What great timing to be able to coincide the launch of our fantastic new website with the exciting announcement that we have cleared our final statutory hurdle and the Ecovillage has green lights across the board.
We were thrilled and relieved to receive approval late last week from the ERA (Economic Regulation Authority) for the Ecovillage wastewater treatment facility, a crucial final step in the approvals process. This now opens the way for us to invite civil construction tenders for Stage 1 this month with the view to commencing construction in February 2020.
With this certainty, we can also now kick-off our sales and marketing process with confidence and will be firming up lot prices and announcing the date of our rescheduled Open Day and pre-sales launch soon.
The other big news from the Marketing team is, of course, the launch of this beautiful, functional and comprehensive new website. We hope it will answer many of your burning questions about this unique and complex project, which is uncompromising in its ambitious sustainability agenda. But we also hope to educate and inspire you to a new way of living simply and sustainably. We invite you to explore the project online and open yourself up to the possibility of setting your life on a new course.
Why a new website?
After a decade in planning, we are finally on the cusp of launching this game-changing project to the world and the Ecovillage’s online presence needed to be updated to reflect this new phase.
Our efforts to be as sustainable as possible extend to our marketing too. The new website is our primary marketing, sales and information hub with flexible, add-on infrastructure capabilities that are designed to evolve with the project. We won’t be printing any expensive, glossy sales brochures that end up in the bin. We are focusing our marketing efforts on digital media and funnelling sales through our website as much as possible to streamline our processes and minimise waste. As it develops, the website will become your one stop shop for news, interaction with the team and the growing community, downloading important documents from our digital library and completing land sales transactions online.
Unfortunately, we hit an unavoidable snag with the interactive map software and its compatibility with Safari browsers at the eleventh hour. So, we’ve had to temporarily replace it with a PDF viewer of the Ecovillage Master Plan, Stage 1, and beautifully illustrated Community Garden Clusters 1A, 1B and 1C, which can be viewed and downloaded. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible so you can discover and engage with the Ecovillage features at a much deeper level and imagine your life in the community gardens.
The new website is a visually stunning platform that exploits the magnificent imagery of local photographer, Russell Ord. He has captured the beauty, personality and feel we are hoping to emulate in the Ecovillage through photos of the landscape, architecture and community of the site and the surrounding Margaret River region. For allowing us to photograph these inspirational places, we’d like to thank Margaret River Farmers Market, Margaret River Organic Garden, Glenarty Road, Sativa Sanctuary, Wade Brown (builder), Hemp Homes Australia, Wild Hop Brewery Company and Michael and Britta Sorensen (architects and designers).
A personal note from Mike Hulme, Founder of the Ecovillage
After 10 years of relentless hard work, we are incredibly relieved to receive our final statutory approval for the Witchcliffe Ecovillage. We never anticipated it would take anywhere near this long to gain all of the necessary approvals. The appalling bureaucratic processes we’ve had to endure have exacted a significant personal and financial toll on me and my partner in life and work, Michelle Sheridan. However, we can now put our frustrations behind us and look forward, with joy and anticipation and the support of an incredible network of people, to launching the project and realising our dream.
While this lengthy process has been incredibly arduous, in some respects, it has also been positive for the Ecovillage as it has enabled us to continually improve every aspect of the project, such as implementing the latest renewable energy technologies. While many observers may have been dubious of our lofty ambitions, we will achieve all of our original objectives and more, such as all of the homes being carbon negative over their lifespan.
I would like to personally thank the Margaret River community and the 1,200+ people from all over the world who have registered their interest and want to call the Ecovillage their home in the future. We never could have endured the last 10 years without your unbelievable support and encouragement.
Of course, all of this is only made possible by my partners at the Perron Group. Stan Perron was an incredible mentor to me for 22 years before his passing at 94 in November last year. Stan was a self-made multi-billionaire whose philanthropic legacy will live forever. He and his loyal staff have provided unflinching support for and financial backing to the project.
I also want to extend a huge thank you to our awesome staff who have worked hard in the face of many years of uncertainty and are so committed to ensuring we can deliver the very best and most sustainable Ecovillage possible.