Zero Net Emissions by 2025

A full February: Meeting on the Aquatic Centre, Tours of Homes, Hub Plot Food

Posted on 9 February 2012 by e-news


Sustainable house tour – 25th February

Come and visit four great houses and hear award winning guest speakers. A full program learning about sustainable housing. $30. Concession/MASG members $20; $50 per couple. Details and bookings online.

We now have over 30 registrations but we want it to be a sell out success.
Tell others it is on if you can’t come yourself. We also need volunteers, especially if you have some background knowledge on sustainable housing.
More details on volunteering opportunities and the tour from Carolyn or 5470 6325

Aquatic centre meeting for MASG members

MASG members are invited to a special meeting next Thursday 16th Feb, 5-7pm, at the Senior Citizens Centre (next door to the Castlemaine library) to discuss the environmental and sustainability aspects of the proposed aquatic centre with some Mt Alexander Shire Council representatives and the aquatic centre designers.

This is a great opportunity for members to share their needs and concerns about energy use, eco features, carbon off-setting, cogeneration, full life cycle analysis and business plans under different climate change scenarios. We welcome any interested MASG member to come along to ask these and other questions.

The Hub Plot Jottings

It’s been great to have some new faces join our Monday morning get togethers. We’ve been busy sowing the new wicking bed with radicchio, lettuce, spring onions, lettuces, radishes and carrots. We are trialling our version of the ‘square foot’ method so if you are interested drop by and have a look. Our seeds of beetroot and carrots, planted just last week are up and racing.

Patrick protects the Hub Plot from foraging MASG office staff !

At our produce exchange we had beetroot, cucumbers, beans, onions, capsicum, a variety of herbs and seeds to swap. And we won’t mention the giant zucchinis!!

A particular thanks to Catherine, Peter, Heather and Margaret who have attended to watering over the summer break. Wendy has also shown her extraordinary trailer backing skills with a couple of loads of greens collected from local food outlets.

WANTED 1: Poo! of the horse, cow or sheep varieties. Contributions welcome as our compost heap is always hungry for more!

WANTED 2: items for our garden sale/garage sale. If you have tools you no longer need, a worm farm your not planning to use, garden bits and pieces that would suit our garage sale please put them aside. Our garage sale will be in a few months but we thought we’d give you plenty of warning to clean out your garden and garden shed of things that might just need a new garden or shed.

Newstead Community Garden are holding a workshop on Sunday 18th of March – if you are interested in carpooling from Castlemaine let me know on 0409 327791 (Heather)

Growing the Harvest Festival: 14th & 15th of April.

Workshops include :
Salami making,
Bread making,
What to do with excess tomatoes,
Preserving & jams
Community Apple crushing and cider making workshop

More will be happening over the weekend, details will follow in the MASG e-news and on the website.
Information about bookings and times are still to be finalised – so stay tuned.

Plot Raffle:is now underway and will be drawn at the festival. Money raised will go towards the further work of the Food Production Group. We are very grateful to the businesses that have contributed prizes -1st prize is a $500 gift

$500 first prize thanks to the Bold Garden

voucher from the Bold Garden Nursery, 2nd prize is a $100 gift voucher from Green Goes the Grocer and 3rd prize is a $50 voucher from The Good Table. If you would like to buy tickets or can assist with selling tickets please call into the MASG office or phone Kerry on 54 70 6978. Thanks to those who have already taken raffle books.

If you are interested to help with tasks leading up to the festival or with volunteering on the day please contact Heather 0409 327 791 or

Comfy Homes

Kids back at school? Holidays over? If you’re ready to take a serious look at your renovation and retrofitting plans, don’t forget to go to the Comfy Homes site, via the MASG website. You will find around 20 links to local builders, products and services that can help you make your home more energy efficient and help get your bills down.

The boys from EcoSustainable Homes listed on the Comfy Homes website

Tell the businesses you found them there. And tell your friends, in particular those new to the district. Keep supporting your community and MASG!

“Big Solar” Launch

MASG is part of the national “100% campaign” focussing this year on Big Solar because it is the missing piece for a renewable energy future in Australia. We will be launching the campaigning with groups from right across the country on 3rd March

What do you think about Big Solar? Do you support it being built in Australia?

