Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Fortnightly News Digest, August 20, 2009

Posted on 23 August 2009 by e-news

MASG key dates for your diary
MASG fundraiser film night. The Age of Stupid. This Sunday (23rd), Theatre Royal @ 6:30 pm See below for more details
Buda Fest. Sept. 11 to 14th
CRAG launch. WHEN: Thursday 27th August, 5.30-6.30pm, Anglican Church Hall.

MASG News and Events
FREE HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENTS: ! We are very excited about this as it provides an opportunity to meet with some of our members in person and discuss their sustainability plans. It also provides householders with an opportunity to access a $10,000 interest free loan to undertake various energy efficiency related activities. Are you still considering this for your home? Give us a call today! See . MASG appreciates that you are probably all incredibly efficient users of energy already – but if you, your family or friends do have some retrofitting in mind then please contact Jayson at MASG on 5470 6978 or

The Age of Stupid: Described by international media and politicians as ‘essential viewing to anyone who cares about the survival of our planet’. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite is living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? The film has been funded by ordinary people from all round the world who invested $1 million for the production of the film during 2004-2006. The film launched in the UK in March where – despite having an advertising budget of zero dollars – it reached No 1 at the box office and broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest simultaneous film premiere.  The Telegraph in the UK called the film “Bold, supremely provocative, and hugely important….a cry from the heart as much as a roar for necessary change.”   This week the Sydney Morning Herald described it as “a wake-up call with an elegiac tone”.

The film’s director, Franny Armstrong, has commented that “if the public continues to stand back and let the politicians decide, we will lock ourselves into runaway climate change and the greatest humanitarian catastrophe the world has ever seen.  Other generations managed to abolish slavery, overturn apartheid or even land on the moon.  We know what we have to do”.
When and Where? Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on Sunday 23rd August 2009, at 6:30pm.
Bookings. Price is $15 per person, or a combined ticket with a low-carbon meal at $30. Please book a seat or a table by calling 5472 1196 or credit card at ; and be ready to experience the phenomena that is The Age of Stupid. More information about the film can be found at
A big ‘thank you’ to David Stretch at Theatre Royal for supporting MASG and putting this on!

Following months of community liaison and your valued input, MASG invites you to join CRAG project coordinator Deanna to launch the Local Community Resource Guides and ‘How To CRAG’ Guide to assist you in reducing your household carbon emissions. No fancy award-winning speeches or acknowledgements (although BIG thanks for assistance from Ann de Hugard, Varun Simons, Helena Read and Deb Taylor and various other sneaky foodie helpers). Just drop in for a drink and your copy of the Resource Guides. WHEN: Thursday 27th August, 5.30-6.30pm, Anglican Church Hall. RSVP

Mark Deisendorf spoke to an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd of 85 people at the UC Hall Castlemaine on Friday 7th August.
Mark showed clearly that existing renewable technologies (wind which is always blowing somewhere, biomass and solar thermal) can provide baseload electrical power with the assistance of gas as a transition fuel, thereby allowing us to quickly move away from coal for stationary power.  Energy demand reduction is also very important.
He emphasised the urgent need for action to bring about a safe and sustainable future and detailed many ways we can all play a part.
Thanks to the volunteers who helped organise this event in particular Helena Read, Dee Sansom & Terry White.

You can buy his book Climate Action: A Campaign Manual for Greenhouse Solutions from the MASG office for $28.  Please email and we will put one aside for you to pick up.  A great Fathers Day present! We will also put slides from his talk, and a summary article on the website in early Sept.

Climate debate continues: in a week where emissions trading legislation was defeated and Mandatory Renewable targets are likely to get passed, the subject of bio-sequestration also got a bit of a boost. Some MASG members have been researching bio-sequestration for a few years and the ABC ‘Late Night Live’ program had a very informative discussion on this subject. You can listen at:

Fundraising Help Wanted: MASG needs support from you to continue its important work on the issues of climate change and sustainability, including volunteers to assist in developing our program of fundraising activities and helping with specific events. In the past year MASG has run major events such as the Festival of the Wheel and the Low Energy Display Home, supplied the Wash Against Waste trailer to community events, and run food stalls and raffles. If you can help, or have an idea for a fundraising activity, please email or call Frank on 0414 410 411.

