Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Blowing away records and misconceptions

Posted on 12 September 2013 by e-news

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The next e-news will be published on Thursday, 26 September, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am. this week, we look at toasties around the earth, street lighting, composting and a whole lot more besides.


readingTake a look and take a book

NEW TO MASG! Our foyer upgrade is now complete with an improved light globe and battery collection point, community noticeboard packed with information about sustainable services and products, and a new feature: a sustainable book and magazine sale.

For a gold coin donation you can help yourself to any of the displayed books and magazines, which cover topics such as climate change and science, sustainable living, and more.
Next time you’re in town, take a look and take a book!

Blowing away records and misconceptions

August’s windy weather blew away records for wind generation, and the Clean Energy Council has celebrated with a great infographic that highlights the impressive levels of output from Australia’s 1559 wind turbines.


Street lighting project

MASG has responded to a member’s concern about LED lighting – it’s good because it uses less power, but the latest research is showing that it can be disruptive to night-time mammals. See some of the latest research here

And some media on new LEDs and light pollution – new streetlight technology

We have passed this research on to:

• the Project Partnership Group (reps from all 16 councils in the Lighting the Regions group)
• the Project Steering Committee
• Ironbark Sustainability (currently developing an LED business case for the Steering Committee).

floodsClimate risk in the Shire

Mount Alexander Shire is finally preparing a climate risk and adaptation plan in partnership with other Councils. This was a main element of MASG’s submission to Council over the next four years. The challenge will now be to make sure any plans are focussed and lead to a safer climate. We’d be delighted to hear your  views.

Six stellar cyclists!

We have previously let you know about the vacancies on the Council’s Walking and Cycling Strategy Advisory Committee. There are now six stellar new members to help out: Julie Rudner, Caroline Pflieger, Barbara Struthers, Barbara Guerin, Julie Gibson and Geoff Park. We’re hoping to contact the community members on the Committee soon to ask how we can facilitate community input into their work. In the meanwhile have a look at the Strategy and the Council Budget for implementation and see what you think.


Does the Shire Environment Strategy measure up?

MAS Councillors have received a report on implementing the 2011-14 Environment Strategy. The Strategy has only another year to run, but some of the most important actions have not started or have been under-achieved. We hope that it will be one of the first pieces of work that the new Council Sustainability and Environment Forum looks at.


MASG and Castlemaine Community House are currently exploring an exciting town-to-farm composting project. It is early days but there is a lot of energy for developing new ways to not only reduce organic waste in our landfill but to improve soil health and the sustainability of small local farms.

The project also has a stellar crew and great mix of expertise, including Bill Grant, Katie Finlay, Jo Clifford and Garth Doolan, Anna Hedigan and Sas Allardice.


The Hub Plot Jottings



A day of gardening workshops at The Hub Plot, Saturday, 21 September. Compost, worm farms, planning for summer and seed sowing, compost tea brewing, biochar and wicking garden beds.

A full day of workshops to inspire you and help with your veggie gardening. For $10 you can come to as many or as few workshops as you like. A simple seasonal lunch will be available for purchase. For further details phone Heather on 0409 327791 or Pamm on 0405715645 or check our blog on



Last week a group of electric bike enthusiasts greeted three riders who arrived in Castlemaine after riding from Perth.

It was great to see Maurice back at the Hub Plot after all these years. Maurice led the team who put up the first batch of MASG’s 50 solar installations. He was impressed by the developments we’ve made at the Hub Plot and took lots of photos to take back to his local sustainability group.

e-bike enthusiastsOn Friday Peter presented a workshop on wicking garden beds to students, teachers and parents at the Boneo Primary School. The school has a kitchen garden program and the audience was keen to hear about this low water method of gardening. If you want to know more about the principles and the practical side of making low-water garden beds, then come to our workshop on Saturday 21 September.


Harvest lunch

harvest lunchWe held a successful harvest lunch at the Hub Plot on Monday. It was great to share a harvest lunch with the good folk of the Growing Abundance project and ourselves, the Hub Plotters. The lunch included a huge salad made from all the abundant greens we have at the Hub Plot. We also held a seed saving session and produce, seed and seedling swap table, which did a lively trade.


Carinya Kindergarten

This week a group of 25 children and their carers visited us from Carinya Kindergarten. Our wonderful volunteer Pamm showed them the garden and all its features, and they planted and harvested. They particularly loved collecting the eggs and feeding the worms.

In the cabbage patch

Our Hub Plot baby arrives! Congratulations to Chris and Seamus on the safe arrival of Athena Rose. Chris has been a volunteer with the Hub Plot for over two years and we are delighted to welcome a little sister for Hector.

Food for Thought

Sunday 15 September, with Lucy Young, Tim Sproal, Heather Barrett MASG’s Hub Plot jotter) and Katie Finlay. Join some of Castlemaine’s local food leaders for a walk through the blossoming orchard and listen as they answer questions. What’s your dream for Castlemaine’s local food system in five years time and how are we going to make it happen? A delicious seasonal long table lunch will be shared in the orchard.

Sunday 15 September 12.30-1.30pm
Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens 69 Danns Rd, Harcourt
Long Table Lunch by CAKE $5
RSVP essential for catering purposes
or call 5472 4842




Last word

vandana“Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates.”
? Vandana Shiva, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis

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