Successful property developer and A-Mart founder John Van Lieshout became Queensland's top billionaire. In 2008, his brother, Peter van Lieshout, had an even bigger vision - he wanted to build a "village community" on his 3,500 acre property at Mt Burrell. His wife was Tweed Mayor at the time, and council approval looked like a shoe-in with councillors greedy for a slice of the pie, as featured on the cover of the local Echo newspaper's "Naughty or Nice?"
Nice and not-so-nice neighbours objected loudly to the prospect of such an expansive intrusion into the seclusion of the environmentally protected Tweed Valley. They were over-ruled. Development consent was granted and Peter van Lieshout commenced construction by impaling a few stumpy pegs to mark the auspicious spot. By 2009, he was hobbled by tax debts and unable to provide required infrastructure for his proposed "Nightcapers." The idea died on the vine.
Twelve years later, in 2021, locals and environmental defenders once again rose up in opposition to a new plan by Peter van Lieshout, who attempted to revive the Nightcap venture through shareholder agreements with the pioneers of a neighbouring venture and their celebrity promotors who have been selling residential lots without development approval from 2014 until the present, 2022.
The neighbouring venture began in 2014 under the name "Truthology," with promotor Mark Darwin marketing the meme "Together in Harmony." The proposed "Bhula Bhula Intentional Community" quickly proved to be toxic snake oil ending for investors in unfulfilled demands for restitution of lost life savings, five years of litigation in Kangaroo Courts, trauma, heartbreak and bitter conflict that by the end of 2022 is still unresolved.
Landowner Peter van Lieshout hopped in the cot with the Bhula Bhula boys as an increasing number of angry creditors sought restitution. Truthology disappeared and Bhula Bhula Intentional Community morphed into Mt Warning Eco Village. When mountains of warning by gutted investors exposed the mendacity of the promotors, the venture was renamed Nightcap Village, then Earth-Haven, and is now called Nightcap on Mingungbal, "the world's largest holistic village".
By 2022, despite rejection of development approval, the Nightcap website invites potential residents:
"The Nightcap Village development is currently opening its doors to future residents, who can now apply to join the Community and Company as members".
Fronted by psuedo-aboriginals through a company called Yidaki, the developers/visionaries are selling supposed "tribal title" to residential lots without development consent. On their website they promise:
"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."
Funds are solicited on Nightcap's website with offers of 2.47 acres of land for $355,000:
In response to any concerns by buyers about the allegations of deception, fraud, and the long trail of disenchanted victims who complain they have lost money in the venture since 2014, prospective new residents are stroked by Nightcap "visionaries" with false assurance that clamouring creditors have been refunded.
Read More: Nightcap's Off-Grid Living Package
With the promotors protected by Court Order from allegations of deception, bullying and fraud, the land-share scheme soon became a living nightmare to unrequited creditors who, after being denied the use and co-ownership of the properties they had paid for, were further denied a voice of reclamation.