Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Good news coming your way

Posted on 10 November 2011 by e-news

MASG news


Wednesday, November 30th 2011from 7pm @ Ray Bradfield Rooms.

Nominations are invited for three committee positions.  Nomination forms are available for download HERE.Nomination Form AGM 2011 (29Kb)

Please return nomination forms no later than November 22nd  to the MASG office or email

The AGM will be followed by a Special Weather Report! and Supper.

Is Lord Monckton making a guest appearance at the MASG AGM ?

Jarra Hicks, our new community wind worker will report on the prevailing winds of change in wind farms and share her extensive knowledge of community engagement and community owned wind farms. THEN, we have a whirlwind line-up of the peaks and troughs of climate change,brought to you via our favourite climate change cartoons, satire and youtube clips.  Join us for a great evening!
Please RSVP for catering to 5470 6978 by Monday, 28th November to

The new-look Comfy Homes website: launching at the Tradies’ Expo

Thursday 10th November from 3.30-6.30pm at Castlemaine Football & Netball Clubrooms, Camp Reserve, Castlemaine.
The Comfy Homes Sustainable Building Tradies’ Expo, make it your business to check it out and support our local suppliers, businesses and tradies.
For more information phone Deanna, 5470 6978 or Email:

A new phase for the Community Wind project!

The Community Wind project is getting out there and getting active!  This weekend you will see our volunteers holding a community information stall at the Wesley Hill Market – come say hello!  The wind project is embarking on a new phase of community engagement to let the broader community know about our vision for a community-owned wind park.  At this stage in the project we are hoping to gauge community interest and support for the project and to let people know how they can be involved in designing and guiding the project.

2. Become a Wind project member and/or Volunteer

Support the wind project, become a member! To move the project forward, we need to have broad community support, it is very important that everyone who shares the vision of clean, renewable, community-owned energy becomes a member of Mount Alexander Community Wind. To become a member please drop into the MASG office or come see us at Wesley Hill this Saturday.  Online membership will be available soon on the MASG website.

We are also looking volunteers to help us with information stalls and with data entry a few hours a week.  If you are keen to contribute a bit of time to the Community Wind project, please email Jarra at  We really appreciate it!  Together we can do great things.

3.And MASG is at the launch of Hepburn Wind Farm

Community Wind is laughing in Hepburn Shire

We were blown away by the amazing show put on at the Hepburn Community Wind launch festival last Saturday.  With gorgeous weather and 750 other folk, MASG members spent the day under Hepburn Wind’s two majestic turbines.  There was only a gentle breeze at ground level but up at 70m, where the turbines are, the wind was enough to power all the houses of the nearby township of Daylesford.
MASG Community Wind volunteers held an information stall at the event to spread the vision of a similar project in Mt Alexander Shire. 

A great launch of Australia’s First community owned wind farm,  read more on the Hepburn Wind website

MASG Food Production Group Hub Plot Jottings

1.Wicking Garden Bed Workshop

30 people attended our wicking garden workshop last Saturday.  Peter Sansom’s presentation was extremely informative – giving a great background on the principles of wicking and then a practical demonstration as the group assisted him assemble a wicking bed in a wooden fruit box. 

Peter wows the crowd with his wicked wicking bed wisdom !

Thanks to the volunteers who helped organise this event: Peter, Pam, Catherine, Heather, Jan and Bill.  If you’d like further information about how we are making the wicking bed please drop into the garden on Monday mornings, and one of the gardening group can explain.

2.Woodend Field Visit

Monday the 14th of November the garden group are going on a field trip to visit a permaculture property at Woodend.  If you would like further information about this field trip please phone Heather on 0409 327791.

3. And in the Hub Plot

It’s a very busy time in the garden in November with preparation for planting and for planting all the summer vegetables.  There’s also fruit to be thinned on the trees. 

At the Hub Plot we are progressing the building of a new wicking bed and the building of a chook run.  We are also excited about the planting out of the seedlings we’ve raised in our hot-house, including tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, lettuces and beetroot.
The Hub Plot, MASG’s food production garden group, meets each Monday  from 9 a.m and always have a cuppa at 11 am to garden and to exchange produce, recipes & seedlings. We also conduct garden/food related workshops and go on some interesting field trips.Feel free to drop in and join in or for further information email  Peter at  or phone Heather on 0409 327791.

