The future


Illabunda Facebook link

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The History of the Project

  • 1954 - Rod Cook purchases Illabunda, “the place of swallows” – on the bare One Tree Hill.
  • 1965 – The surrounding area is renamed Winston Hills and housing subdivision commences.
  • 1992 - Re-establishment of Cumberland Plain Woodland begins and a number of development options are explored for Illabunda.  Environment protection zones including the forest, steep slopes and grasslands are mapped out.
  • 2001 - Parramatta Plan 2001, Parramatta City Council’s Local Environment Plan/Development Control Plan are gazetted with particular requirements for a masterplan for development of Illabunda and the neighbouring properties.
  • 2002 - A more intentional development process is commenced to prepare a masterplan for the Council.  One Tree Hill Projects Pty Ltd established to facilitate the development.
  • 2003 - Manidis Roberts Consultants are engaged to develop the masterplan.  Jonathon Peterson of Blue World Architecture and SALA Homes and Michael Mobbs join the team to assist refocussing the sustainable design and water cycle management ideas.
  • June 2005 - First draft masterplan is completed but increased understanding of the geotechnical constraints of the site forced a re-think of the design approach.
  • November 2005 – The Ecovillage Design Conference with Max Lindegger and Lloyd Williams at Crystal Waters, Maleny, raised awareness of the ecovillage concept.
  • January 2006 - GHD engaged to resolve the geotechnical issues and to integrate the total water cycle management design within the engineering constraints of the site.
  • April 2006 - Resolved geotech issues and revised housing design parameters.  Visits to Aldinga Arts Ecovillage and Christie Walk urban eco-housing development in Adelaide provided insight into different village models.  Morag Gamble from SEED International at Crystal Waters develops permaculture and village design concepts for Illabunda.
  • May 2006 – Discussions with Paul Antonelli from the Somerville Ecovillage stimulates further ideas of village economics and development.
  • June 2006 - Infrastructure planning commences.  Lou de Leeuw of Ecobusiness Consultants and Aldinga Arts Ecovillage joins the team.
  • July 2006 – Illabunda cleanup and preparation for public Open Days gets underway.
  • 22 July 2006 – Illabundavillage website launched
  • 23 July 2006 – Open day for neighbouring residents
  • 6 August 2006 – Open day
  • 27 August 2006 – Open day
  • 16 September 2006 – Permaculture North Gardening Day.  The Gardening Team build a “no-dig” vegetable garden and plant out the steep hillslope with Cumberland Plain woodland.
  • 22 October 2006 – Open day
  • 2 November 2006 – Masterplan submitted to Parramatta City Council for approval at last! To be on display from 22 November – 13 December 2006. Download copy here (3.4 Mb)
  • 26th November 2006 - Open Day and commenced community development workshops
  • November 2006 - STORM Consulting engaged to complete integrated water systems design for Illabunda
  • 14th January 2007 - Sun Herald story on Illabunda
  • 2nd February 2007 - Project refinanced with Mecu
  • 11th Feruary 2007 - Sun Herald story on ecovillages including Illabunda
  • 26th February 2007 - Community Growing Workshops commenced
  • 10th April 2007 - Masterplan approved by Parramatta City Council
  • 22nd April 2007 - Permaculture and Seed Saving workshops and Open Day
  • 27th May 2007 - Sustainable Transportation Open Day
  • 1-3 June 2007 - Greenbuild and Renewable Energy Expo
  • 24th June 2007 - Open Day
  • 22nd July 2007 - Arts and Craft Open day
  • 18th August 2007 - Visit by Ian Lillington (Permaculture guru) with Permaculture Sydney West group.
  • 20-21st August 2007 - Geoff and Nadia Lawton visit and further develop stormwater management and permaculture concept design.
  • 21st December 2007 - DA finalised and submitted to Parramatta City Council.
  • Decenber 2007 to March 2008 - Gully clearing, leaky weirs and gully restoration
  • Particpated in 'Designing Water in Landscape' course by Jeff Lawton, Darren Doherty and Milkwood Permaculture at Goulburn during April 2008 (See summary presentation, 'Designing Water in Landscape and Composting' to Permaculture Sydney West, May 2008.
  • 24th July 2008 - DA Approved! Yay!
  • 2009 - Glodal financial crisis cause dramas with finance, builders and sales.
  • Feb 2010 - Construction Certificate for the infrastructure approved.
  • April 2010 - John Partridge of Walsh and Sullivan engaged to market Illabunda and move sales along.
  • Jan 2011 - Construction finance secured with NAB - Yay!
  • Jan 2011 - Rapid Construction commence construction of the roads and services at Illabunda. See photos on Facebook
  • Construction of roads and services completed October 2011.
  • Forest Blitz Day: 3rd September 2011
  • Permaculture Planning Day: 23rd October 2011
  • Community title sub-division registered 2 December 2011, DP270736. Download:
  • Food Forest Garden working bee day, 7 Jan 2012
  • Innaugural Annual General Meeting od the Illabunda Community Association 270736, 15 April 2012
  • Demolition and recovery of materials from the Illabunda House, April-May 2012
  • Construction commences on the first house at Illabunda - Lot 11, May 2012
  • Construction commences on the duplexes, terraces and villa houses, July 2012
  • Council stormwater works through the site completed, August 2012
  • Construction of the water recycling plant commenced August 2012
  • Recycled Water Plant up and running October 2012
  • First residents move in March 2013
  • Terrace houses complete May 2013
  • First community vegetable garden blitz August 2013
  • First duplex completed August 2013
  • Villa houses completed November 2013
  • Permablitz day 24th November 2013
  • 15 familes living at Illabunda October 2014
  • Community swimming pool up and running (or better, full and swimming) December 2014
  • Community Centre under construction, May 2015



Illabunda – share the vision