IF we want to get big solar built this is an important year. This year the government will legislate a $10B fund for clean energy. The opposition will also be formulating policies this year to take to an election in 2013 – at the moment the opposition has stated that they will axe the renewable fund if elected. If we act now we can make sure that the renewable fund builds big solar and ensure we have bipartisan support for renewables.

Let's build Big Solar launch March 3rd

Can you help out on the National launch on Saturday 3rd March? We need people to be part of a Build Big Solar local launch in Castlemaine so our MP knows our community wants big solar. We also want local media so that people in Castlemaine know that the campaign is running and they can be involved. If you can help, contact Dean on or 0448 327 791


Growing Abundance

Penny Woodward workshop: Newstead community garden; Sunday March 18th 10-4pm: For bookings or more info Mary 54762593 or Janet 0439 003469 or to ride share from Castlemaine contact Heather 0409 327 791

 Transitions film festival

Melbourne 11th to 19th February
See the full transitions program online.

Container deposit scheme starts in NT: but will it go national?

Kids, clubs and pubs in the Northern Territory can now earn ten cents for every can or bottle they recycle and there’s a push to introduce national container deposit legislation. But the Food and Grocery Council of Australia which represents  Australia’s $108 billion food, drink and grocery manufacturing industry opposes the move says the ABC.


Appliance Energy Use Quiz

Fun quiz to squiz on your appliance’s energy usage: what appliances use the most energy in a week? Does a laptop used 2 hours a day use more or less energy than a toaster used once a day for 4 minutes? Check out this great online quiz game and see how you score.

Lord Moncton tells mining executives to buy up Australian media…..

In July last year, climate-denialist Christopher Monckton advised mining industry insiders to create a US-style Fox News channel in Australia, supported by the “super wealthy” in order to provide supportive coverage for the mining industry. The video, filmed in the boardrooms of pro-mining organisation Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, shows Mr Monckton offering to work with commentators such as Andrew Bolt to establish the channel. Watch the Moncton video here.

German Village makes more energy than it needs and keeps $ and jobs locally


Community wind power in Wildpoldsried creating energy, jobs and income

Wildpoldsried green initiative started in 1997 when the village council decided that it should build new industries, keep initiatives local, bring in new revenue, and create no debt. Over the past 14 years, the community has equipped nine new community buildings with solar panels, built four biogas digesters (with a fifth in construction now) and installed seven windmills with two more on the way. 190 private households have solar panels while the district also benefits from three small hydro power plants, ecological flood control, and a natural waste water system.

All of these green systems means that despite only having a population of 2,600, Wildpoldsried produces 321 percent more energy than it needs – and it’s generating 4.0 million Euro (US $5.7 million) in annual revenue by selling it back to the national grid….more.

China goes all out for Solar

2 GW 25 km square solar farm planned

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) last week announced it is aiming for the country’s installed solar power generating capacity to reach 15 GW by 2015. This is a 50 percent increase from its previous plan and includes a recently announced 2 GW solar farm for Inner Mongolia, enough to power 3 million Chinese homes.

Japan Says 30-40 Years To Scrap Fukushima Plant

Decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will take three or four decades, Japan’s government said on Wednesday as it unveiled plans for the next phase of a huge and costly cleanup of the tsunami-wrecked complex.

Biodiesel plant turns poppies into power

A new biodiesel plant in Tasmania’s northern midlands is producing alternative fuel from poppy seeds. Mike Henry’s family has been working on plans for a biodiesel factory for five years, using waste from poppy crops

India’s panel price crash could spark solar revolution

Newly inaugurated solar energy farm at Gunthawada in Gujarat state

Solar power has always had a reputation for being expensive, but not for much longer. In India, electricity from solar is now cheaper than that from diesel generators. India now has solar farms 10X bigger than any in Australia with many more planned, like the recent 30MW Gunthwada farm.

Coal on the Ropes: In One Week, 4,099 MW of U.S. Coal Plants Are Set to Close

In less than one week, eight U.S. coal plants representing 4,099 MW of capacity have been put on the chopping block for closure or have been delayed in court due to environmental concerns…more on USA coal closures.

Electric Bike sharing

In the New York Times. 



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