If you are interested in joining Goolawah Co-operative you can become a member and buy a share as opportunities arise.  Members have a right to occupy home improvement sites of approx. 5,000 sqm (1.2 acres), which are grouped together in several ‘hamlets’.

The Co-operative owns all the land on behalf of its members. Please be aware that you are not buying freehold land. You are buying a share in a co-operative with entitlements plus any improvements on your allocated site (dwellings, dams, gardens, sheds).

The Co-op has Development Consent under SEPP15 planning legislation for rural land-sharing, which requires it to be your principal place of residence. Individual dwelling development is subject to Council approval.

To help you learn about the Co-op, and decide if you would like to join:

  • Carefully consider our website information, including membership and costs.
  • Visit the land and talk to members. You must be accepted as a member by the Co-op before acquiring a share and access to land. Get in touch by email to make visit arrangements – you can also observe community meetings and attend social events.
  • Read ‘Creating a Life Together’ by Diana Leafe Christian (or view YouTubes).
  •  If you decide to apply, the application process helps you learn more about us and v.v.  Visiting Goolawah and meeting people helps complete some steps. A Membership Guide will assist you.

How to apply: Membership Application

  • Membership fees – on completion of the membership application process your application will be put to the community for approval. If successful and if you have found someone willing to sell a share, then you pay the joining fee and share capital to the Co-op.
  • The purchase of a share, which entitles you to occupy a residential site, is negotiated directly with the member selling and paid directly to them. Recent sales for sites with dwellings have been in the range $200,000 to $250,000. Currently there are no blank sites without dwellings for sale.
  • Share capital of $7,000 is paid by the buyer directly to the Co-op and is recorded on the share transfer form and share certificate.
  • The joining fee is calculated as the sum total of all annual levies per share since the Co-op’s inception in 2000. For the first quarter of financial year 2021/22 the fee is $9,126. The Treasurer will inform you of the exact joining fee at the time of your application.
  • Share transfer – once eligibility for membership is approved and payments made the community formally ratifies your share transfer. The Co-op’s official share register is then updated and a new share certificate issued to you.

Ongoing Costs of Membership 

To maintain active membership an annual subscription and other levies/charges decided by the Co-op must be paid, and are subject to change:

Annual Subscription:  $625 in 2021/2022 financial year for single or joint members.

Annual Work Levy: volunteer 18 hrs of your time to the community or pay $180 levy for each share owned.

Infrastructure Levy:  $500 in 2021/2022 is payable for each share owned. The Co-op maintains a 12 kms network of internal & external roads.

Other Levies/Charges: if the community incurs costs on your behalf (e.g. fire hazard reduction work on your site) these costs will be charged to you.

Other Outlays

• Dwelling structures must meet Australian Standards and receive Council approval. Contract building costs are similar to suburban constructions.

• When a Development Application for construction is approved by Kempsey Shire Council, it levies a one-off Section 94 Contribution (for public amenities like local roads and recreation areas) on top of DA fees. The S94 fee depends on the number of bedrooms (approx $3,700 for one bedroom in 2021) and is CPI-linked.

• The Co-operative is off-the-grid, so members need water collection and onsite sewage management systems that meet approved sanitation standards ($5,000+); and remote power systems (solar installations cost $10-20,000 depending on your energy needs).