1. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Up until (1983ish) when the developers started subdividing some of the eastern part of the shire, you could level your car unlocked in the main street.

    NB: global warming has dropped the rainfall in this area by about 2 inches (50 mm) over the last 30 year (anecdotal evidence only).


    Gnoll110
     
  2. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Thanks Gnoll...it's a shame that a quite worthy idea (at face value) like providing easy to manage sized, very affordable blocks of land hasn't worked out so well for the area as a whole.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on 'no such thing as marginal country, only marginal land uses.'
     
  3. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Some history.

    The shire's sub-division by-laws in the early 80's didn't take into account that anyone would even try to sub-divide to that smaller a size. The state government had tried small blocks (2000 to 4000 acres) as late as the 1960s. Tried and failed!

    The developers tried the same stunt at St George (the shire there, realize what was going to happen and modernized the by-laws, thus stopping the developers, no super profits for them). The developers move on to Tara, where the shire only woke up to all the problems too late.

    You need to realize the blocks are cheap in total price, but for a $/area figure, the developer made a super profit. That why none of the good country in the west of the shire got broken up. My personal feeling is that nothing more than 8km (5 miles) from the Tara township (or a mile or 2km from one of the country state schools) should have been sub dividable to less that 2000 acres. We're trying to build community here, not rural slums!

    Anyone on blocks that small is not farming full time on that kinda country. As one old local put it, "you couldn't raise two gonnas on that country, without lotfeeding one of them". So they need to be close to town for services & employment, both full or part time.
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    from our experience in rural, don't reckon anything should be under 50 acres in country that gets reasonable rainfall +, and can provide at worst a grazing rater of around 1 beast to 8 or even out to 10 an acre. lots buy in rural and with their small thinking ie.,. from decades or more in suburbia under 27 perches, something 8 times that size sounds like it is in the land baron dream time.

    but then they get there and with no account to what water they can get or store they want to run a house cow and couple of horses for the kids on 1.6 to 10 acre blocks, doesn't add up.

    there are 2 developments north of gympie with blocks from 1.2 acres up to 10 acres, and they are little ghettos for all sorts of itinerants looking for their hole in the wall. all sorts of anti social behaviour abounds.

    to get managment of a usefull size block into the picture those heading rural way need to get the picture of fence to fence gardens and lawns like they have in the 'burb's out of the thought process.

    we found on our 70 acres (that could actually run some stock and allow for food growing as well as accomodate good habitat, and our neighbours on 100++ acres did no more or even less than us, none of them where left to rack and ruin they where managed as grazing blocks) that we did by far and away less work on our block as did those in the 1.2 to 10 acre blocks, just it gave us room to move we had our own space, we were able to be 300 meters from all neighbours and the road. we didn't wear the results of those with ulterior motives and anti-social type behavoir.

    we also believe after asking many many questions and listening to much advice from the ones who seem to have the knowledge to know what is good land and what is not worth having, that we got good land that would and did respond very favourably to common sense management, yet the lots of scrub land up there that won't hold moisture and has a brackish to salty sub-aquafa and will only grow eucalypts and black wattle, because it is cheap those that bought it either for lots of them just walked off of it &/or waited for a decade or more when the market was more viable and flogged it cheap (at current prices) to a new lot of unsuspecting buyers.

    reckon we as a community wouldn't go too far wrong if land in marginal or low rainfall areas that is beyond any use to agriculture should be rehabilitated back to habitat. naturally when it is offered on the market at what seems good value low prices the cycle of passing it on just keeps going. in lots of cases of land for sale it was evident the farmer was flogging it off because it was no longer of much use.

    just how we see it.

    len
     
  5. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    Most people around here are on 100+ acres (we're on 7)....and a lot of them run cattle. They're always complaining about a lack of feed, lack of rainfall. I've spoken to a couple of them and tried to explain to them about building their soil up....feediong their soil etc to try to improve their land. They agree with what I'm saying, and I'm sure they understand what I'm saying.....but I know damn well they're not going to do anything to try and improve their situation in that regards.

    I don't think much of cattle farmers.

