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This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.
Pam and Dino Coiacetto

Pam and Dino Coiacetto

By on Jun 7, 2013 in The Coiacettos' |

Go to: Dino and Pam: family backgrounds | The original farm | From dairying to mixed farming | Weeds to lifestyle blocks | Beans, cucumbers and a lot of bananas | Cyclones and the Tornado | Resumed land, sales and policy changes | Peas, lychees and pumpkins | Bananas in the 1930s | Neighbours | The Future? | Working the farm today | The changing community | Italians and Australians | The growing family | A partnership

Resumed land, sales and policy changes

Dino: Anyway – our property was going right down to here [back to the map]. There was a school block which they resumed and anyway, it took four years to make a three year lease with the Department of Education – it took four years to make a three year lease.

Pam: That was really devastating to us that the Education Department resumed that block because that was going to be our nest egg. Because it had the creek around it and the little buildings there – just without notice.

Took it?

Pam: Yep.

Dino: But anyway, lucky the Valuer General – because they said “oh negotiation between me and the Valuer General failed.” So I went and seen him I said “I’ve never met you in my whole life!” and he said “neither have I!” So he was on my side then and he helped. So I sold that and then I sold this bit here because …

So we’re looking at the land basically down to the creek are we?

Dino: But it was right down to the creek. See there was a fifty year lease on it, and once the school turned fifty years, once it expired, they had to renew the lease. Now Bruce Duncan was in at the time and he was very good as our local member.

Pam: Lovely man.

Dino: And they were only paying me a dollar a week for the lease and we were paying two dollars rates. And he said “that can’t be,” so I ended up getting thirty dollars a week. And that paid the rates. And then, but see being a public school they wouldn’t pay any rates anyway.

Pam: We had to pay the rates on the land.

Dino: Anyway, when they said they were only going to lease it every three years and after – it’s a valuable piece so they just resumed it. So this here [next door to the school on the other side of the road from the main farm] was thirteen acres. To me it’s a nuisance because I’ve got across the road just a little bit of steep rubbish there below the road, like it was clean…

Oh ok so that whole area that’s now green, trees, through there with that creek area …

Dino: That was like this –clear!

Pam: And we planted vegies down there remember, cabbages. Oh god we were mad.

Dino: Down here. Down there near the school we planted tomatoes.

Pam: And we had a vegie patch as well remember?

Dino: See we used to take the cattle down to the dip yard which is down here.

Around here somewhere.

Dino: Around here somewhere, and so being the property here before I bought that, we just let them into the school ground. You really see a difference in the holiday. Let them into the school ground and they chew the grass down at the school and you leave them there for a couple of days. And when they’d eaten down they’d be up here waiting to come home.

Dino: After it was sold it was cut in half and this one here was sold separate and this one here sold separate.

So they were able to have just small house blocks?

Dino & Pam: Yeah, yeah.

And was that a land policy shift?

Dino: Yeah. I knew it was coming through. See around here, when the road was gravelled, you could only cut a fifteen acre block off. No smaller – or just under an acre like Dad did for his retirement down here – otherwise it was fifteen. But on sealed roads you could cut under five acres. So that’s why you’ve got that there, those two blocks there. Well actually there’s three because you’ve got the school and those two blocks there.

Pam: When you think about it, it’s a long time. Things happen in a long time.

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