Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Food glorious Food

Posted on 28 October 2011 by e-news

Stuart and Nathan from Lawrence & Hanson electrical suppliers stock a range of quality LED lighting, including downlights, lamps, footpath lighting, and tubes. They will be ‘on show’ at the Tradies’ Expo to showcase their wares and energy-efficiently brighten up your day!

check out the information and events from groups in the MA Shire about food this month!

But first MASG news

The new-look Comfy Homes website: launching at the Tradies’ Expo

Thursday 10th November from 3.30-6.30pm at Castlemaine Football & Netball Clubrooms, Camp Reserve, Castlemaine.

The Comfy Homes Sustainable Building Tradies’ Expo will not only showcase the broad array of building materials, architects, designers, electrics, plumbing, solar, wind, insulation, hot water, paint, home made, heating and cooling, it will also kick-off the new-look, easy to browse Comfy Homes website, which provides an updated list of the broad array of building materials, architects, designers … you know the rest! Make it your business to check it out and support our local suppliers, businesses and tradies.

For more information phone Deanna, 5470 6978 or Email:

Goldfields solar hub

Sunny sesssions in Castlemaine Ray Bradfield room on Friday the 28th at 12-2pm. Come along with your electricity bills and find out all you need to know about solar power for your home, business or community building.

 MASG – AGM – 30 November, 2011

MASG is having it’s AGM at Ray Bradfield rooms on Wednesday, November 30th, 7-9pm.
Watch this space for more information.  If you haven’t renewed your membership   online now !

Carbon Price celebration: MASG member, volunteers get together

The carbon price; celebrating one stepping stone laid...and knowing there is a lot more to come.

When it goes through the upper house MASG is welcoming members, volunteers and people who want to celebrate the fact we are finally getting something done to address climate change in Australia. Venue  Theatre Royal 5pm , on the day it passes, confirming text and email to be sent.

 MASG invited onto Indoor Aquatic and Leisure Centre Design Reference Group

MASG has been invited to supply a member onto this reference group. The terms of reference are available here. Indoor Aquatic and Leisure Centre – Design Reference 2011 (47 kB)
MASG originally provided feedback to the community consultation process around an indoor aquatic centre last year.

In summary we raised concerns that that there was a significant lack of information available publically regarding the environmental, social and financial benefits and impacts of an indoor aquatic centre.

MASG did not receive any feedback on the questions raised in that submission (download our submission hereMASG MASC pool submission april 2010 (88kB)

In the CoG meeting of Thursday 27th Oct it was decided that MASG should make it clear that the organisation is not supportive of any location or proposal based on the information currently available.
The CoG has recommended that MASG takes part in this reference group under the following guidelines:

  • That the MASG representatives are able to obtain more information on the environmental, social and financial impacts of any proposals and make them available to interested MASG members
  • That the MASG representatives are able to provide input and advice into the reference group about the greenhouse gas implications of any proposals

Want to help MASG with the reference group role?

MASG reserves the right to disagree with any potential recommendations of the reference group or subsequent Council decisions about the Aquatic Centre if the CoG decides that the environmental, social or economic impacts of the proposals do not advance the community’s sustainability, with a strong  focus on the impact of the aquatic centre proposal on Greenhouse gas emissions.

If you would like to be a MASG representative on this reference group or provide more information about it please contact Dean on 54706978 or

Food Glorious Food

1. The Hub Plot Jottings:How to make a wicking bed:  The practice and principles.

Come to our workshop to find out about garden wicking beds.  They are designed to draw water up from a reservoir below, hence “wicking”, through the soil directly to the roots.
When: Saturday 5th November (new date!);  Come at 10.30 for a cuppa and for an 11 a.m. start
Where: The Hub Plot garden ; Rear 233 Barker St Castlemaine
Cost: $5 donation
. Bookings and enquiries: Heather on 0409 327791
MASG’s garden group, meet on Mondays at the Hub Plot to garden, exchange produce and recipes.  We also hold field trips, the next one is for Monday the 14th of November to a permaculture property in Woodend.

If you are interested to join in the activities of the garden group just drop in to the garden on Monday mornings.  Or for further info please contact Peter on or Heather on 0409327791

2. Working Together to Grow Healthy Fruit

Mount Alexander Shire has a strong local fruit industry as well as many backyard trees.  We enjoy access to fresh and high quality fruit in season as well as a healthy local economy.

With this enjoyment comes a responsibility to care for the trees that feed us and to learn how to manage pests and disease that can carry a significant threat to fruit production. Climate change means pests such as Fruit Fly now threaten our local crops and have the potential to cause devastation for both commercial and backyard growers.

Local orchardists, Growing Abundance and the Mount Alexander Shire Council are working together to help protect and improve the fruit industry, backyard growers and the future of our food security. 

Join us to learn about:
• Fruit fly and other common pests like codling moth, pear and cherry slug and aphids
• How to avoid the common fungal diseases like curly leaf and brown rot
• Discouraging birds.

These workshops are for anyone that grows, harvests or eats fruit, or who is interested in supporting a strong local food economy.

Please join us for one of these FREE workshops:

• Harcourt Valley Vineyard (old Calder H’way, Harcourt) 13 November, 4-6pm (enjoy a glass of wine on arrival) – We will be joined by Kevin Walsh – well renowned local horticulturalist
• Ray Bradfield Rooms (adjacent to Victory Park, Castlemaine), 15Nov, 1-3pm
• Penny School, 11 Church St., Maldon, 17 November, 10am-12 noon

Workshops supported by Mount Alexander Shire Council, Growing Abundanceand the Harcourt and District Fruit Growers Association.

