Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Big Solar in Castlemaine, big coal in Qld !

Posted on 9 March 2012 by e-news


Big Solar Launch

Saturday March 10th. Arrive 10.55am at the Market Building, Castlemaine.
The national Big Solar Campaign has already been launched by over 20 groups across Australia and this weekend it is Castlemaine’s turn. This year’s focus on Big Solar is because it’s the missing piece for a renewable energy future in Australia. We need you there for a Build Big Solar Castlemaine photo. Bring your hardhats, tools or just yourself as we show that the community is ready to build big solar.

Join us for a picnic in Victory Park afterwards where you can learn more about Big Solar and how you can help make sure our politicians support Australia’s solar future. For more info contact Dean on or 0448 327 791

Sustainable house tour success

This joint MASG and Shire Council project had over 90 people attend from as far away as Mt. Gambier, Swan Hill and many from Melbourne. Participants said that the tour helped them progress their renovating or building plans. Many thanks to Lifehouse Design, & Mick Lewin Consulting for their presentations.

House tour participants show their thanks for a great day

A huge thankyou too for the 8 house-owners, without whom the event would not have been possible. Their knowledge about sustainable housing and hospitality in opening up their houses was greatly appreciated by the participants. A special thank you to Deb Taylor, volunteer coordinator, and to the 18 volunteers who made sure the day ran so smoothly.

MASG will be planning to run more Sustainable House tours – we would like to showcase more local houses that demonstrates solar passive and other sustainability principles , if you have such a house please contact Carolyn or 54 70 6325

Wash Against Waste help still needed

Help MASG raise $500, stop waste going to landfill, work with a like-minded fun crew and support the WAW trailer. We need 6 more volunteers, each spending a few hours on Sunday 11th March at the Taradale Mineral Springs festival. If you can help email or call Kerry 54706978 or Dean on 0448 327 791

Part time work at MASG

Collating and sending out the enews, updating the web site, (maybe also responding to member inquiries). Approx four hours per week. Send a short EOI to or ring Dean on 5470 6978 for more details.

Community Wind Update

Wind Tour at Hepburn Wind

Saturday 17th March 2012. Meet at 10:15 at the Western Reserve Oval car park, off Wheeler St, Castlemaine. Carpool to Daylesford for an 11am start at Hepburn Wind.
Cost $5, proceeds go to the Hepburn Sustainability Fund

This tour is a great opportunity to see first hand the realities and benefits of community-owned wind. The tour will be held on the working farm that hosts Hepburn Wind’s two, 2MW turbines. These turbines stand 80m above the paddocks and meet the electricity needs of the 2300 households of the nearby Daylesford community.

Take a tour and get up close and personal to clean energy at the Hepburn Community Wind farm

Local shareholders receive a viable return on their investment each year, the project employs 4 local people based in Daylesford and has contributed over $7M to local and regional Victoria during its construction. Hepburn Wind also continues to contribute to the Hepburn community with the establishment of a community Fund for local projects with $30,000 being made available this year through the Fund for local sustainability projects.

And in addition, the project reduces greenhouse gas emissions from otherwise coal-generated electricity, demonstrating the powerful role communities can plan in pro-actively addressing climate change.

Please RSVP to Jarra Hicks by Thursday 15th of March: 0401 952 805, or 5470 6978 or,

Can you donate an iPad?

The Community Wind project would really love it if someone out there knows of a person upgrading their iPad who wants to donate their old one. We are currently spending a lot of time trying to decipher people’s handwriting from stall sign-up sheets. It would save so much volunteer time if we could use an iPad to sign people up immediately at the stalls. It will also come in really handy when we launch our on-line survey in the next few weeks.


Lots of wonderful rain so the tanks are again filling up. Some of us even gardened on the raining Monday of last week and had an unexpected visit from Josh Byrnes from ABC Gardening Australia. Josh was interested in many of the aspects of our demonstration garden and the works we are planning for it. We didn’t have our cameras to take a shot of Josh but we did manage to capture this photo of another garden visitor.

Not Josh Byrnes but handsome all the same !

This week we had some new faces join us for our produce exchange and morning tea on Monday. We’ve been busy planting out some of the seedlings Kathryn has planted just a couple of weeks ago.
The Hub Plot garden group won’t meet on Monday (12th of March) due to the public holiday.

On the following Monday, 19th March, we’ll be having a get together lunch at 12.30 p.m. for the Hub Plot volunteers and the folk from the Growing Abundance Harvest project and the Castlemaine Abundance Kitchen Enterprise (CAKE) project.
You are most welcome to join us, just bring a plate of local/home grown goodies to share.

The Growing the Harvest Festival:

The final program for the Growing the Harvest Festival is finally out. There are some special features this year with a “Meet your Local Farmer” session and a Community Apple Juicing event. See the full program here  or on facebook . 

Make a submission for Solar

Can you help grow our solar powered future and make a submission this week? We are aiming to get 30 submissions from the Mount Alexander Shire.  Your submission can be done electronically and emailed and should take no more than 5 minutes.

The Victorian government has called for an inquiry into payments to solar panel owners who feed back to the grid (‘feed in tariffs’). Many of you will be receiving a feed in tariff payment for the electricity you produce and feed back to the grid.

Feed in tariffs have successfully assisted millions of families across the world to install solar panels and have contributed to the dramatic drop in prices of solar. Prices of solar panels have dropped by over 80% in the last 18 months.

Do you want to see more solar panels on houses, schools and businesses in Castlemaine ?

Use the template provided here for your submission.(28kb) template Submission to the Victorian Feed in Tariff

Enter your name, contact details and any personal testimony you like about solar power. Then save your submission and email it to . Please bcc  in your submission so we can track how many were sent and see if we got to our 3o submission target.

If you have any questions call Mike Reeves on 0439 500 050 or or download this info sheet if you want more background on the feed in tariff and the politics around it.(29kb) More information on the Victorian solar Feed in tariff inquiry

National and Global news

Greenpeace Petition to save the reef from Coal

By now you will have heard about the horrific scale of coal mining expansion planned for QLD. As a first salvo of work on this issue we released a report this morning – Boom Goes the Reef – highlighting the impact of this expansion on the Great Barrier Reef:
• 6 times more coal ships through the World Heritage Area
• Coal port capacity increased six-fold along the Great Barrier Reef coastline
ie. 944 million tonnes per year, or a coal train wrapped 4.5 times around the world
• The world’s largest coal port proposed for Abbot Pt
Greenpeace is trying to get 10,000 signatures on an online petition to protect the Reef in the next couple of weeks and then asks you to share it far and wide with your networks, on your facebook pages.

Himalayan sherpas lament climate change devastation

Climate change is altering the face of the Himalayas, devastating farming communities and making Mount Everest increasingly treacherous to climb, some of the world’s top mountaineers have warned reports the Times of India.

University survey links Americans’ growing belief in global warming with higher temps outside

Americans’ belief in global warming is on the rise, along with temperatures and surprising weather changes, according to a new university poll  reports the Washington Post.

Shrinking Arctic ice linked to record dumps of snow

A dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice linked to global warming is likely to have triggered record snow dumps in the northern hemisphere in recent winters, a study has found reports Adam Morton in the Age.


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