreage property in the
hinterland area  with a large existing house we could adapt as a common
house and build from that as a temporary accommodation base for the single
parents.  There are some huge houses (by Australian standards) with 5
bedrooms and several living rooms, etc on the market for $500,000 -
700,000, which is pretty affordable between 20 - 30 joint buyers.  We
intend to form an incorporated association as a vehicle to buy property and
get funding, as well as the basis for the community itself.   Any comments
would be welcome! 

I will keep you all posted on significant progress.

Roger Brewster



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