3. Short order menu! Food for Thought final screening for 2011

Growing Abundance are busy compiling a tasty program of short films which will include some local films, plus Home Grown Revolution (15 mins), Eat the Suburbs (9 mins), and 300 years of fossil fuel in 300 seconds.
Entry by donation. Stay to enjoy local produce soup and bread with the Castlemaine Abundance Kitchen Enterprise (CAKE) ($5 donation)
When: Sunday 6 November, 4.30pm, at the  Continuing Education, Templeton Street

4. Fruit Tree Growing Workshop at Newstead Community Garden

Simon Rickard...reknowned gardener and duck cuddler

Renowned Australian gardener and educator, Simon Rickard is coming to the Newstead Community Garden for a full day workshop on growing fruit trees in the home or community garden on Sunday 20 November  at 10am for a 10.30am start- 4pm finish
Lunch and Refreshments provided Workshop fees are $40 or $30 for Newstead Community Garden members. To register, contact, Janet on 0417 379 643, or, Mary on 5476 2593.

other news of a non edible variety….(but none the less tasty !)

Hepburn Wind Launch Festival

Saturday 5th November 2011 12:30 – 5:30pm under the turbines at Leonard’s Hill, near Daylesford.
Come and help our neighboring community celebrate their amazing achievement – Australia’s fist community-owned wind farm up and running!.  See first hand the realities and benefits a community project like this can bring and share in the day’s festivities.

This family friendly event will feature local music, food stalls, wind farm tours, information booths and we are privileged to be hearing from David Karoly, one of Australia’s leading climate scientists.  They will also be announcing the winners of $30,000 worth of community grants raised from the project.

Hepburn wind is majority-owned and controlled by Hepburn Shire community members and delivers multiple social, environmental and financial benefits to the area. 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.  The project also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from otherwise coal-generated electricity, demonstrating the powerful role communities can plan in pro-actively addressing climate change. 

Doin’ it Downtown: Recycling in Castlemaine CBD

Did you know 20% of rubbish that goes to the tip every day could have been put in the recycling?  To help further reduce this, Council with the support of Sustainability Victoria has a new Public Place Recycling Project, called Doin’ it Downtown.
The grant funded project will allow for the installation of two recycling stations in the Castlemaine CBD: one in Mostyn Street and the other in Victory Park. The stations will include one recycling bin and two rubbish bins.

As this is the first time Public Place Recycling stations will be installed in the Mount Alexander Shire, the process will be audited and a public education campaign will complement the infrastructure installation to support the community’s uptake of recycling litter in public places.

Once installed we will be asking the public to do the right thing and put waste in the right bin, enabling us to recycle paper, bottles, and drink cartons after use in public places.

This initiative comes out of Council’s 2011- 2014 Environment Strategy which guides future Council action on the environment.  The strategy includes a four-year Action Plan with activities to achieve items including Waste and Resource efficiency. The Strategy can be found on Council’s website .

2011 Community Power Conference: Australian Communities Taking Charge Of Their Energy Use

 Bendigo 14th & 15th November
The conference, hosted by LaTrobe University’s Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, Central Victoria Solar City and the City of Greater Bendigo, will discuss strategies for developing community-based energy projects. MASG employess Jarra Hicks and Dean Bridgfoot will both be presenting at the conference.
For more information or to register see the conference website:

South Australia: renewable energy policy to leave Victoria in the dark (dirty) ages.

In Victoria more of this....polluting, dangerous Anglesea coal mine and power station

The Victorian Government has wound back support for household rooftop solar even further, with the scrapping of the Standard Feed in Tarif and the capping to a measly 75MW of the new replacement Transition Feed in tariff, and to add insult to injury this week the Victorian government also approved the extension of the Anglesea coal mine and power station to within 1.5km of the school and township ! 

In SA this...lower prices, clean air: Starfish Hill wind farm

Meanwhile in SA , which already has the cheapest wholesale electricity in Australia due to the wind power they have installed, the state government is moving more policies to move that state into the 21st century economy.

  • opening an expression of interest process for interested parties to submit proposals for the development and implementation of a proto-type community owned and operated solar farm.
  • setting a limit of 0.7 tonnes of CO2e/MWh for new electricity generation in the State which will effectively prevent investment in new coal-fired electricity generation.
  • Setting a target of 30% of the State’s electricity coming from renewables by 2020

South Africa Enacts CO2 Emissions Cap

The South African government will enact an emissions cap and new energy industry regulations in an effort to spur development of alternative, clean and renewable energy and mitigate climate change. The new regulations will penalize heavy polluters that don’t comply with greenhouse gas emission limits with fines. The new plan was adopted by the South African cabinet of President Jacob Zuma Tuesday in advance of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) representatives from around the world converging on the South African coastal city of Durban later this year in what’s set to be the most important round of UN efforts to hammer out a successor or alternative to the 1992 Kyoto Protocol since the UNFCCC’s 2009 Conference of Parties (COP) gathering in Copenhagen in 2009.

Solar-Powered Desalination Plant Bound For Tuvalu

UNICEF New Zealand sends unit to Funafuti school, read more here.

GE goes big on solar

GE getting out of Nukes and Coal and into Solar PV

General Electric has committed to building the biggest solar PV manufacturing plant in the US, outlining plans to become the dominant player in the US solar market and take on the Chinese at the their own game – to build cheaper and more efficient panels reports Giles Parkinson.

Coal is not so cheap

A new economic analysis published in the  American Economic Review has made a damming assessment of the costs of pollution from fossil fuel industries, and concludes that coal is doing more harm to the US economy than good – and that doesn’t take into account its climate impact.

Settling the Science of climate change….some great resources

Eight Must-Have Charts Summarize the Evidence for a “Human Fingerprint” on Recent Climate Change
An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts
The scientific finding that settles the climate-change debate according to the Washinton Post.

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