Why are the Rules so long?
The Cooperative Rules are actually insisted upon by the Office of Fair trading which is the governing body for all cooperatives in Queensland. The Model Rules (which were initially presented to us) have been modified and adjusted by us to be more equitable and fair for all members, but are still about the same length. Unfortunately these are a hefty 40 pages of legal terminology. If anyone wants to volunteer to create a summary version setting out the most important bits in plain English, please contact us, we'd be very grateful.
I want to have my own studio/dwelling. Can I do that on Kanjini Co-Op land?
It is possible, however Kanjini Co-Op cannot guarantee individual housing for all members.
A share in Kanjini is so cheap because we will 'technically' live in a share-house, rather than all have individual dwellings. The latter would require us to go through lengthy and very expensive approval processes and the required change of use application would likely be rejected in a rural area, unless we have thousands of acres and can make a strong case.
Since Kanjini Co-Op is committed to work within the law, we will be bound by council regulations and that means no more than two dwellings on one property. While the second dwelling cannot be larger than 100sqm, the main dwellings can be very large and have many rooms and even 'pavilion' style parts, so not everything has to be under one roof and some rooms can be separate to some extent, providing they do not have kitchens and laundry facilities (then they would be classed as a dwelling). While we have received verbal indications that we should be able to build about 6-8 'huts' as farm-stay accommodation, we still have no clear answer from council as to what is acceptable and what is not in accordance with Local Council Plans and Guidelines, so it will be more a case to case decision and what might be accepted by council for some early members might not be possible to do again later.
The level of accommodation will also be determined subject to the purchase of additional investment shares to pay for extra costs and the acceptability of members designs by the Co-Op meetings.
Kanjini recognises an individuals need for privacy and space and will endeavour to provide a variety of accommodation styles. However as Sustainability is a major component of the Kanjini Co-Op Vision any separate personal spaces will need to be not only aesthetically pleasing but be simple and practical. Kanjini Co-Op's emphasis is on reducing our footprint on our precious Earth. Therefore laundry/drying facilities, kitchens and general living areas will be shared.
I do not want to be a farmer. Can I be a member and not work on the farm?
Certainly. If Kanjini Co-Op is successful in buying the Koah Farm (see more above at Kanjini Co-Op Land) there will be paid positions available for either 2 full time or 4 part time employees to run the current fruit orchards. So not everyone can be employed within the current farm activities anyway and not all members have to work in each or even any of the cooperative businesses.
However preference will be given to Kanjini members who wish to be employed and especially those who will use part of their wages for paying off their shares.
Some of the many activities that are available to those not employed by the farm operations will be creating and establishing Large Food Gardens and orchards as well as Permaculture Food Forests. There will also be other activities such as building, renovations, maintenance, marketing, education etc, as well as cleaning, cooking and other regular chores, but no member has to work more than the ten hours per week and even this applies only to members residing on Co-Op land.
How can I help Kanjini Co-Op without becoming a member?
There are many ways and dozens of people have helped and are helping Kanjini to manifest its vision.
You can spread the word about Kanjini by telling people or displaying the flyers. You can come to meetings. You can volunteer for jobs (register for the Members & Supporters Website and then look for the 'Jobs' section). You can donate money to help buy the property.
And once we have the land you can come to Workshops or a Working Bee and have a great time sharing a lot of laughter, heart and gardening energy!