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Builder leaves legacy with 'ripples of his inspiration' on building industry

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A builder passionate about finding a solution to the region’s housing crisis is being remembered, with the hope his legacy will be continued.

Greg Phipps has been described as a “humble man with an expansive vision”.

Since 2007 his building company Eco Cottages had delivered sustainable modular homes to customers locally, across southern Queensland and into northern New South Wales.

Based in Cooroy, the Eco Cottages managing director felt he had a “moral responsibility” to make a difference to people in vulnerable living circumstances.

He dedicated the past three years planning to deliver a housing “village” that would provide accommodation for residents facing homelessness and was preparing to fight its recent council rejection in court.

Mr Phipps was also a leader in the construction industry for advocating the use of cypress as a first-choice sustainable building product.

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In a statement to social media, Eco Villages confirmed Mr Phipps died late last year after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

“The condolences have come from far and wide, a hallmark of the impact Greg had on those who knew him and the industry he dedicated his life to,” the statement read.

“We thank you sincerely for all the love and support we have received.

“Like no other, Greg (had an) authentic, selfless drive for a regenerative future, affordable housing and encouraging cypress back into the construction industry in Australia.

“(He was) a humble man with an expansive vision.”

A modular home being built at Eco Cottage’s Cooroy factory.

In September 2023, Mr Phipps lodged an appeal with the Planning and Environment Court to build 32 eco-dwellings at 55 Carpenters Road, Cooroy, after his initial development application was rejected by Noosa Council.

At the time he told Sunshine Coast News he was “not giving up on” on the project.

“It’s a terrible crisis,” he said in September. “We’ve all got a moral responsibility to do whatever we can to rectify this really dangerous situation.”

In the wake of Mr Phipps’ death, Eco Cottages stated it was now looking to ensure his legacy and that the company continued.

“Whilst the void that Greg’s passing leaves is impossible to fill for Eco Cottages, we are endeavouring to source new management,” the statement read.

“We are currently doing everything we can to carry on his legacy in some way, shape or form.

“But our gratitude for his life’s work is immense and the ripples of his inspiration are unimaginable.”

The matter was listed for review at the Planning and Environment Court on January 25, however a draft order on behalf of the appellant, Eco Cottages, requested the appeal be adjourned to February 16.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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