7 Sibley Street
Nimbin's sustainable living hub.
In January 2012 the community became aware that a property with a small house at 7 Sibley Street, Nimbin was to be auctioned. Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre and Nimbin Community Centre met with Lismore City Council and submitted a project plan with a view to Council purchasing the site to support establishing a demonstration 'Sustainability Hub' in the village, a plan that emerged from the sustainable Nimbin community planning processes.
A fundraising campaign raised around $15,000 in a very short period but, a few days prior to the auction, Council advised that it was unable to purchase the site or assist financially due to budgetary constraints. The property was passed in at auction and fundraising continued.
By late March 2012 pledges had increased to around $30,000, and both the Neighbourhood Centre and Community Centre committed $15,000. A local resident approached the community with an offer of bridging finance via a mortgage on the condition that the Nimbin Community Centre take title over the property.
The Mortgagor's reasons for this included:
Greater loan security given the organisation's asset base;
Significant experience in property management;
The Neighbourhood Centre could focus on development and implementation of the project;
Prior Community Centre ownership of the adjoining Peace Park - reclaiming part of this land would expand opportunities for the sustainability hub project;
A community partnership would increase the collective energy and experience driving the project.
The property was eventually purchased in May 2012 for $145,000 (plus acquisition costs of $2000) on the understanding that the site would be used for the Sustainable Living Hub project. Both Nimbin Community Centre and Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre acknowledged their obligation to honour the considerable community good will and funding contributed to acquiring the site for this purpose.
The mortgage was finally paid out following exhausting fundraising activities and ownership of the property was transferred to Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre. Information about the many initiatives that are demonstrated from there can be found on their Facebook page: Nimbin's Sustainable Living Hub.