Using the community’s social enterprises to look after people and build community infrastructure.
We see socially just and environmentally sustainable social enterprises that give back to the wider Australian Community as an essential part of the creation of a resilient and happy community at Lyonesse.
In the initial phase of developing the basic infrastructure at Lyonesse and getting social enterprises started it is expected that people will need to obtain Centrelink benefits. We figure the cheapest and most efficient way to sustain ourselves and build community infrastructure will be to pool our incomes and cook communally. We would aim to go off Centrelink support as soon as possible.
Lyonesse intends to utilise the same strategy adopted by Twin Oaks and Acorn communities developing and running a range of community enterprises that will sustain members and maintain community infrastructure and cover other expenses. Money made out of the social enterprises will be channeled back to sustaining people in terms of food, clothes, building tiny houses for people to live in, as well as providing people with a small income. A priority in the start up phase will be ploughing money back into the community to build critical items of community infrastructure such as water storage, distribution and harvesting, community buildings, gardens, orchards, areas for animals such as chooks, etc.
We know that if we grow the majority of our own vegetables, and buy other foods we cannot grow ourselves that we can sustain our members food needs for as little as forty dollars a week.
Some ideas for social enterprises include
providing services under the National Disability Insurance Agency
providing aged care services
selling surplus community food both cooked and fresh
running workshops on various topics and providing accommodation
hosting people interested in what we do as a community
building tiny houses on wheels for the general public
rich compost collection / production
Ideally, if people are involved in a social enterprise it is envisaged that around 30 hours of contribution per week should well and truly cover costs for you to be able to have a place to live and food to eat without any money actually having to change hands. It is anticipated that the community will eventually be able to pay people a small wage once we are established. A balance will need to be struck between peoples need to get paid a small amount of money at least as a stipend and the communities need to build essential infrastructure in the early years of getting established.
Acorn and Twin Oaks also have health benefits for members as well to cover medical expenses up to $5,000 per year. This is something we would eventually implement as well.
Exploitation is a major problem in the dominant paradigm and it is something we do not want to have happening at Lyonesse either. Discussion will be required about expectations of members to contribute to building and maintaining the community. If we do not have rules to ensure mutual aid obligations are kept we will be creating a rod for our own backs when it comes to the potential for conflict erupting within the community. We want everyone to have a variety of valued roles within the community that are a good fit with their desire to pursue learning and growth and nurture individual gifts, talents and passions.
Rates and Taxes
Items that will need to be covered by the community account include rates and government taxes. These will be covered by the social enterprises once the community has been established. In the initial phase of developing the community these costs will need to be covered with money coming in from member contributions to the community account. In addition, other ongoing costs will be drawn from the community account such as dealing with the costs of supplying water, and maintaining other community infrastructure. Issues such as constructing and maintaining gardens, environmentally friendly ways of dealing with management of rubbish and waste, maintenance and building of roads, establishing new living sites and the infrastructure associated with those, the development of new community facilities such as the kitchen and eating places and a building construction workshop and tools and equipment for that (etc) will all need to be dealt via the community account.