If you’re tired of being trapped in the matrix, ready for a life-change and imagine happy families sharing, caring and growing veggies in harmonious community surrounded by spectacular vistas, if you are all cashed up and a bit credulous, then there are sacred natives spinning a dream and open arms eager to embrace your life savings in a land-share scheme at Mt Burrell, NSW, where Australian sovereignty activists are selling tribal title to dwelling sites on properties they don't own, in a prospective venture called Nightcap Rural Land-sharing Communities.
Co-directors Mark McMurtrie and Derek Zillman
Aspiring developers first began soliciting funds to purchase land in 2014, for an intentional community called "Bhula Bhula Village Community". Since 2017, Mark McMurtrie, aka "Gunham Badi Jakamara" has occupied the properties at 3220-3222 Kyogle Rd, Mt Burrell, that were purchased with investors' funds in 2015.
Currently controlling the venture, Sydney-based finance broker Derek Zillman and sovereignty activist Mark McMurtrie are co-directors of the company Yidaki Developments Pty Ltd. The sole shareholder in Yidaki Developments is Yidaki Capital Pty Ltd.
Mark McMurtrie has "gifted" the properties to some members of the coastal Minjungbal Tribe. McMurtrie claims "tribal ownership" of the properties and says he intends to extend similar aboriginal land claims across Australia.
"The entire community owns everything and we will have a primary coupling, which is the enterprise Yidaki Pty Ltd that will own all of those landholding entities - and they are the ones progressing the approval. And then people buy shares within that company."
Zillman's explanation is a confusing communitarian sleight of hand -- he says that the "community" owns the landholding entities, which will be owned by the company owned by himself and Mark McMurtrie. Zillman doesn't clarify that the prospective developers don't actually own the 3,500 acres and other assets on offer. Neither does Zillman warn that under current zoning restrictions, community land-sharing is not a permissible use of the property.
The marketing video represents that properties in the Nightcap Village concept plan are "either owned or under contract or retained in various ways by the company".
A shareholder agreement in the company:
"comes with all the ordinary titles and approvals, but it's more than that - the best part is that you bought all of this land... As you become a shareholder and you buy in, you get all the structure that goes with the corporate governance and shareholder certificate, but you also get a treaty with the local tribe."
Landowner Peter van Lieshout
|Peter van Lieshout, landowner, shareholder in Nightcap Village|
A concept plan for Nightcap Village was first proposed in 2007 when Mt Burrell landowner, Joan van Lieshout, was Tweed Mayor. The development application was made by her husband, Peter van Lieshout, brother of Queensland's top billionaire, A-Mart's John van Lieshout.
Local opposition in the protected Tweed Valley was intense, but the Nightcap Village development was approved by Tweed Shire Council despite fierce protest.
Required infrastructure was not completed and development approval lapsed more than a decade ago.
Local opposition to proposal for Nightcap Village in 2007-2009
In 2016, inspired by the defiant sovereignty activists' expansionist vision for the two adjoining Bhula Bhula properties, Peter van Lieshout offered to sell them his 3,000-acre estate, to be included in a prospective plan for "Nightcap Village Community" offering 867 dwellings, health spas and celebrity appearances.
Contracts of sale and shareholder agreements were signed in 2017, allowing the sovereignty activists to market interests in the land, but they have not completed payment for the property.
With a series of name changes the project became "Mt Warning Eco Village" and "Mt Burrell Commercial," then "Nightcap Village" which morphed into "Nightcap on Minjungbal" then "Nightcap Rural Land-sharing Communities".
Selling the Dream
The venture still grows as the "visionaries" lure new investors to join the tribal experience for a small deposit, with vendor finance available.
|Tyler Tolman, promotor of Nightcap Village|
In 2017, Tyler Tolman, son of American celebrity Don Tolman, bought in to the venture and uses his famous father's face to encourage fans to purchase a dwelling site on "Tolman Ridge".
Tyler Tolman never acknowledges the claims of disenfranchised investors who, in 2014-2015, provided purchase money for two of the properties that he is marketing.
|Pete Evans - Nightcap Promotor|
In 2020, celebrity chef Pete Evans also bought in to the venture and now promotes sale of "pre-DA dwelling sites" alongside sovereignty activist Max Igan.
None of the promotors advise potential new investors that after six years, the "ironclad" scheme is still only a prospective concept in which a lot of people have lost their life savings, or that litigation is still ongoing, with demands for vindication by those for whom this rural land-sharing dream has become a living nightmare. Instead they spin false narratives riddled with ad hominem attacks on creditors.
Along with the lifestyle lure, promotors should inform buyers that the prospective land-sharing development is subject to approval by Tweed Shire Council, and no compliant application has yet been submitted. But, promotors sell a different narrative and don't warn that development approval is normally a process of several years evaluation after a compliant application is accepted.
Living Outside the Matrix
|Richard Moate - "ticking all the boxes"|
Community member Richard Moate is an adopted aborigine with the Minjungbal tribe who works for Nightcap Village and Zillman's Yidaki enterprise. Through his own company, Nightcap Realty Pty Ltd, Richard Moate sells land-share treaties offering "tribal title" to 867 dwelling sites without development approval.
Since 2015, the project directors have assured investors that development approval by Council was secured, or imminent, encouraging Community members to inhabit the land. In the Nightcap Village promotional video Richard Moate leads potential new investors to falsely conclude that his company is marketing interests in land on the basis of a compliant development application:
"We tick off all the traditional boxes in the white-fella system; development applications and getting the right approvals, making sure everything is appropriate there."
Offering a "way out of the system," Nightcap on Minjungbal website insists:
"The developers must be successful in making this project a world leading example of alternative ways of living that are readily available.This Project is the first of many such YIDAKI communities set for development and expansion around Australia and to be built on tribal lands in partnership with local tribes. By supporting this development and the developer’s vision, you are also helping to advance the alternative way of life for many others that share our tribal views and who want a way out of the system."
Tweed Shire Council confirms that vendors of the "ironclad" deal have not submitted a compliant development application since inception of the scheme in 2014.
It is only about three years since Tweed Council successfully litigated against Wollumbin Horizons, the company owning the property at 3222 Kyogle Rd, in the Land and Environment Court, forcing a shanty town of illegal dream homes built without development approval by "Community members" to be removed from the property.
On September 17, 2020, a majority Council vote determined not to permit proposed roadworks, and to disallow further applications from the aspiring developers.
Nightcap Village Concept Plan for 867 dwellings