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 to Become a Member

  • 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.
  • 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 second quarter of financial year 2018/19 it is $7470. 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:  $500 in 2018/2019 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.

Road Levy:  $500 in 2018/2019 is payable for each share owned. The Co-op built and maintains 12 kms network of 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. Infrastructure levies could also be raised for communal building needs.

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 2018) 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).