Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Fortnightly News Digest, July 23, 2009

Posted on 23 July 2009 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary
Michael Reynolds, the Garbage Warrior will be at Capital Theatre, View Street, Bendigo on Saturday 25 July at 3pm. $33. Phone 03 9650 3963.  
Sustainability, Leadership and Change workshop. July 26th, Dayleford 930-530 pm
MASG food garden working Bee. Sat. August 1st. (see below).
MASG Special General Meeting, 630pm and Members forum at 6.45pm, August 7th, Uniting Church Hall, Castlemaine. Followed by Mark Diesendorf talk and book launch. 7.30pm (details below).
‘Earth Matters’ Climate Change Forum. Ballarat, sat. 8th August, 12 to 5.15pm.

Demonstration Food Garden: Spring is coming and many members will know of our demonstration food garden at the rear of 233 Barker Street, Castlemaine. The rainwater tanks are full, and plans are in place to complete the project. The fruit trees have arrived and there will be a Working Bee on Saturday 1st August, 9am – 12noon. If you would like to renew your involvement, or become involved for the first time (or you have any questions), please contact Peter Sansom at 5474 2403 or email This will help in planning the work program for the day.

Sponsor a Fruit Tree: Fruit trees for the MASG Demonstration Garden have arrived and are awaiting your sponsorship – tax deductible of course! For this planting, we have apples, pears, apricots, a nectarine, a plum and a cherry. These trees will demonstrate different types of rootstocks and growing and pruning techniques. There are 5 trees @ $22.00, 3 trees @ $44.50 and 1 tree @$29.50. Your sponsorship can be acknowledged on ‘your’ tree, if you wish. To arrange a sponsorship, please contact Peter Sansom at 5474 2403 or email

MASG Combined General Meeting and Members’ Forum: Friday 7th August, at 6.30pm, Uniting Church Hall, Castlemaine. A Special General Meeting is not the AGM, but is needed to adopt some constitutional changes about membership categories that reflect MASG’s growth and evolution. 6.45pm. The Members’ Forum gives an update to members on the achievements of recent months, and our plans for the next 12 months! Followed by a talk on climate change activism by leading academic, Dr Mark Diesendorf, – see below for details. Please RSVP to , or call us on 5470 6978.

Dr Mark Diesendorf Back in Castlemaine! Friday 7th August, 7-30pm, Uniting Church Hall.
In November 2007 the Uni of NSW’s Dr Mark Diesendorf inspired over 200 people with a great speech for MASG members and supporters. Since then Mark has been researching local action groups and the result is an inspiring book, Climate Action – How Citizens Acting Together Can Save the Planet. This will be no ordinary book launch – it’s a call to non-violent action by all of us to exert collective pressure through grass-roots climate, social justice, student, faith, trade union, business and professional groups. Details of the book at

CRAGS resource guides: an extensive web-resource to help you pinpoint local food, retro-fitting and transport options available in our Shire, to help you reduce your ‘carbon footprint’. – see the CRAG link. More contributions are welcome to

Federal Government Insulation/Solar Hot Water Rebate update: while it is not possible to qualify for both rebates through the Federal program, there is still a state government rebate available for solar hot water systems. Therefore, people who use the federal government rebate to install insulation can still use the state government rebate for solar hot water.   For more information visit this website. Sustainability Vic –

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.

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.

Staff movements. Dean will be off to Scotland to visit his family as part of his annual leave and whilst there will be doing a busman’s holiday visiting some community based sustainability projects in Scotland. He will back in early September.

Dear Old Tri-shaw Gone Missing
MASG’s  much loved tri-shaw has been taken from the MASG garden.  It disappeared on the weekend of the 11th/12 of July. The tri-shaw was purchased last year by some MASG members who wanted to promote cycle power in the town.  It has been a source of fundraising for MASG and a source of fun rides for young and old at a number of the town’s festivals.  It has created a lot of interest from locals and from tourists. If you know anything of its whereabouts could you please phone the office on 54 706978.

Events organised by other groups
Towards Zero Net Emissions – a regional approach – today, July 23rd in Bendigo. A joint event between our local Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action which covers the northern part of metro Melbourne. (we hope some of you are already planning to attend this event, and can let us know the outcomes!)

“Sustainability, Leadership and Change” Social Ecology Workshop with Prof Stuart Hill. Sunday 26th July. A rare opportunity to attend a day-long workshop in Daylesford. Short presentations will be followed by experiential learning to enable you to focus on YOUR specific situations, outcomes and the means for achieving them.  Daylesford Town Hall, Sunday 26th July 9.30am to 5.30pm, $40 (includes lunch) Bookings – call Su on 5348 3636 or PS. If you are able to offer a lift to this, please call Mike on 54706891.

Bushfire recovery SOS: Clare and Win’s property near Redesdale burnt on Black Saturday. They are now putting up a rammed earth shed to replace 3 of those that burned. Able bodied help would be very much appreciated. In return, frequent, wholesome food and shared know how in rammed earth construction. Please phone 54 234 152 with any offers.