MASG welcomes carbon price “Clean Energy Future” Legislation as good start but more needed

About 30 MASG members greated the passage of the carbon price legislation in the Senate on Tuesday evening in the Hub Garden as a good first step in taking action on global warming. While they were happy to celebrate this milestone we all knew that  much more will be needed if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change. 

The world’s poorest people, who had contributed least to climate change, were already suffering its from the effects of climate change which is exacerbating droughts and food shortages and making extreme weather events more frequent and violent. For example it is predicted that the  average prices of staple foods, such as maize, will increase by between 120 and 180 per cent by 2030 and that up to half of this increase will be driven by climate change.
As the driest continent on earth Australia is also one of the Countries that is likely to suffer most by climate change and MASG believes that Australia has failed to recognise this fact and  to contribute its fair share to global efforts to fight climate change.

But this legislation is a crucial first step in the right direction.

So while putting a price on carbon is a vital first step in reducing our emissions MASG believes that further measures will be required in Australia if we are to reduce our emissions in line with what the science requires.

MASG Committee and staff against more pokies in Castlemaine

The MASG committee and staff do not support the Maryborough Highland Society proposal for more pokies in Castlemaine and are signing onto an open letter organised by EPIC.

You may wish to lodge an objection...but get onto NOW !

 We believe that Poker machines would not offer any social, economic or environmental benefit to our community and would actively harm many of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Members of MASG may wish to read further about this issue on the EPIC – Enough Pokies in Castlemaine website.

Submissions on the Proposal to the Victorian Gambling Regulator close this Friday the 11th. If you wish to make a submission against the proposal you can do so via the  EPIC link here.

Other Local News

Food glorious food continues on from last newsletter….

1. Growing Abundance invites you to the launch of the  Local Produce Guide, the Low Food Miles Logo & Farmers’ Story Boards

Thursday 24 November @ Historic Market Building Castlemaine from  11.30am with  the Iron Chef meets Naked Chef & Guest Speakers
The Local Produce Guide is available for purchase from local greengrocers Shire wide:

info and RSVP, contact Ellen Madigan tel: 54724842

2. Workshops on Working Together to Grow Healthy Fruit

Learn how to keep fruit fly under check in our area

Local orchardists, Growing Abundance and the Mount Alexander Shire Council are working together to help protect and improve the fruit industry, backyard growers and the future of our food security. 

These FREE workshops are for anyone that grows, harvests or eats fruit, or who is interested in supporting a strong local food economy:

Harcourt Valley Vineyard (old Calder H’way, Harcourt) 13 November, 4-6pm Ray Bradfield Rooms (adjacent to Victory Park, Castlemaine), 15Nov, 1-3pm
Penny School, 11 Church St., Maldon, 17 November, 10am-12 noon

Workshops supported by Mount Alexander Shire Council, Growing Abundance & The Harcourt and District Fruit Growers Association.

3. Fruit Tree Growing Workshop at Newstead Community Garden

A full day workshop on growing fruit trees in the home or community garden on Sunday 20 November  at 10am for a 10.30am start- 4pm finish
Lunch and Refreshments provided Workshop fees are $40 or $30 for Newstead Community Garden members. To register, contact, Janet on 0417 379 643, or, Mary on 5476 2593.

4. Practical Permaculture Design – four Fridays – starts 11 Nov!

Book now for a special price on Practical Permaculture Design – 4 Fridays 11-18-25 Nov and 2 Dec with renowned local tutors Sam Downing and Ian Lillington.
Part of Castlemaine Community House “Spring into Sustainability”. Costs only $55 for the four workshops. Bookings on 5472 4842 or email, or call into Faulder Watson Hall, next to Castlemaine Library.

Local renewable energy and building events

1. Can Bendigo really be 100% powered by renewable energy?

Here’s your opportunity to find out how and to help develop a plan to achieve just

Matthew Wright knows how to get to 100% renewables

that. Hear from great speakers including Matthew Wright, 2010 National Young Environmentalist of the Year and share ideas and be part of a positive future for our nearest big (ish) city!
Sunday 13th November – don’t miss both these fantastic opportunities! And please invite all your friends and colleagues – all welcome!!
Bendigo Sustainability Group Tel: 5443 5244

2. 2011 Community Power Conference: Australian Communities Taking Charge Of Their Energy Use

 Bendigo Mon & Tues 14th & 15th November. The conference will discuss strategies for developing community-based energy projects
For more information or to register see the community power conference website.

