Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Fortnightly News Digest, Friday 17 April 2009

Posted on 17 April 2009 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary

* Monday 20th April MASG raffle drawn
* Wednesday 22nd April: Solar PV meeting 7 PM Castlemaine Town Hall
* Wednesday 22nd April: CRAG Workshop Retrofitting, 4-7pm

MASG News and Events

Messages from Mike, MASG Executive Officer.

Changes to the staff structure at MASG.
As many of you will know, MASG is experiencing the ‘crunch’ of the financial slow down as are most organisations, especially small NGO’s. To maintain our current cash flow, and in preparation for ‘leaner times’, the Committee has made the reluctant decision to reduce the number of paid staff hours, at least for the remainder of this financial year.
This will mean a number of changes, most notably for members will be that Jill’s smiling face and welcoming voice will only grace our front office for 3 days each week from May 4th. Her new days will be initially be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We may also be able to open on Mondays with the help of our committed volunteers.

The irrepressible Dean Bridgfoot will keep us all on our intellectual ‘toes’ for 2 days a week, and hopefully share around his heart warming hugs also.
Jayson is powering on at four days, squashing in 2 months work into one, prior to taking leave in mid May. Deanna is working on with the Crags project, and Fran is almost ready to wrap up the Demo house project! (Please donate wrapping paper to help her with this, it’s a big house!).

MASG financial situation.
Can you help us to help the community, and the planet?
As you gather from the above, we are in a ‘tight spot’ financially for the next few months at least. While we are working hard to develop projects that will deliver an income to keep us thriving, such as the bulk solar PV program, they are yet to become a reality in terms of income. There are also many other projects that we hope to continue, such as the Maines power project, or to establish in the future, that will only be possible with an increase in funds.
If you believe in our vision for a carbon neutral shire by 2020, and are able to help us financially in the near future, please contact us! All donations large and small will be welcomed, and well-spent. (They are also tax-deductible). Feel free to pass on Mr. Rudds ‘stimulus spending’ to MASG. We will put it to good use, for this community, and the global community as well.

Contact us.
Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
233 Barker St. (PO Box 1043)
Castlemaine VIC 3450
PH. Main Office 5470 6978
Web site
To Donate, click on the link below.
I hope your Easter has been relaxing, safe and peaceful. I will leave you with some wise words from a veteran champion of sustainability, Mr. Frank Fisher.
“Just don’t do it”. (IE. In our consumer society, it’s what we choose not to do that can have the greatest effect in reducing our environmental impact.

A huge thankyou to all the volunteers who have kept the solar House open and welcomed over 1500 visitors to date! Also those who have helped in the office, with the stalls, with the garden, with the bike hire and the Wash against Waste trailer, and so many other things. The real strength of MASG is in the strength of you, our members and committed volunteers. You are much needed and valued to achieve our vision.
With kind regards
Mike Hall

Last chance to buy Raffle tickets! A wonderful set of prizes have been obtained with the generous support of local businesses and tourism operators. In particular, our major prize will provide a real treat for the lucky winner, comprising luxury accommodation, meals, movie tickets, steam train tickets, CDs, gardening supplies and wine. You can buy tickets at many places around town – and of course at the MASG office.
Other prizes include a water filter, dinner voucher, steam train tickets, a chiropractic pillow, and a variety of vouchers from local retailers. Raffle tickets are on sale now at a cost of $2 each or 3 for $5. The raffle will be drawn on Monday 20 April.
You can buy tickets at many places around town – and of course at the MASG office.
And please support our generous donors of raffle prizes including:
Midland Hotel, Theatre Royal, Albion Hotel, Wesley Hill Bakehouse, Victorian Goldfields Railway, Taylor Chiropractic, Bold Garden Nursery, Listening Earth, Down to Earth, She Sells Seafood, Blackjack Winery and Stoneman’s Bookroom.
Frank Forster, Committee Member M: 0414 410 411

Low Energy Solar Display Home
Don’t miss your last chance to see the Solar House! It’s open on the 18th and 19th April between 11 and 3pm. There will be a BBQ at the house for all those who have been involved in the project from 4pm on Sunday 19th. Food provided but please BYO crockery and cutlery. RSVP

Wanted – a small team of people who enjoy a chat with like minded people and a good cup of tea: As part of the Greenpower project MASG are currently running, we need to send out 1000 surveys to a random sample of residents in our shire. We are seeking people with quick and sure hands to fold the surveys and insert them in envelopes. At a guess it will probably take a team of 3 people about half a day although the more people that can help the more quickly it will be done. Please contact Jayson on 5470 6978 or if you are interested.

