Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Farewell Jarra and hello solar cooking, better home heating …

Posted on 18 July 2013 by e-news

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This week, our lovely community wind worker leaves for windier pastures, we invent different ways to say cacca and there’s heaps on at the Hub Plot. Don’t forget you heard it here first.

This is your e-news. We’d love to hear from you. Your next e-news will be published on Thursday, 1 August, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am.


jarra-hicks-bio-web-photo1Farewell Jarra

MASG Drinks

Our lovely community wind worker Jarra Hicks is leaving us to start a PhD scholarship at UNSW on community-owned renewable energy projects (of course!) and the ways they can catalyse broader social and economic benefits for regional Australian communities.

She will be based in Sydney for the next five months, and then Alice Springs to join her partner who recently got a job with the Centre for Appropriate Technology. And she will focus more time on her social enterprise supporting the uptake of community renewables in Australia, the Community Power Agency.

Come and have a chat with us and wish Jarra well from 7pm!

Friday 26 July at the New Northern Hotel, 359 Barker St, Castlemaine.


Castlemaine advert 15 July 2013


dogsKeeping dogs and streets happy

Feeding time is the happiest six seconds of a dog’s day. It can cause a lot of waste (packaging such as tin cans) or minimal waste. Castlemaine is well serviced with bulk food outlets for pets. Top Dog at Chewton sells meat, biscuits, bones and dog treats in bulk or by a minimum of 1 kg. Their range includes Vets All Natural food. Contact: 5472 4983

And what goes in must come out. Waste dropped in your yard can go into dogpworm farms. You have to – by law – pick up any poupou chen dropped outside your yard. Which means compostable bags.

These are easy enough to find in the supermarket, but are designed for your kitchen rubbish bin and are a bit too large for dog cacca needs. Biobags has compostable dog poop’en bags you can order online.


100% Renewable News

Aspiring Liberal candidate for the Federal seat of Bendigo Greg Bickley is doing his homework on renewables. Suddenly the election is looking more contested and climate is on the agenda, which is good news for 100% Renewable. Our aim is get parties competing with each other on their level of commitment to renewables.

We recently took the Solar Scorecard Survey, developed by the 100% Renewables Campaign, to Greg Bickley. His latest indication is that he is not filling out the candidate survey (it has eight policy ‘asks’ relating to renewables), but will make a statement?

Labor candidate Lisa Chesters has already responded and you can view her updated scorecard profile here. Please stay tuned to an email soon asking you to contact  candidates to ask them to fill out the “Solar Survey”  –  we want plenty of people pressuring them to respond.

We’ll let you know how we go with the Greens and Nationals candidates in coming weeks.To get involved in candidate meetings / promoting and developing a local scorecard please contact, Bernard Tonkin 100% Renewable Regional Organiser, mob 0459 472 558.


rayburnBetter ways to use wood for home heating

Firewood, Wood-Pellet/Multi-Fuel Heaters and Wood-Solar Hot Water – talk in Ballarat

Hear about maximising the efficiency of your existing solid fuel heaters and new, more efficient and lower cost ways to burn fuel that are being adopted overseas.

To book, please RSVP to


Solar Cooking Day

MASG and The Hub plan a Solar Cooking Day later in the year, possibly Sunday 1 September. Stay tuned for more info. And read this.


At work on the new wicking bed

At work on the new wicking bed

The Hub Plot Jottings

We’ve made two large new ‘in ground’ wicking beds at the Hub Plot. This means we’ve made the water saturation zone under the ground level, and we’ve also added the garden bed.  If you are interested to see what we’ve done drop by the Hub Plot on Monday morning and we can explain. It should be a great way of adding more productive gardens to our Plot.


1. Organic Pest management of fruit trees in your back yard or orchard

Late winter and early spring are essential times in the backyard orchard to take simple preventative measures to ensure that your fruit trees are healthy, pest and disease free through the fruiting season and beyond.

home_head_picCome to this hands-on workshop and learn practical techniques to naturally prevent and control pests and diseases in your backyard.