Fruit Trees and Demonstration Garden
A big thank you to those members who sponsored one or several fruit trees for our garden. The trees have been planted. Also, a very big thank you to those who were involved in the two working bees – the whole project is really starting to come together. If you missed out on the opportunity to sponsor a tree, we would be very pleased to receive donations to help us provide information about what we are doing in the garden, or to install a watering system. Donations can be tax deductible. For details, contact Peter Sansom or phone 5474 2403

Eligible for insulation rebate?
Don’t forget, the Federal Government is currently offering a rebate for installation of Ceiling Insulation of up to $1,600.  To check your eligibility and for more information see

“Insulation is the single most energy-efficient addition to your home” according to the Victorian government’s Resource Smart website.  “Save up to 45% on heating and cooling energy with roof and ceiling insulation and up to an extra 15% with wall insulation.”
Peter Gow is working with us to assist MASG members. Contact him on 0407 532 678
For more info see

Renewals Reminder: if you have been sent a renewal letter in the last few weeks, Jill and our team of keen volunteers are just waiting to process your forms! Please return with cheque to PO Box 1043 Castlemaine, or enjoy a stroll up to the Anglican Church Hall during office hours. Thank you in advance.

Office opening Hours:  MASG is located in the SE corner of the Anglican Church Hall, between Mostyn and Forest streets, near the railway bridge. We are open 1.30pm- 4.30pm on Mondays then 10am – 2pm Tuesdays to Thursdays and closed on Fridays. To make an appointment outside of those hours ring 5470 6978.

Government Advocacy Update

The MRET, the CPRS and those ‘phantom REC’s’
Thankyou to all those who responded to our call on Tuesday. No luck on the solar multiplier, though it is always worth a shot.
So what has happened in the ‘big house on the hill’?
Finally, the government has ‘de-coupled’ the mandatory renewable energy target (MRET) from the much maligned Carbon Pollution reduction Scheme (CPRS). After agreeing with some minor amendments from the opposition, the govt. will pass the MRET through the senate today.
The good news. Australia now has a 20% mandatory renewable energy target, to be achieved by 2020. This is a significant step forward for the transition to a low carbon economy! It will provide a greater degree of certainty for the renewables industry, and thus greater investment.
The not so good news. The MRET includes dubious ‘renewables’ such as coal seam methane gas, woodchips, and the completely dodgy ‘solar multiplier’! It will also provide significant compensation to energy intensive industries such as aluminium smelting. So, it is a step forward, though not as big or as bold as we would all like.
MASG will be keeping the pressure on in the lead up to Copenhagen, and especially the return of the ‘sooty’ CPRS to the ‘big house’ in November.

Want to make your voice heard on coal-fired power?“Switch off Hazelwood. Switch off Coal. Switch on Renewables” is a day of fun, creative and inspiring direct community action at Hazelwood coal power station. Organised by community members who care about climate change and are willing to take peaceful community action.
Sunday Sept. 13th. Hazelwood, Gippsland. See for more info.

International Day of Action on Climate Change.
Oct 24th, 2009. MASG intends to be a part of this international day of awareness raising. 350 refers to 350 parts per million of C02 concentration in the atmosphere. Many climate scientists say this is now considered the level of concentration required for a ‘safe’ climate future.
We need your help! A small team of committed folk are required to organize a fun, inspiring and effective event in this shire, to play our part. Please contact Mike Hall if you can help on 54706891, or

Events organised by other groups
Castlemaine Landcare Group August working bee at the new waterhole close to the start of the Happy Valley walking track. There are 500 plants to get in so if anyone can come earlier (from 9am) to help lay things out, that would be great. 10am, Sunday August 23rd. Bring:  Planting tools, mash hammers, buckets. Robin Haylett, 0408 706630 & 5470 6630
Tonks Bros invites you to a Home and Design Expo at Castlemaine Town Hall on 28th and 29th August from 10-4pm. Sustainability is on our minds too, providing information on grey water solutions, insulation, cleaning without chemicals, new paints, gardening, water efficient bathrooms and many other attractions will be on display with experts to answer your questions. Five local charities will benefit from this initiative, including a new project by Buda to involve school children in sustainable gardening.
Come and be inspired!