    I agree with you Len...people do need to understand exactly what they're going to need if they want the horses, house cow etc etc.....But I think smaller acreage is ok....a lot cam be done with 1 - 2 acres. In fact I told my wife that's all we'd really need, the reason we didn't buy something like that is you'd still end up living in peoples back pockets. Our neighbours are on 100+ acres....so we have that separation here from having anyone too close. We also brought here knowing that there will be no horse/house cow etc...just poultry and hopefully a couple of pigs. With of course the standard fruit and veges.

    When I was in Brissy I looked around Gympie..but didn't take long to see what sort of area it was. Certainly not for me!

    :)
     
  6. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day c.o.t.c,

    yes you buy in an earea that suits your criteria, we looked all round gympie to the east and then out to kilkivan etc.,. and no ther is lots of land there that didn't suit us either but we did find what we wanted at gunalda even though there is lots more land there that would not have fitted, reckon if this one wasn't ther at the time we would have stayed in suburbia. in fact we searched most of the s/e corners not quiet to beaudesert but down to boonah out to the range up on the range crows nest/haden, and up in the gympie/kilkivan area.

    but sadly for lots of families not much head ruling goes into the process, and the heart let them down in the decision.

    len
     
  7. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    Sure, same thing has happened in all cities and larger regional centres as population grows.

    I don't agree with this statement Gnoll. I'm quite sure the vast majority of people out that way don't have anything resembling a productive small property, but that doesn't mean a highly productive small property can't be achieved. I don't know if you've checked out Geoff Lawton's success with a small (~10 acre) project site on some of the harshest and most degraded land in the world, but to me it's a good example of what Permaculture can do to transform a totally degraded small patch of land in a hostile environment into a highly productive oasis which can support people. (Note: The Greening The Desert short video is also on the home page of this site for anyone who hasn't viewed it).

    That's why I agree wholeheartedly with you that there's no such thing as marginal land, only marginal land uses.

    It's also why I support rural subdivisions like Tara - in principle at least. The same principles as above applied to a standard 25-30 acre block in Tara would make for a very good little farm.

    It's entirely possible to have a very productive small property and to me it's a far better use of land (now and especially into the future) than massive properties owned by one family. Mechanised farming (even at a pastoral level) of large tracts of land is dying and not too many years from now it will be totally unviable. The unavoidable reality of farmers having to walk away from their land isn't going to do much for community building. Towns whose lifeblood is based around big agricultural/pastoral properties will just wither and die and/or be heavily subsidised forever from a significantly reduced national tax base.

    I'm totally against prohibiting land owners from subdividing small parcels of their land. I'd much rather see the massive welfare being handed out year after year to farmers using unsustainable practices on properties which are unviable now or soon to be, being used to break parts of these huge properties up into some smaller land parcels. A system along the lines of still giving the money/subsidies to the farmer, but in exchange for some subdivision which introduces genuinely sustainable properties.

    That's not to say I don't empathise with your thoughts about 'rural slums' and the current unproductivity of these small plots of land. IMO the strict qualification needed for a buyer of these smaller plots of land, should be that they can provide in detail what methods they will use to make it into a viable property at least able to support themselves. Say a system whereby the subdivided land is given free (in exchange for farmer welfare/subsidies provided by the taxpayer) on a probatory basis and after 5 years if that person hasn't made it into a viable property it reverts to the crown or the farmer if they want it back. I'd also build in payment of welfare and some setup costs to the new smallholder for the first few years.

    If we as taxpayers are going to throw billions at a problem, we need to make sure that money has got some chance of fixing the problem, instead of the current putting a band-aid over an arterial bleed mentality.

    It'd bring the right sort of settlers to rural towns; make those towns more self-sufficient with a diverse range of local produce; increase the local rate base, population driven services, local economy etc; decrease the region (and nation's) reliance on large scale unsustainable agriculture/pastoralism; and provide a badly needed example of the sustainable rural production and settlement patterns which must be used in the future if we are to still have rural towns in the coming decades.

    All the above is why it drives me nuts that so much of Australian Permaculture practicioners efforts are based around coast hugging properties and doing what needs to be done in Australian marginal rural areas exclusively overseas. The whole of inland rural Australia is doomed in coming decades unless something major is done to change the face of agriculture/pastoralism and settlement patterns.