Date: Sunday 21 July
Time: 10am-12pm
Place: The Hub Plot, Templeton St, Castlemaine
Price: $20, or $15 concession, free to all active Harvest Volunteers
Bookings: 5472 4842  Email:
Online at


2. Wicking Bed Workshop

Presented by The Hub Plot at BRESS Winery

Wicking beds are a great technique to use when water is scarce, it helps keep water in the root zone, right where it is needed.

The day will start at 10am with a demonstration of this low water method of gardening, followed by hands-on demonstration and making of wicking beds. This time we’ll be using IBC containers and also fruit boxes. We will plant them up, and do a short session on spring planting/seed sowing for spring/summer.

DATE: Saturday 3 August
Time: 10am-2pm
Place: Bress Winery, 3894 Calder Highway, Harcourt
PRICE: $35, includes delicious morning tea and lunch
To book go to:


For further information about these workshops please call Heather on 0409327791

Also the Hub Plot gardeners are planning another Round Robin day of workshops at the Hub Plot in spring. So watch this space!

To keep up with the Hub Plot please see our blog at or even better come and join us on Monday mornings even if it is just for a cuppa and produce exchange at 11am.


ck_wt_fossilfuels_22Last ditch bid for coal investment

”This appears to be a last-ditch bid for investment because to date no genuine players have come forward with viable proposals,” said Environment Victoria campaigner Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, as the Napthine government turns to active promotion of 13 billion tonnes of unallocated brown coal.

”It is clear that the market doesn’t want our dirty coal.” Read more


The labyrinth beneath your feet

Of the millions who have visited Federation Square since it opened 10 years ago, few would know that below their feet lies one of the world’s best examples of a thermal labyrinth.


cyclistslondonBikes power a quarter of London’s rush hour

New data finds cyclists account for more than 24 per cent of the vehicles on the roads of London during  morning rush hour.  





GBR’s health? Poor

The health of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef has been downgraded to “poor” as the government quietly pushed back by five years some of the pollution targets that were supposed to be achieved this year.


Our slacktivism section

fossilfuelDivesting from fossils

Around the world, it seems people just can’t get enough of it. As the divestment movement spreads, investors are starting to face the music. Rabobank, one of the 30 largest financial institutions in the world, recently committed to not invest in shale gas and recently, Storebrand, Norway’s largest insurance company, cut 19 coal and tar sands companies from its investments, citing risk of stranded assets.

There are rumours that anxiety is brewing in Australia’s banking and superannuation sectors, as thousands tell them to stop investing in climate change.

Click here to invest in growing the divestment campaign

And as Kevin Rudd resumed the driving seat, 2300 Australians spoke out to put climate front and centre of his mind. But now you could go a step further….

While the carbon price is helping to reduce our emissions, Kevin has just announced that he’ll abandon the fixed carbon price and move to a floating carbon price – an emissions trading scheme – one year early. This will weaken the price on carbon, and slow down action on climate change.

Will you tell the PM that decisions like this won’t win your vote? Leave a message on his Facebook page here. 


Kellogs: eating the planet for breakfast cereal

The rainforests of Indonesia are an ecological treasure: but now snack and cereal giant Kellogg’s has made a deal with a company that’s wiping these forests off the map, Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader. Newsweek named it the least sustainable corporation in the world – worse than Exxon Mobil, TransCanada, and even Monsanto. Can you let Kellogg’s know that this deal is unacceptable?

Sign the petition to Kellogg’s: End your partnership with Wilmar International unless it agrees to end deforestation.

Last word

web-Mark-Wakeham-photo_Size4“The best way to clean up our power supply and replace ageing and failing power stations like Yallourn and Hazelwood is to keep the price on pollution in place, remove fossil fuel subsidies, increase investment in renewable energy by maintaining the national renewable energy target and getting serious about energy efficiency.”

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria



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