CRAGS Workshops
We’re pleased to launch the first of 3 not-to-be-missed workshops aimed at helping you reduce your household carbon emissions. All welcome.
Workshop 1, Retro-fitting, will help you find ways to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. You will learn about some of the products, services and businesses available locally, how products work and how to install them. Chat with local tradies, business outlets and locals with tips to share. Kids’ activities too, followed by a hearty shared meal of local produce and wines.
WHEN: 4-7, Wednesday 22nd April
WHERE: Anglican Church Hall, Agitation Hill (between Forest & Mostyn Streets, Castlemaine)
RSVPs essential for catering and kids’ activity planning. Let us know if you are interested in participating as a tradie, local business or have a good tip to bring along. Email T 5470 6978 M 0428 751 090

A Climate Change get together is taking place from 2-4pm this Sunday at the home of Roger Davies. He is hoping a MASG member can come along and give a short presentation on the role MASG plays in our community. After this, there will then be a panel discussion and a general chat with some food and music. If you are interested in going along as the MASG rep or just to be involved in the day please contact Roger on 5472 4431.

Events organised by other groups

Changing the Dream Symposium, Saturday 18th April
How do you feel about what you see in the daily news about climate change, rising food prices globally and rising suicide rates in Australia? Are you wondering how we can resolve the emerging challenges of the 21st century
The Symposium addresses the big questions: Where are we ‘at’ in the world, in terms of environmental sustainability, spiritual fulfillment and social justice? How did we get here? How can we change course? How can individuals make a difference? Designed with the collaboration of some of the finest scientific, indigenous and activist minds in the world, the Symposium explores the current state of our planet from a new perspective, and connects participants with a powerful global movement to reclaim our future. See for more about the Symposium’s content, background and other available dates.
Where: Seminar Room, B-Central, 45 Mundy St, Bendigo
When: Saturday 18th April, 12noon to 6pm
Cost: $10 donation to cover costs. Space is limited, so please RSVP.
Contact: Karen Corr: M 0419 006 243 or email:

Castlemaine Landcare Group – a “Rubbish walk” on Sunday 19th April
Further information; Robin Haylett, Castlemaine Landcare Group Projects Co-Ordinator: 0408 706630 & 5470 6630

Exploring the Fungi KingdomThe workshop includes an illustrated seminar providing an introduction to the identification, natural and cultural history of fungi. In the afternoon there will be a foray into a variety of local forests to search for species of interest.
There will also be a display of local specimens and resources, as well as opportunity to partake in active discussion.
Workshop Dates and Location
Saturday 25th April Woodend, Sunday 26th April Woodend
Bookings: 5427 4027 or

Growing the Harvest Celebration and Communal Lunch Sunday 26th April at Anglican Church Hall 11.30am
An open invitation to the community to join in celebrating this years harvest at the Anglican Church Hall.
Church Service and blessing of the bread 10.30 at the Anglican Church followed by a dance from Thais and the children of the South School at 11.30 in the Church Hall and 12.00 community lunch.
Bring pumpkin soup to add to the communal pot
Gold coin donation (proceeds to the local homeless)
Produce exchange in the old Sunday school room (tbc) bring your home grown produce to exchange.
Further Details: Helena Read 0400 062 930 or Ken Parker 5472 1137.

Interesting Information and Links

The Down to Earth Store now having an online store. For delivery anywhere in Australia, go to this link.
All local deliveries will be by bicycle courier, Bike Express.

Extraordinary loads on ordinary bikes

US President plants garden

What Can Occur In A Pond During Winter?
What would happen to a garden pond if nothing was done for winter? Click here to read more.


“Any difficulties which the world faces today will be as nothing compared to the full effects which global warming will have on the world-wide economy. We have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change, and the unimaginable horrors that this would bring.” Prince Charles: March, 2009

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

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