    Permaculture has all the solutions to the problems of now and the future in rural areas...but apparently lacks the willing human resources and organised focus to help achieve this transformation in the parts of Australia which so badly need it.

    That really bugs me. :(
     
  8. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    I only use the figure to tell farmland from residential rural land. Based on that classification I think residential rural need to be focused for it's own good.
    Jez, I'm stating how I think this kind of sub-division should be focused so it's most likely to succeed.

    Having sub-division spread over the whole of the eastern third of the shire means that no one was every likely to get past the "lotfeed goanna" stage, unless that person was Geoff Lawton.

    Clustering around services is good, both so new settlers can use these services and the services can get the numbers to keep their doors open. Think of the damage that is done to a rural community that looses its one room state school.

    Clustering small titles also mean that when someone implements a good idea, others are more likely either see or hear about it!

    Clustering also mean the once a good system emerges and is replicated, the holders can group together and do the things best done by cooperative groups. People need access to full & part time jobs in town while good systems emerge & spread.

    I'm all for smaller titles, it means more people, that means more and better services, both from public & private service suppliers.

    It means more hands and minds being applies to the said 11,000 sqKms.

    How do you get better Internet services in a place where your phone line is that 'dirty' your 56K modem will only do 19K! Where the CDMA network is patchy (too poor to make a phone call, but enough that you can text a message or none existent) and Telstra says be thankful for what you got.

    Once you get a self-sustaining number of sustainable small holders in the 'development rings' around townships & country schools, then you can enlarge or remove the rings altogether.

    Gnoll110

    PS Jez, I'm going to split this thread so we can brain storm some ideas, I'll add a link later.
     
  9. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    I'm probably at a bit of a disadvantage compared to you Gnoll, because I've never been to Tara and seen how the subdivision we're discussing took place...all I've seen is a lot of small blocks for sale and on the maps provided they seemed to be clustered together - so that's what I've assumed they all are...from what you say that may not be the case?

    I agree with what you say regarding clustering blocks together - at least a few at a minimum - and that having them relatively close to the town hub is of advantage to everyone.

    I also agree that it takes a special set of skills and knowledge to get these small blocks to a stage of being highly productive.

    However, IMO, if you've already done a PDC, done some additional reading, have a bit of experience and have Geoff's text description of the methods he's used to work off, then you could make a pretty good effort towards doing what he's done in Jordan and elsewhere.

    Trouble is, the information isn't exactly widespread and there are probably only a handfull of people out there in the drier inland places trying anything remotely similar. Not to mention the fact that actually seeing something done and participating is always infinitely better than just trying to learn specifics from text.

    Anyway, I believe it needs to be done, so I'm putting my time and money where my mouth and belief is and heading out to a remote, fairly dry inland area myself to see what I can achieve at both an individual and community level.

    That's about all I can do as one individual, so I'm gonna go do it.
     
  10. opal

    opal Guest

    ever thought of NSW

    I know this is probably a bit late to help but have you thought of going south of where you are to Drake or Tabulam or the small community of Ewingar-VERY freindly & a real community.Land is fairly cheap & there is a high rainfall-8'' in the last two weeks-the draw back is humidity but does your garden grow! Goodluck , Opal
     
  11. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Hi Opal

    What are the soils like. Rotted Granites I would imagine. I walk The Pyramid in the border national parks once.

    Allways interesting looking at land. All the tradeoffs, in this case soil for rainfall. ;)


    Gnoll110
     
  12. opal

    opal Guest

    Hi Gnoll110
    I lived at Drake for 10 years and you can grow anything in the soil there.There are a lot of blocks with permanent creeks with beautiful clear water-as clear as rain water,well thats what it is after all.We had to move because the humidity was affecting my husbands health and the winters can be very cold - sometimes down to -9.It is an undiscovered paradise I do believe-3 hours from Brisbane , 2+1/2 from Ballina with all the services you need-Rural Transaction Centre,primary school(25-40 kids),pub,shop,church,community hall,music club,cricket & fishing club.
    You can easily have your own paradise there - great climate for grwing anything.There is a lot of rock and a lot of natural bush so perfect for owner builders with a Shire that encourages this.You can still buy blocks there for around 45K to up.
    Hope this helps
    OPAL
     

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