Climate Emergency Network and the Climate Action Centre meeting – Saturday 25th July, 1- 5pm at the Climate Action Centre – 5th floor rear building – Trades Hall, Lygon St Carlton. Agenda includes: Report from groups and on rally 13th June, Future actions – Hazelwood, <350 campaign, Copenhagen discussion and planning. Fundraiser Film Night for BudaFest 09. Saturday 8th August, 8.00pm, $15.00, at the Theatre Royal. BudaFest 09 is a major sustainable gardening festival being held from 11th – 14th September. Details at  Enquiries and bookings: 5472 1032  Early bird tickets are now on sale.

Run for a Safe Climate, is a 6000-kilometre relay down the eastern seaboard by 35 emergency service workers who fear they will have to put their lives on the line as climate becomes more hostile. The route is from the Daintree in North Queensland down the east coast then the Murray River to Adelaide and the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. It is timed to finish just before the world’s leaders gather for the crucial United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.

The Garbage Warrior: architect Michael Reynolds has been teaching the world how to live sustainably for 40 years and inspired the documentary The Garbage Warrior. For the first time in Australia, he’s at Capital Theatre, View Street, Bendigo on Saturday 25 July at 3pm. $33. phone 03 9650 3963.  

Mount Alexander Community Land Trust (MACLT), PUBLIC MEETING, 5 pm. Thursday 23rd July 2009. Senior Citizens Rooms, Mechanics Lane Castlemaine.  Refreshments served.  GUEST SPEAKER DR LOUISE CRABTREE University of Western Sydney, Urban Research Centre.  Anyone interested in hearing about, assisting with, donating to, living in, buying Affordable Housing, without buying ther land component is invited to attend. Why buy house and land when you can buy the house without the land? Grace McCaughey 5472 1128

Plant some trees! It is a good time to add a few fruit and/or nut trees to the world. It is even more fun to plant with others. How about organising a site for National Tree Day, Sunday 2nd August. Planet Ark has useful references and support. Find out more at
Interesting Information and Links
Community Gardening Castlemaine. One of the activities of Transition Mount Alexander [TMA] is a community gardening group. The group want to identify planting sites for fruit trees where they will be watered and cared for by yourself or a neighbour. They are also calling for help from someone with a legal background to advise on guidelines for gardening in someone else’s yard. They produce a newsletter in the middle of each month. To subscribe or send information about events, ideas, proposals, email:

Scientists in Schools is an Australian Government initiative, and uses a broad definition of ‘scientist’ that includes professionals working in or retired from a science or engineering-related area. There are currently a large number of rural and metropolitan schools around Australia who are registered but not currently matched with a scientist. A full list of schools is available on the website at . If you would like to be partnered with one of these schools seeking your expertise, please register!

Victoria proving the dirtiest state
Adam Morton
July 21, 2009

VICTORIA is the least climate-friendly state — home to three of Australia’s four dirtiest power stations and none of the 12 biggest renewable energy plants.
An analysis by the Climate Group, an international think-tank, found less than 2 per cent of electricity generated in Victoria last year was from clean sources. Brown coal accounted for 94 per cent of electricity, with gas making up the other 4 per cent.

Victoria’s largest renewable energy generator was not a purpose-built power station, but the Maryvale pulp and paper mill, which produces energy on site and feeds a small amount into the grid. It was ranked the 13th-biggest renewable power generator in the eastern states, generating 166,000 megawatt hours, or just 0.003 per cent of the state’s total electricity.

Climate Group Australia director Rupert Posner said the analysis was a wake-up call.
“What’s clear is we need to rapidly scale up renewable energy,” he said. “It is far too small a part of the energy mix.” The analysis found Victoria lagged behind other eastern states in renewable energy generation. Clean power sources make up 13 per cent of the electricity mix in South Australia, 6 per cent in NSW and 3 per cent in Queensland.

Mr Posner said there was not enough renewable energy in the country.
A large chunk of our renewable energy to date has come from large- scale hydro projects,” he said.

The analysis comes as the Federal Government tries to push through the Senate its renewable energy target, requiring 20 per cent of electricity to come from clean sources by 2020. The target is supported by the Liberal Party, but stalled after the Government made an industry compensation package contingent on its controversial emissions trading scheme also being passed.

Environment Victoria campaigns director Mark Wakeham said more renewable energy projects were being developed, but the analysis showed the state was on an unsustainable path. He said Victoria’s main problem was its continued support of brown coal. Its increased use led to emissions from electricity rising 1 per cent last year.
The Loy Yang A, Hazelwood and Yallourn W power stations, all in the Latrobe Valley, were found to be among the highest-emitting plants in the country.

It’s very easy in the climate change debate to point the finger at different countries around the world … but when we’ve got some of the largest polluting power stations supplying the majority of our electricity, the onus is on us to take action very quickly,” Mr Wakeham said.
Victoria can expect an influx of wind power. It has just 427 megawatts of wind power, but 1558 megawatts more has been approved with 2424 megawatts at various stages of planning.

A large solar plant near Mildura and a hydro plant at Bogong are also in development.
Government spokeswoman Emma Tyner said the state renewable energy target had attracted $2 billion in investment and would create more than 2000 jobs.

MASG’s E News is compiled fortnightly on Thursdays by Mike. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to: or PH: 5470 6978, no later than the Wednesday of the week of publication.

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