BudaFest 09 – Re-thinking gardening as a personal response to climate change: Friday 11th – Monday 14th September at Buda Historic Home and Garden and other Castlemaine venues.  Presentations, workshops, displays, 100 km dinner, film night, garden visits and much more.  Presenters include: *Rob Gell  *Michael McCoy  *Richard Barley  *David Holmgren  *Greg Moore  *John Arnott  *Andrew Laidlaw   *Kevin Walsh  *John Rayner  *Penny Woodward  *Helen Tuton  *Jim Norris, and many more horticultural and permacultural professionals and experienced, practical gardeners.  Details at .  Enquiries and bookings 5472 1032 or  Early-bird special prices finish on Friday 28th August.

HELLO gardeners,
Like me, you were probably very excited to hear about Castlemaine’s first Permablitz. It was a great success with more than 40 people turning up to pitch in; some over a stove, some behind a shovel and some with gifts of plants; in an excellent example of the rich pool of willing talent we have to draw from in this town.  See the website for photos and more info.
So if you wanna do it again or if you missed out the first time, get excited because it’s Castlemaine Permablitz #2!! Sunday august 23rd. Call Nikki on 0407 715 557.
Join in for your chance to have a Permablitz in your back yard.  If you volunteer your time for roughly 3 Permablitz’s at someone else’s place, you are in line to have the favour returned at your place.

Greenfaith. How can we create together in a changing climate a realistic relocalised and holistic approach to sustainability, mutual cooperation, compassion, rights, spiritualities? Come participate in a conversation on Sunday August 30 10.45 for 11-12ish Castlemaine Community House Lytleton Street, with members of Greenfaith Australia. From that conversation you may- or may not- wish to participate in planning for a pre Parliament of World Religions sustainability walk and hands on practical garden demo for 1pm -2.30pm as part of a day of welcome for International and Australian visitors to Castlemaine, Saturday 28 November. Further information from 0427204524, 54722952

Earlybird Registrations of $160 close soon for Walking Humbly, a four day journey Thursday 26-Sunday 29 November through the central Victorian watershed of the Murray river spending time listening to stories of fire, drought, justice, impacts on land towns and farms- and also having fun. Kinglake, Nagambie, Shepparton, Barmah Forest Danya centre of the Yorta Yoorta on the Murray River, Castlemaine, Bendigo, Federation Square. Visit or email

Sustainable homes tour run by the Bendigo Eco-living Centre and the Bendigo Sustainability Group. Sunday 13th September, 9:45 am to 4:00 pm. Visit houses and talk to their enthusiastic owners about how and why they have incorporated sustainable living concepts into their homes. Solar panels, solar passive design, recycled materials and productive gardens. Tour participants will travel together on small buses to minimise the impact of transport and also enable more conversations and sharing of ideas about sustainable living.  A full day event with lunch at the Eco-living centre. Cost is only $10 per person for the day, including transport and lunch.  It’s a cheap day that could help you save on your homes running costs and impact on the planet. For info: and Tamara Marwood 0428 304 544  call Wed – Friday.

Over one week 14-21 September, young people have a chance to have their say on climate change and have their say on what the Government should do. Young people will be the most affected by climate change and also have the most to gain from green jobs and new opportunities in a low-carbon economy.
Young people can register their interest and organise their own local event at a high school, university, TAFE or in their community by going to
Port Phillip Solar Tour: visit the largest solar installation in Port Phillip and learn how to have a system installed for your own sustainable home or building makeover. Lake Albert Sailing Club, Aquatic Dve., ALBERT PK. Sat 22 Aug., 10am – 12pm. Info or 9209 6548

The World March for Peace begins in Wellington NZ on Oct 2nd, then to Australia from 3-5th October.

Interesting Information and Links
Bike Parking at Station offer: The Parkiteer bike cage at Castlemaine Station isn’t a prison overflow; it has room to store twenty-six bikes. The cages are operated by a security card (there is a refundable $50 deposit payable for the card), ensuring that access is restricted to members only. As an added incentive to ride your bike to the station, the top 10 Parkiteer cage users between August 10th & September 7th will receive a Bicycle Superstore voucher to the value of $50. All you have to do is register for a spot, then ride to the cage to win! More information at or call 1300 546 526.

MASG’s E News is compiled by Mike, with volunteer assistance. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to: or PH: 5470 6978

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