Zero Net Emissions by 2025

AGMs, priceless volunteers and solar hot water

Posted on 31 October 2012 by e-news

Open up and read our e-news! Please send your contributions for the next e-news to by 11am on Wednesday, 14 November.

Today: it’s AGM time soon; there is still (just enough) time to make your voice heard on the government’s Renewable Energy Target; how priceless are our volunteers; in (solar) hot water; and lots more.


It’s AGM time

As we announced in our special edition e-news last week, it’s AGM time again. And we’re announcing it again. Our AGM is coming at 7.30pm on Thursday, 22 November. It will be held in the Ray Bradfield Room in Castlemaine.

Only current financial members of MASG will be able to vote at the AGM. Please check with the office if you are unsure of the status of your membership, and if it’s not current, renew before Thursday, 22 November.

Download the Notice of AGM (Updated 12 November 2012)

Download the Nomination Form

Download the Proxy Form

Read our Constitution/rules

For further financial information, please call or email Caroline Neilsen on 5470 6325


Volunteers needed

It’s the end of the world cabaret …

We are seeing out the end of the world (according to the Mayan Calendar) with a bang. And don’t tell us … we know the Mayan stonemasons simply ran out of stone, but why not celebrate? Remember to keep Saturday night, 1 December free. Anyone still interested in doing short performances? We’d love some more volunteers.

And we need more volunteers to come forward to help with decorating, hospitality, stage management, technical support, publicity, and staffing stalls.

If you can help, please contact Alex on 0439 946 007.


We know our volunteers are priceless

We think volunteers are priceless, and the precious work they do is invaluable. A University of Adelaide study has recently valued Australia’s volunteers at $200 billion a year.

More than 6.4 million people volunteer time in Australia, according to the study, double the number who volunteered in 1995. Why not volunteer some time with MASG?


Mt Gambier Sustainability Group dinner

You are invited, as a member of MASG, to attend dinner with members of the Mt Gambier Sustainability Group at the Railway Hotel, on Saturday, 10 November at 730pm. The group is keen to meet and share experiences in sustainable living, gardening and transport. Let’s meet and celebrate how we live, practising small solutions to big problems!


Laughing to see out coal

Quit Coal, Climate Action Moreland and Beyond Zero Emissions are announcing that the 2012 Climate Comedy Revue to be held at Brunswick Town Hall on Friday 9 November at 8pm.

It’s a comedy revue – a night of fun and frivolity to celebrate the climate movement by having a drink and a laugh at climate politics and ourselves. They will also be raising funds for the groups and directly for climate change relief.

Tickets are $15 concession/$20 full price (or you can be a proactive supporter tickets for $30 and climate champion for $50!) through TryBooking:

And there is still time to vote for renewable energy in the People’s RET Review – if you do it today, Wednesday, 31 October.

If you haven’t yet, click on this link to vote in the People’s RET Review.  It takes less than five minutes!


In hot water over hot water

In our last full e-news we ran a story about a discounted solar hot water system offer. The story stated “Some people in Castlemaine have had trouble with flat plate systems, but these are evacuated tubes, which are great for Castlemaine and guaranteed down to -15”.

We were not endorsing any particular brand or style, but were promulgating, in good faith, information that was sent to us. The editor of this newsletter does not claim to be an expert on solar hot water systems.

One reader took exception and wrote: “several homes (in Castlemaine) have had trouble-free service from flat panel hot water systems for … 25 years; the oldest system is just over 30 years”.

We do not endorse or condemn any systems. No doubt some of you may disagree with the above statement. But we say, the more opinions, the more solar hot water systems, the less greenhouse emissions, the better!

The Hub Plot Jottings

Back to Bress: If you’ve been keeping up with our Hub Plot activities you’ll know that we recently had a field day to Bress biodynamic vegetable garden.

We had such a great experience and learnt so much that we want to go back and lend them a hand.

So on Friday, 2 November some of us are going out there to plant a large no-dig potato patch. If you’d like to join in you’d be most welcome.

The Hub Plot open days: This week we are doing a last minute spring clean of the garden as we will be showing visitors through it during the Festival of the Garden.

Apart from our usual gardening, morning tea & produce exchange on Monday mornings, trusty volunteers will be opening the plot during the following times:

Sunday 4 Nov 11am-3pm

Thursday 8 Nov 11-3pm

Sunday 11 Nov 11am-3pm

Please feel free to drop in and see what we’ve been up to.


Workshop: The Principles and Practice of making a Wicking Bed

When: Saturday, 10 November

Time: 10am cuppa and cake for a 10.30 start

At: The Hub Plot, entry from Templeton St, Castlemaine.

Cost: $20

If you’d like to know more about these low water garden beds here’s a great opportunity to learn. The wicking system is a great technique to use when water is scarce as it helps keep water in the root zone, where it is needed.

We’ll be making one from a fruit box on the day, but we also have some interesting half constructed and fully constructed beds so you can see them in action.


In the wind

By David Woodgrove, Operations Manager, Central Victorian Solar Cities

Earlier this month a small group of Castlemaine wind enthusiasts soaked up the community spirit at the Waubra Community day held at the sports ground in the middle of the town. Despite the mild temperatures there was a strong community turnout of around 350 people.

At the new workshop facility 20 new full time staff are employed. We struck up conversations with anyone who would stop to chat and everybody was amazingly supportive of the wind-farm and the positive benefits it has brought to the town. Top of the list was the shops, pub and the school, which have all benefited, with 20 new jobs and a new building at the sports ground.

Doug, the local community representative of the town’s wind group (pictured) helped explain some of the processes that the town went through and how they worked with the wind company. Must get back there soon and have another look and have some more of the great food from the local shop!


Threatened species need federal protection

On Wednesday, 31 October the Zoo and Aquarium Association has today joined with leading environment groups to call on the Federal Government not to give state governments the power to approve large development proposals.

At Parliament House in Canberra today, Al Mucci from the Zoo & Aquarium Association and Don Henry from the Australian Conservation Foundation, representing the Places You Love alliance, said the plan to hand over decision-making on the environment to state governments was a dangerous backward step.

More information


Minding the earth, mending the world

A public talk by Susan Murphy, described as ‘the new voice in Australian Buddhism’. How do we break free of the thinking that created our current environmental crisis?

Monday 12 November, 7-9 pm, Castlemaine Library Foyer. For more information contact Goldfields Zen 0435 448 379


How to talk to an ostrich

A common argument is that our climate is always changing, that Earth has had higher levels of CO2 in the past, and was much warmer. Richard Alley in the National Ice Core Lab in the US shows the hard (and very cold!) evidence that today’s levels of CO2 are unlike anything seen in the whole of human civilisation, for much more than 400,000 years. And when Earth was much, much hotter it was fine for dinosaurs. We might not like it quite so much.



Last word:

Soil is more important than oil and is as much a non-renewable resource.

Wes Jackson, The Land Institute







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