ABC competition : free tickets to the Conference….save $ hundreds !

ABC Central Victoria is working with La Trobe Uni, Central Vic Solar Cities and Bendigo council to promote the Community Power Conference – and have some tickets for people who can make a difference in their community – the  closing time for the tickets is this Friday at noon, apply online here.

3. Free energy efficient products in Castlemaine

Low energy light globes, door seals, showerheads  are being handed out in the region under the Victorian energy efficiency  scheme  by the company Easy Being Green. If you are interested contact Dylan on 0411421231

Local and regional events and workshops

1.Earth Sheltered Homes – the concept whose time has come

Paul Mitchell underground houses

Paul Mitchell, an earth sheltered house designer with over 30 years of experience, will speak about his approach to this fascinating and energy efficient form of house design. Thursday 24 November, 7pm to 8.30pm @ The Old Chapel, 287 Barker St Castlemaine, corner of Doveton St (where Curves used to be)

2. Adventurer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to visit Castlemaine

Tim Silverwood talks about the plastic chocking the Pacific

Tim Silverwood  will be in Castlemaine on December 6th at 7pm in the Ray Bradfields  room  presenting his talk on ocean pollution, plastics in our environment and his role as an Ambassador of Clean up Australia .

 The talk content covers his passion and forming of take 3, association with Bag It, the trip to the ocean pollution gathering acres !!, and the place of take 3 in the cleaning up of water ways and beaches.

Read more about Tim and his work at the Take 3 website.


A reminder that Rod Quantock’s show, Pardon My Carbon which will be at the Daylesford Town Hall Thursday, November 10. It is hilarious and hard hitting.
Book a table with your friends and BYO nibbles and drinks.

National and international news

NSW Coal power subsidies to cost electricity users/taxpayers billions of dollars

In NSW the coal train becomes the Gravy train for some power stations

The Tamberlin Inquiry’s report released on Monday reveals that an effective subsidy of $4 billion has been given to coal power station operators as part of the NSW privatisation deal.

In short, this inquiry tells us, the coal-fired power stations in NSW are unable to compete with other cleaner power sources unless their coal is supplied at around one quarter of the cost of export coal, a subsidy of billions of dollars Read more in this Crikey article…

Australia’s largest solar farm under construction in WA

The 10 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm will be in Geraldton and will be the  first utility scale solar farm in Australia, approximately 10 times larger than any other operating solar project in the country.

US emissions down 7%in last 4 years

Between 2007 and 2011 U.S. carbon emissions dropped seven percent in four years. And this is only the beginning.

Factors behind the drop include the economic downturn, the Beyond Coal campaign, the reduction in energy use as energy efficient products are becoming widely used and the rapid uptake of renewable energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy projects that residential electricity use per person will drop by five percent during this decade as light bulbs are replaced and as more-efficient refrigerators, water heaters, television sets, and other household appliances come to market.

Over the last four years, more than 400 wind farms – with a total generating capacity of 27,000 megawatts – have come online, enough to supply eight million homes with electricity. Nearly 300,000 megawatts of proposed wind projects are in the pipeline awaiting access to the grid.

Lester Brown, despite what some corrupt politicians are doing the USA is cutting emissions !

Added to that  there are  22,000 megawatts of utility-scale PV projects  in the pipeline, which is additional to the booming  residential installations. Read more from Lester Brown’s analysis here.

Germany reaches 20% renewables 8 years ahead of schedule….and changes the world’s energy equations.

Germany has just crossed the threshold of 20 per cent renewable power, honouring its 2020 commitment to the European Union eight years ahead of schedule.

Freiberg Germany helping make solar PV available for all of us

As a bonus the world will also thank Germany for affordable solar power, not because the technology was invented there, but because its citizens will have paid for the critical cost-reduction phase by offering a large market. Read more in the ABC story.

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