Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Fortnightly News Digest, Friday 6th March 2009

Posted on 6 March 2009 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary
* Friday 6th March Tradies Session at the Low Energy Display House – 4-6pm
* Sunday 8th March – MASG Wash against Waste trailer at Taradale Mineral Springs Festival, 10-4pm
* Saturday 21st March Regional Victorian Climate Action Summit in Daylesford
* Friday 27th March – visit to Federal Member Steve Gibbons office
* Sunday 5th April – MASG WAW trailer and Information Stall at the KR Family Fun day at the Botanic Gardens – last day of the Festival.

MASG News and Events

Regional Victorian Climate Action Summit
Local people speaking out about climate change & stepping into advocacy and politics
IF you’re feeling frustrated, angry, inspired or ignorant, and want to see our political leaders and decision makers helping us rather than hindering us, then this is for you.
WHERE: Daylesford Town Hall
DATE: March 21st
TIME: 9.30am to 4pm

Come on MASG members, put this into your diaries and get to Daylesford in numbers. MASG is playing a leading role in organizing this. This is your chance to meet with people from Ballarat, Bendigo, Daylesford and across regional Victoria as we work together to plan actions that will help our decision makers and politicians take real action on climate change.
This is brief outline of the summit event :
* GROUP MEDIA EVENT-music and filming for wider release
This day will be framed and facilitated so that real, achievable outcomes with leaders/contact people arise from these discussions.
As Nick Lanyon from BREAZE said to members when urging them to go to the Daylesford summit: “it’s time to put the ACT into activism and we want to be counted”. Let’s make sure we have dozens of MASG members there too.
The Summit has its own website, which will be the clearing house for all info about the 21st March event. The site will be open for business from Friday 6 March, and will be updated frequently, so add it to your bookmarks.
MASG still needs help with the summit on the following jobs:
* Coordinator of local flyer distribution
* Coordinator of transport (car pooling/minibus etc) options for Castlemaine/Maldon/Newstead etc
* Volunteering on the day to help with set up/bump out
To volunteer or for details contact Dean on 54706978 or email

March 27th Visit Federal Member Steve Gibbons Office: we want you to come !!!People from Maldon, Castlemaine, Bendigo and elsewhere will be converging on the Bendigo office of federal member for Bendigo Steve Gibbons on March 27th to ask him to scrap the currently fatally flawed CPRS (Carbon Pollution Re-allocation Scheme ) and to work for serious action on climate change. Steve has indicated he supports greater action but has not to date spoken up in parliament or within his party. The visit will be asking him to commit publically to serious emission reduction and renewable energy targets and to support his electorate on this crucial issue.
If you want to take part, contact Wendy on 5475 1067 or Dean on 5470 6825. Assistance prior to the event to make some banners would be gratefully accepted, so if you have some time or artistic merit please let us know. Click here to see a good information site.

MASG Members Forum 25th February
* The evening kicked off with Dean Bridgfoot giving a passionate summary of his attendance at the National Climate Summit. Dean, who represented MASG in Canberra, spoke about the discontent within the environmental movement with the Federal Govt. action on climate change. He highlighted the need for direct political action to influence future Govt. decisions.
* Mike Hall gave a progress report on the various projects we are involved in.
* Jim Norris spoke about the tightening financial position that MASG finds itself in. Like most organizations dependant on donors, sponsors and grants, we are finding it difficult in a contracting economy.
The need for MASG to remain active whilst responding to the current financial situation was discussed.
Members took the opportunity to ask questions and express their point of view on a wide range of issues including;
* Building relationships with like minded groups within Mt Alex Shire.
* Take up opportunities presented by cross pollination with other groups.
* Increasing the membership/spreading the word about climate change
* Cohousing and community gardens
* Need to stay in the conversation on the water situation.
* Look at various funding opportunities
* Greater understanding of our membership
This input from members was used by Board members at their strategic planning meeting last Saturday.

MASG at the Castlemaine State Festival
Castlemaine is gearing up for the Festival which starts in just over 3 weeks time.
As part of the MASG contribution to the carbon neutral push at the Castlemaine State Festival, we have offered the Wash Against Waste service for the KR Family Fun Day in the Botanic gardens on Sunday 5th April.
Those of you who remember the first MASG Wash Against Waste effort in the gardens at the Festival of 2007 will understand that this is a very symbolic return to the scene – with our own brand new trailer! This is where the MASG WAWT project started.
To do the job we need help. Anyone who can offer an hour or two on the wash-up team would be very welcome.
We will also have an information stall, and really need some more volunteers to join our stalls team. This is a great way to publicise the work of MASG and encourage people to join our group, as well as enjoy the fun of the final day of the 2009 Castlemaine Festival. Interested? Email or leave your name and contact details with Jill at the MASG office on 5470 6978.

CRAGs Update
About 20 households have pledged to become Craggers, which means they have been assisted in measuring their last year’s household emissions so they can work in an informed way to reduce them further in 2009. Congratulations to those who have already contacted MASG to do this; anyone interested in becoming Craggers can call or email Deanna: For information on what it means to buy Green Energy go to this website.and to explore bulk buying opportunities for energy efficient products see the next item.

