Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Fortnightly News Digest, Thursday 30 April 2009

Posted on 7 May 2009 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary

• Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May: Munro Crt open days, 10am -4.30pm
• Wednesday 6th May: Crag Workshop – Local food and Production, 4-7pm
• Friday 29 May: Draft 5 yr Council Plan submissions due, 5pm

MASG News and Events

Munro Crt Sustainable Community Open days
As part of the Open Garden Scheme one of the 8 houses at Munro Crt. in Castlemaine will be open this weekend the 2nd and 3rd of May from 10am- 4.30pm with a variety of speakers on sustainable house design, landscaping and planting. Entry is $20 and refreshments will be provided by MASG volunteers as a fundraiser for the group…..and we need a few people to help out. If you can spare sometime this weekend (especially Sunday) to lend a hand and see Munro Crt please ring Deb Taylor on 0414 814 993

Solar PV update
Over 250 people attended the information night at the Town Hall on Wednesday. MASG is still taking applications to the bulk PV program and helping people get their paperwork in order, but if you are thinking about putting up PV panels make sure you get on with the paperwork to ensure you get the rebate before it ends in June.

Raffle winners
Thanks to all those who brought tickets….the prizewinners are….1st C. Riddell, 2nd Body Tonic, 3rd R&J Everett, 4th Heidi Barrett, 5th Susie Smith, 6th Greg Flynn, 7th Jordan Pick, 8th Jessica Howell
Of course 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.

Low energy solar display home closes its doors. “Elvis has left the building!”……So have Fran, Felicity, and the dedicated team of volunteers.
This high profile and highly successful MASG project has now come to an end, at least in terms of visitor open days and workshops. We have had over 1600 visitors since September 2008, far exceeding expectations! We have also run several workshops on sustainable building design and living, run tours for school groups, and other interested parties, and hosted a meeting on ‘water futures’ for the Mt. Alexander Shire Council.
The feedback on the house tours has been very positive, and it is our hope that many people have been inspired to either build or renovate using sustainable building design principles. We will certainly be collating the information gained from this project, and doing our best to make it available to members and the community in general.
A huge thank you to Fran, who managed the project, with support from a committee member and the large team of volunteers who ensured that the house was open almost every weekend for 9 months!! A fantastic effort, co-ordinated by Daniel Borton. This project was made possible by a partnership with local builder Trevor Butcher, and funding from Sustainability Victoria. We hope you had a chance to visit, and get some ideas and inspiration.

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
After a sell-out (albeit free!) first not-to-be-missed workshop on Retro-fitting, aimed at helping you reduce your household carbon emissions, we are pleased to invite you to the second of 3 CRAG workshops. All welcome!

Workshop 2, Local food & production, will bring local food/produce outlets & community together, with tips from the experts about keeping chooks, goats, rabbits & fish. Chat with locals about low-water gardening, what veggies to grow and when, and how to preserve, pickle or dry your own food. It’s the whole community networking together. Kids’ activities too, followed by a hearty shared meal of local produce and wines.
WHEN: 4-7, Wednesday 6th May
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 share. Email T 5470 6978 M 0428 751 090

Sponsor a Fruit Tree
During winter, we hope to complete the second phase of MASG’s Demonstration Garden at 233 Barker Street – the demonstration fruit ‘forest’. We will showcase a variety of growth habits and pruning techniques for fruit trees which you can grow in a small garden. For a tax deductible donation of $35, you could sponsor (and have your name associated with) one of the eight trees we will plant! We will also need financial assistance to construct trellis and fencing. For further information contact Peter Sansom (5474 2403) or call into the office.

MASG and Council Plan
The Mt. Alexander Shire Council has just released its 5 Year Council Plan for public comment. MASG will be reviewing the plan and making a submission on how it stacks up with the council commitment to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in this Shire.
We could encourage as many of our members as possible to review the plan and put in a submission and will provide some advice in the next e-news for those who wish to do so.
Submissions are due by 5pm 29 May 2009 .For more details of how to submit see or to download the draft plan

Events organised by other groups
Advocacy on Feed in Tariffs
Environment Victoria is leading a campaign to amend the Victorian Solar Feed in Tariff legislation to make it effective. IF you want to take action to save Victoria’s solar future you can send an email to Victorian Liberal Party Leader Ted Baillieu asking the Liberal party amend the bill in the upper house and support a real incentive to drive the uptake of solar power in Victoria.

Go to Environment Victoria’s website at:
to send a letter to Ted Baillieu and if you would like more information about the Solar Feed-In Tariff visit

Newstead Water Futures
A COMMUNITY FORUM on Sustainable water options for communities and the environment at a time of climate change with GAVIN HANLON – Managing Director of Coliban Water, PHIL DYSON – Regional hydrogeologist and groundwater expert and JULIET LE FEUVRE – Healthy Rivers Campaigner with Environment Victoria Newstead Community Centre. Tuesday 19th May 7pm for a 7.30 start
RSVP via email to or 5476293

National Tree Planting Day
Castlemaine Landcare Group invites MASG members to join them on National Tree Planting Day on Sunday August 2nd. Put it in your diary now, details to follow later.

Changing Climate, Changing Communities
A forum on Engaging communities about adapting and responding to climate change.
Presented by IAP2 Australasia on 31st July 2009 in Melbourne. For more see

Interesting Information and Links

Bike Paths and Leadership
The Danish Government will spend $171 million on new bike facilities and promotion in a bid to lift commuting by bike to 50% of all workers by 2015. As we all know if we build the facilities then people will cycle. If you want to see more about the bike capital of the world, where Copenhageners cycle over 800,000 km EVERY DAY go to the very funky blog

China’s wind-power boom to outpace nuclear by 2020
2009 China will have 100 gigawatts of wind-power capacity by 2020 more than three times the 30 GW target the government laid down in an energy strategy drawn up just 18 months ago. For more details see

Spending the Stimulus on Sustainability
As our government rolls out its $900 cash payments to Australian taxpayers as part of its economic stimulus package the folk at ACF we’re thinking you might have preferred that the money was spent on tackling climate change and so have suggested the following ways to act on climate change while stimulating the economy:
Install a water tank – check out the Save Water website for advice on installing the right tank for you. (Remember, you might be eligible for a government rebate
Sign up to Government-accredited GreenPower – check out Green Electricity Watch for the best options in your state.
Put the funds towards installing insulation or a solar hot water system with the assistance of the Government’s Energy Efficient Homes Package
• If you’re planning on upgrading appliances, remember to look for the stars and efficiency labels. Check out the Australian Conservation Foundation’s shopping tips and consumption atlas for more information.
Green Jobs are the future
Environment Victoria recently held a Victorian Green jobs summit with Brotherhood of St Laurence. Over 200 community leaders heard that 26,000 jobs could be created in five industries with the right investment and policy shifts.Presenters included Sharan Burrow, Evan Thornley, Minister Jacinta Allan, John Thwaites amongst others. The Environment Victoria commissioned report can be downloaded from

Just for these troubled financial times…
“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”
Mark Twain

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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