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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Brunswick Eco Village calls it quits

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An eco-village project slated for Saddle Road near the Brunswick Heads interchange and highway has been shelved. 

Around five years ago, landowner Kelvin Daly proposed to transfer some of his land ‘to the end users at a significant discount’ and established the Brunswick Eco Village (BEV). 

More recently, other surrounding landowners came on board and presented a planning proposal for the entire ridgeline to Council. 

While the urbanisation proposal included an affordable-housing component, it met with resistance from other neighbours. 

In a statement Daly said, ‘It is with great sadness and regret that I inform you all that my wife Skai and I cannot sustain the BEV project any longer’.

‘Our bank has reached the threshold of funds that it is willing to lend us and we are unable to spend more borrowed money on a project with an unclear planning pathway and elusive timeline. The professional counsel given to us across the board is consistent in advising us not to proceed in the current circumstances’.

Area 17 on Saddle Road, the site of the proposed eco-village.
Image supplied

Training program

A Village Development Program (VDP) also ran as part of BEV and provided training for 150 people wanting to live in an intentional community. 

Daly said the VDP was ‘quite a feat for a new course and a testament to the work of the VDP and BEV project teams’.

‘Nearly 50 of those VDP participants went on to join the BEV Aspiring Resident Network. Those wishing to continue the journey that the residents’ network has started are planning to form an eco-village action group, Northern Rivers Eco-Village Network, a much needed initiative in this Shire. Any residual monies paid to be part of the Aspiring Resident Network will be offered back to those wishing to opt out.

‘BEV’s five-year journey has been rich in learnings and has inspired many people locally and internationally. 

‘We hope that variations of BEV will one day manifest up and down the east coast and provide a much-needed experience of community living.

BEV vision 

‘The original BEV vision would have seen the land transferred to the end users at a significant discount. We will now need to consider an interim land steward, someone who can see the value of what has been co-created, can purchase the land, complete the planning process, and sell the land to the end users. I thank all those who followed our journey, celebrated our achievements, were inspired by the vision, and acted in good faith’.

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  1. Thank goodness this is not going ahead, it would have just ended up with a mass of irresponsible parents, unsupervised children and uncontrolled dogs.

    • Zahn, I take it you think all people living on communities are “irresponsible parents (with) unsupervised children and uncontrolled dogs – that would be the most broad brush, judgmental statement I have heard for a long time. Many of the people I know on communities are much better neighbors than you average suburbanite. At least they usually try to connect with the neighbors whereas a recent survey of suburbanites showed that over 30% have never met their neighbors and a similar number said they don;t trust their neighbours. What sort of society have we built? At least communities are usually based on development of links, not division and fences. And Eco communities place environment above convenient parking.

  2. I see the admirable & generous spirit of Skai & Kelvin Daly, a vision for community-mindedness and the hard work of many people. I hope the learnings are not lost and that one day it can all come together. Good on ya for trying.

  3. I am deeply saddened as I come into knowledge that a group of judgmental landowners have suceeded in lording over your plans to develop an ecovillage. I was not following your endeavors, I have only now learned of your group. The news caught my eye, especially, because I too dream of living in an ecovillage. I have met many a landowner who share a common selfish groupthink and do not seem in the slightest to be bothered by their applied efforts to displace others who think differently. Zahn, above, thanks some “goodness” for your hardship. She cannot possibly be referencing, The God, of the Bible, as her euphemism suggests. Meaning, that “God is good”, thus ‘goodness’. Because “God is”, also, “love”, thus out of His live he gives good things such as the fact that he freely gifted all mankind with free moral agency. What Zahn said flies in the face of a good God. It would behoove Zahn to question whether she even truly knows the “goodness” she thanks. My advise to Zahn is that she, and those who agree with her negative imaginations, meet God for the first time, instead of riding roughshod over her fellow man. In other words, Zahn, love your potential neighbors, we are all in this world together. God loves the peacemakers… As for the ecovillage, I would appreciate learning more about your plans, even whilst seeming displaced. Please communicate with me. Thank you!

  4. How much for the land? Charles 0417792944. I head up the National Institute for Socio-economic and Environmental Research. And we are interested in Tiny Houses and Eco Villages. Thx

  5. It saddens me that this project is over for now. I Hope a Phoenix can rise from the ashes on the back of all the hard and beautiful work done on this project so far. This is a project that was grown with great love, generosity, sociocratic intentions and community consultation. The BEV project had a global and local vision for affordable housing and intentional communities. Thank you to all people involved.


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