Bulk Buying for Clear Comfort (Double Glazing)
MASG has organised with the Castlemaine Down to Earth Store to offer you the opportunity to purchase ClearComfort DIY window insulation as part of a bulk purchase order. This insulation keeps heat where you and your family need it most: warmth inside your house in winter, and outside in summer. The ClearComfort system provides the energy savings of double-glazing at a fraction of the cost! For more information contact Karen at the DTE Store, 227 Barker Street Castlemaine, email or phone 5472 5032 to register your interest. For more information about the Clear Comfort system go to this website.

Bike Club
Expressions of interest are invited for a bike club membership offering monthly maintenance opportunities and give-aways. Please email Deanna at MASG with your level of interest or availability to volunteer your maintenance skills:

MASG Publicity – Help Required
We are about to undertake an ‘update’ of our Information Stall and other publicity materials and would really like to build up a bank of digital photos. If you have photographs of any MASG events which you think might be suitable please contact
Peter Sansom at or ring 5474 2403.

Low Energy Solar Display Home
There will be a Tradies afternoon this Friday from 4-6pm, a good chance for all local tradespeople to chat to builder, Trevor Butcher.
During March, the opening hours for the house will be Saturdays and Sundays 11-3pm.

MASG member, Nada Smark, thoughts on the fires – courtesy of Phillip Adams in the Weekend Australian Magazine 28th February 2009.
When I read his article I was inspired and moved to reflect on the meaning a significance of his words, in particular what are the implications for how I live and how we are in community with each other.
“Communal energies released by the fires intensified a sense of mutual responsibility.”
“Fire turned the incremental nature of change into an urgent, overwhelming catastrophe.”
This final point is not verbatim. “These fires were beyond belief, beyond bearing, beyond description,” and somehow (either because or despite of this) resulted in a sense of community being created even as the community was being destroyed.

Events organised by other groups

Harcourt Apple Festival, 6th – 8th March For further information click here.

Taradale Mineral Springs Festival Sunday 8th March, 10am-4pm. The Wash against Waste trailer from MASG will be used at the festival. The WAW process will help reduce the amount of waste food, packaging and plates/cups going to landfill by providing food stalls with access to reusable crockery. M: 0417 547 270 for more information

Rural Women in a changing climate
Meet other women from MAS and discuss the drought and climate change form a female perspective. Tuesday 10th March, from 10:30 to 2:30pm. Carpooling can be arranged. Food and drink provided. To RSVP ring Philippa on: 5471 1744

Help the ATA with its advocacy on the Victorian feed-in tariff IF you have installed a PV system between 2.1 and 5kw then please contact Damien Moyse at the Alternative Technology Association at or ph: 9631 5417.

Bushdance at Newstead Community Centre: Saturday 14th March
7.30PM. $10 a head, children under 12 years free, starring Newstead Bush Band and Flying Tongue Kiss. Food by donation. This is an echo fundraiser.

Soap Making Workshop: Sunday 15th March 10-2pm, Castlemaine.
Making your own soap at home is easy, sustainable, environmentally friendly to you, me and the planet. Contact Jill Gibson 5472 3098 for bookings and enquiries.

Cyclists and supporters of cycling for whatever reason…..
Join us on Wednesday 25th March 7pm-9pm, Ray Bradfield Room
Gathering to discuss everything related to cycling in our Shire including community consultation and strategic cycling plan. This will be the first meeting to start pulling together community members who seriously want to see something done in regards to cycling. Enquiries or questions …speak to Jill Gibson 54723098

Live EconoSpaceMaking Workshop presented by Peter Cowman, director of the Living Architecture Centre, the internet school of architecture who is currently in Australia. Learn how to design and build a low-impact, low-cost, sustainable cabin
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March from 10am to 5pm.
Details or phone 03 9005 5833 (local call rates apply)

Connecting Country and The Norman Wettenhall Foundation Brush-tailed Phascogale Competition: Have you seen a Phascogale (Tuan) in the Mount Alexander region? Tell us about it and go into the draw to win some great prizes. To enter, and then click on the Spatial Vision link. You will be taken to the interactive mapping section. Search for Mount Alexander and zone in on your patch to enter info. Competition closes 26th March 2009. The prizes will be drawn at the Connecting Country Reference Group meeting that night.

Free Indigenous Seed Collection workshop: Friday 27th March from 10-4pm at Sawpit Rd Creswick. Register by 24th March – ph: 5345 2200 or email:

Interesting Information and Links

A reminder about the benefits of Greenpower
There was an interesting article on Greenpower in Monday’s Age, p6, which describes how Greenpower uptake is increasing. Victoria has an excellent record when it comes to Greenpower, having 37% of greenpower customers compared with only 25% of the population.
The article is a good reminder of the benefits Greenpower offers to households wishing to reduce their emissions. At the stroke of a pen, a 100% Greenpower product enables around 8t of GHG per household (ie all household electricity) to be mitigated. Greenpower products are also available from some retailers for businesses, community groups and schools.

A petition that underpins this. “Kevin Rudd, do your bit to fight climate change and let me do mine”

Train as a Home Sustainability Assessors with Bendigo Eco Living Centre
Local community members are invited to submit their expression of interest to undertake an accredited training course in Home Sustainability Assessment, valued at $2000, in exchange for volunteer time to assist households to become more sustainable. The course will run for three days, starting Friday 13 March 2009, Friday 20th March and Friday 27th March.
For more information or to register your interest contact Tamara Marwood, or 0428 304 544.

Well worth reading or listening time:


History repeats itself, until we make different choices. Stephanie Austen

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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