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Open letter to Tweed Shire Council by Minjunbul Elders Council

Download and read the open letter to Tweed Shire Council by the Minjungbul Elders Council


What is a Rural Land Sharing community?

A Rural Land Sharing Community (as the name suggests) is a planned rural/residential form of collective land ownership and shared living characterised by a substantial degree of social connection and working together. The residents of Rural Land Sharing Communities typically posses similar desires regarding lifestyle, environment and community

Where is the property?

The property is situated in between the gorgeous towns of Uki and Nimbin at Mount Burrell on the southern face of the Tweed caldera. This is in a luscious area that provides a backdrop of Mount Warning to the north east, Border Ranges to the west, Nightcap mountain range to the south and Mount Jerusalem National park to the south-east. An exceptionally unique and picturesque ecological setting, within the southwestern corner of the Tweed Shire in New South Wales. The location and attributes of the site is best experienced by those who book a tour and wish to inspect the property.

Is there water on the property?

Yes, the property borders the fresh water section of the Tweed River and also lower sections of Byrrill Creek and Kunghurloo Creek. The property boasts several good quality dams; one is over 800 metres in length. There are waterholes, one in particular on Byrrill Creek is nothing short of spectacular. A detailed potable water management strategy is being developed with Precise Environmental which includes provision of rainwater tanks to dwellings and community facilities; rainfall in this area is also very sound and can almost be solely relied on for dwellings. A reticulated water network does not exist on the site, though this has not been completely discounted. There is also the possibility of drilling for water, which many neighbouring properties have done very successfully.

Is there power on the land?

There is mains power to the industrial shed in the middle of the property which includes 3 phase power for heavy machinery, and this may be made available to some homesteads that will be occupied by on site managers etc as suitable. It is our view that homes will generate their own power, but whether that is done as a group, or whether everyone will all be responsible for their own power is still on the table for research and discussion.

Will there be a "Community Centre"?

Yes, there will most certainly be several across the site. We see functional Community Centres as being vital to the sustainable and social cohesion of the community. It will provide many things such as a meeting place, good quality kitchen facilities, wood fired oven and conventional ovens/stoves, areas to hold functions/meetings, and opportunity for recreation facilities etc. Our research to date indicates that virtually all successful communities have a great Community Centre and regular social activities. Given the expansive size and opportunities across the site we envision several community facilities and centres will emerge.

Is there a fire management plan?

Yes, there will be a fire management plan, including sufficient water in dams/tanks, maintained fire break areas, refuge areas and an evacuation plan should the situation warrant it. As part of the DA there is an extensive Bushfire Risk Management Plan being supplied by Wayne Hadaway from Bushfire Safe who is the projects certified bushfire expert

Are there any restrictions on what I can build?

Yes. All dwellings will need to be of suitable quality so as to ensure safety standards are met. We are aiming for Australian Standards and Building Code of Australia as a minimum. The design and layout of the structure and its location on the block will be up to each individual and under the guide of the supporting studies (i.e. cultural heritage or bushfire requirements). We are very open to ‘alternative’ style dwellings such as Earth-ships, Shipping Container Homes and so forth, however, safety and other aspects are important as well. All dwellings will need to be passed by Council in terms of safety etc.

Is it necessary to have a 4WD to live on this land?

Not necessarily. All roads on the property will be built and maintained to a high standard (not all will be sealed) and all residential and communal areas will be accessible by standard vehicles over time. Having said that, the roads will take quite some time before they are upgraded to all points on the land. Also, from time to time the area can experience heavy tropical rains, and as with any rural area, caution ought to be taken where necessary. So in the first 4-5 years, we believe a 4WD is sensible.

What is expected of a member of the community?

DO NO HARM is the fundamental rule of the community. All of the ‘formal’ requirements will also be set out in the By-Laws/Shareholders’ Agreement and the Company Constitution. It is expected that a level of genuine ‘Community’ feeling will exist between all of those who reside on the land, and taking an active part in Community exercises and meetings is an important part of the decision to invite you on to the block. There is no desire to ‘live in each other’s pockets’ or to be ‘communal free loving hippies’ by any means, but an active group mentality is vital for those times that it is required. Community = Common Unity and there are many common goals and values that we all share. Fostering and supporting processes that allow us to grow as a group is the primary focus of this project.

Can you have pets and are there any restrictions?

Pets are allowed, with no restrictions envisioned at this time, other than typical standards of acceptable behaviour that will be detailed within the By-Laws. Dogs will be required to be adequately housed, as when dogs (even domesticated dogs) get together in a ‘pack’ formation, it can and does at times cause problems for native animals, livestock, and children.

Read our responses to questions from the media

We get frequent questions from media outlets and publications on this project, and these will be replicated here as we provide them.

  1. Questions and responses – The Northern Star

Pete Evans and Nightcap on Minjungbul

Some additional exciting news is we can now publicly announce the involvement of Chef Peter Evans with the project.

Pete Evans is an internationally renowned chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur, key note speaker, author, television presenter and documentary producer. He also has a podcast called Evolve with Pete Evans, exploring nutritional and emotional wellbeing.

Pete has made similar announcements via a movie that is now available to view here:

This is a long term commercial arrangement that has been negotiated and signed with Peter, by AB and Gunham, and this partnership will be a momentous boost for the sales campaigns and the community moving forward as Pete brings his unique and amazing energy and love to the project.

This is a multi layered arrangement with Peter and his brand, and further updates will be released when appropriate to the public via his enormous social media appeal (with millions of followers on various social media platforms).

A heartfelt thank you to Gunham and AB for their vision and tenacity and for what they are achieving for us all as a community… this is a huge milestone for Nightcap on Minjungbul.

Site DA

Legal challenges

Dear Valued Community Members

As some of you will be aware, in 2017 defamation proceedings were commenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales by (amongst others) Adrian Brennock and Phillip Dixon. The defendant to that proceeding was Gillian Norman (AKA Gi Linda).

While the complaints the subject to that proceeding were numerous, in short, they related to publications by Ms Norman to the effect that Adrian and Phill were, amongst other things, fraudsters and thieves.

Ultimately that matter ran to a 7 day trial before Justice Fagan and per the attached judgement Adrian and Phill were wholly successful in making out their complaint. His Honour rejected entirely Ms Norman’s defence and evidence. Damages in the sum of $400,000.00 were awarded. The quantum of the award reflects the egregious nature of her conduct. An injunction was then ordered refraining Ms Norman from making any further publications of a similar content.

Unfortunately, since the injunction was ordered Ms Norman has breached same on many an occasion. Since May 2020, Ms Norman has uploaded a number of posts to a website “Nightcap Nightmare”. As a consequence of those further publications, an application for contempt was filed against Ms Norman. If found to be in contempt of the injunction, it will be open to the Court to imprison Ms Norman for a term.

From a practical perspective, while Adrian and Phill have:

  • done everything required of them under the law;
  • succeeded at trial and now hold the benefit of a Supreme Court judgment;
  • have permanent injunctions against Ms Norman; and,
  • are prosecuting an application for contempt,

ultimately, and frustratingly, in a modern, Western democracy in the 21st century, anyone, anywhere and at any time with access to the internet can say whatever they want about whoever they want with little consequence. The contempt application is next listed before the Supreme Court on 4 September 2020.

To provide some comfort, attached hereto are a number of documents, namely:

  1. Judgment from Justice Fagan of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from April of this year;
  2. Orders subsequently made by his Honour permanently injuncting Ms Norman from publishing content of a defamatory nature; and
  3. Statement of Charge filed in support of the contempt application.

Download the Judgement

Download the Orders

Download the Statement of Charge