Thoughts on Remote Communities

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Peter Clements, May 30, 2006.

  1. Peter Clements

    Peter Clements Junior Member

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    If the main impediment to developing permaculture communities in "developed" countries is the cost of land, then investigating areas off the electricity and water grids should locate lower land cost areas. Permie knowledge of photovoltaic and wind systems could then be capitalized upon to provide power. With permie knowledge allowing food production in arid areas, the only other major obstacle is access to high quality healthcare. This is probably the only area where permies need to rely upon specialized experts and highly centralized capital investment. In Australia this problem can be solved by membership of the non-profit Royal Flying Doctors Service, established to airlift sick people from remote farms in the outback https://www.flyingdoctor.net
     
  2. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

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  3. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    G'day Peter, Rob,

    Interesting thoughts which reflect my own thoughts on this topic for a while now - health care is perhaps the only drawback to a remote community, but I like to think of the Permaculture lifestyle as being a bit like preventative medicine in itself... :)...and as you say Rob, there is quite a lot you can do with herbal/natural medicinal treatments.

    I've actually just recently located an old coal mining town in Far North Queensland which is a 'ghost town' now since the closure of the mine in the 1950's - it's only about 50km away (a rough 4wd track though) from a major regional centre with a good health centre, so I guess it's an example of a place which is somewhat remote (certainly abandoned), yet still not that far from essential services.

    There is a strong possibility that the council responsible for its upkeep (council still owns some land there - the rest is DMR owned) would gladly give away (or sell very cheap) the land it owns in the old town (there are no worthwhile remaining buildings) in exchange for ongoing upkeep and maintenance as a historic site for tourism. They are currently very concerned about the fact that the entire town is becoming hopelessly overgrown with vegetation, despite the efforts of a few volunteers (mostly ex-residents) who organise weekends to go out there and do what they can with council donated brushcutters etc.

    Obviously nobody stayed living there because when the mine closed employment dried up, but it would be an ideal location for people looking to start a relatively remote eco-village venture on a budget. Council is in a pickle over how to look after it (and being a government don't like throwing money at it!)...'ordinary' people don't want to live there because there's no electricity/employment etc...to me, someone making it a remote, self-sufficient eco-village sounds like a great 'permaculture' solution for all concerned

    Just thought I'd add that to the discussion incase anyone was interested in pursuing it...would need a few committed people with a little capital and know-how who don't mind roughing it a bit initially and were (obviously) willing to relocate to get it going...people with all these things are not that easy to find but here is a more likely place than most! :lol:

    Anyone who wants further details just let me know (don't want to hi-jack your good topic/thread Peter)...obviously the whole idea is in the embryo stage at this point...I actually have other opportunities I'm also mulling over...but I'm happy to discuss the concept in more detail with anyone interested...mostly because it's such a unique challenge and perhaps a one off opportunity for people lacking the funds to buy into relatively expensive eco-villages, yet wanting to live an eco-village/permaculture lifestyle...with a little hard work and community spirit it could well become the first Australian town completely devoted to permaculture values - it's even already subdivided!
     
  4. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Interesting topic.

    The big issues that used to make remote living tough were health, education and communications. I live 756 kms, including 600kms of dirt 4wd track from the main road but I am not really isolated we have most services here just an inability to drive out whenever we like.

    Over the past 12 years the fibre optic rollout has made massive life-changing impacts across remote australia. Education is now done via live feeds, many medical problems are diagnosed and treated the same way. A lot of primary intervention of medical issues happens over the internet or phone [which came with the internet]. Point is that a lot of the 'problems' of living remote have now been minimised.

    I once drove an hour and a half to see a bush nurse. Got something for wisdom tooth pain, was told to lose weight and was offered some nicotine patches. It all took 15 minutes.

    Ever been in a city, driven 15 minutes to a hospital and had to wait for 2 hours to get some attention? Ever broken down in the city and had 2000 cars go past before someone stopped - well that doesnt happen in the bush.

    Another time we had to drive 3 hours to an airport with a medical case and had the Flying Doctor waiting to fly the patient to Mt Isa. Pretty good service when the ambulance is ready before you are.

    The only disadvantages I see living in the bush is that I havent been to see the Wallabies play or see Andrea Bocelli or Stevie Nicks. I will get there one day but then again I do not have to overly worry about employment opportunities for my kids.

    As far as my kids go the only thing they cannot do as well as their city brethren is 'movie & tv chat', they also have no idea what is 'good' or 'best' on fast food menus.

    I like the wide open spaces.

    floot
     
  5. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

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    Wow. To get good medical service, you have to go to the bush.

    I know the Canadian governtment used to pay big bucks for people to go and do this or that in the arctic. I just don't think I could cope with 3 months of almost no sunshine.
     
  6. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Glad someone is going down this road. Just moved from living remotely and don't like to get on my hobby horse too much about it. It is a wonderful idea to develop remote settlement and the permaculture movement are just the people to make it happen. Many outback councils would welcome you with open arms just because it would mean an influx of people into town. Keeps schools open, hospitals open and services happening. A lot of these remote areas seem harsh but have great potential to be well managed and very productive. Health care isn't a great worry except when the roads cannot be travelled in the wet - this is a bit of a worry but doesn't seem to worry the people who are living out there now. The greatest problem I found with a decade in the outback are the decline of the country areas causing gloom and depression within the community and a complete shortage of like minded people to network with - in other words, social isolation. I believe many of these outback areas could become jewels in the permaculture crown. I spent a few heartbeats feeling resentful because of the permaculture moving to do projects in overseas countries when I felt maybe their focus could be used to assist these isolated areas. I was living about 1200 klms from the nearest major coastal centre and EVERYTHING had to be shipped in. Imagine how the fuel costs are impacting there!
    So please go on with this thought and planning. You don't even have to go really isolated. I bought an old house on 1/2 acre in the centre of town with schools, doctors etc for $32000.00 and my daughter is living there still with dozens of chooks and ducks and fruit and veg. The neighbours give her scraps for the poultry and she gives them eggs etc. The local butcher processes her excess roosters and ducks twice a year and keeps some for his trouble.
     
  7. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Douglas,

    It looks like I may have to eat my words. Australia has a top rating investigative journalism type TV show called ''Four Corners''. Next monday night they are doing an in-depth look at the problems of health and remote living.

    Four Corners tends to be comprehensive when they tackle a story and have bought down politicians and businessmen over 30 years of quality journalism. I will watch with bated breath.

    floot
     
  8. Alex M

    Alex M Junior Member

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