Zero Net Emissions by 2025

House tours, tradies days and windy meetings

Posted on 29 September 2011 by e-news

Sustainable House Tour Registration Closes 5th Oct

If you want to register for the Sustainable House Tour registrations closes 5th Oct so get in now before it is too late! Thank you to the 30 people who have put themselves down to volunteer for this major MASG event.  But don’t despair there is still an  opportunity to volunteer and get together with other MASG members and share your interest and knowledge of sustainable living with the broader community. We need you to make it a successful day and help us celebrate the wealth of knowledge we have about sustainable living. If you are interested in helping or if you want to know more about the house tour ring Carolyn on 54 706325 or visit the House tours webpage.

Comfy Homes Sustainable Building & Renovators Tradies’ Expo: Nov 10th

Tighten up your tool belt and crank up the radio, it’s the season to get into the groove of spring cleaning and preparing for a sizzling summer with good ventilation, effective shading, efficient insulation and weatherproofing.
The Comfy Homes Tradie’s Expo will showcase local businesses and tradies with info about where to go for good advice on all things to help you with your sustainable building and renovating. Displays and presentations from architects of sustainable design, plumbers, building materials, window treatments and more. When: Thursday 10th November from 3.30-6.30pm, Castlemaine Football & Netball Clubrooms, Camp Reserve.

The Hub Plot says thanks

Thanks to the generous support of the Mount Alexander Shire and to the great work of our garden volunteers the Hub Plot has presented workshops this year covering the following topics:
Composting, Worm Farming, Pruning for Backyard Fruit Trees, Establishing an Organic Vegetable Garden and Healthy Soil .  We will also be presenting two more workshops this year.
The next one is on wicking garden beds on the 22nd of October and one on preparing your vegetable garden for summer.
Monday mornings at the Hub Plot:  our regular garden session on the 3rd of October won’t be at the Hub Plot as we are helping one of our members with her garden as she’s broken her foot.  If you’d like to help please contact Heather on 0409 327791 or Peter on

CoG meetings

CoG is the committee plus staff, working groups and interested people .It is the main decision making body of MASG. All welcome. All meetings are held at The Forge, Barker St Castlemaine alternating daytime and nights each month.(opposite She Sells Seafood). Upcoming meetings:
This Thursday night Sept 29th 7pm, Thurs Oct 27th at noon, Thu Nov 24th at 7pm.

Community Wind Power: update

Outcome of meeting with Damian Drum regarding wind farms

MASG and Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG) members  with the National Party MLC member for Northern Victoria Mr. Damian Drum last Tuesday the 20th to ask him to actively represent and do more to support renewable energy, especially community owned wind power.
We asked Mr. Drum to:
• Lift the blanket ban on community owned wind farms in the eastern half of the Mount Alexander Shire and the City of Bendigo and return planning control to local government.
• Find out what science and departmental policy advice and their sources was given to the Planning Minister or Premier regarding setback distances for wind farms.
• Inform us what policy advice and recommendations and their sources were received by the Planning Minister or Premier regarding a blanket ban on wind farm developments in the Mount Alexander Shire and City of Greater Bendigo east of the Calder Freeway.
• Inform us what is the Coalition policy regarding the development of a medium and large scale solar Photovoltaic and solar thermal power generation industry in Victoria
He did not commit to support the lifting of the ban on community wind farms in the eastern half of the Mount Alexander Shire and the City of Bendigo but said he would speak to the Planning and Energy Ministers before deciding his position on the issue. We request that he reply with this information by Tuesday October 4th 2011. 
Download our meeting notes here (65 Kb) MASG notes from MASG & BSG damian Drum meeting 20 sept 2011
Download the reply meeting notes from Mr Drum here (25Kb) Mr Drum notes from MASG BSG meeting sept 2011

Not Blown Away; Delegation hands over Invitation to the Premier to a public presentation on community wind

Today Thursday 29th September a delegation of MASG members handed over an invitation to Vanessa of the Office of Premier and Cabinet in Bendigo. The invitation is for the Premier Ted Baillieu to come to Castlemaine for a pubic presentation of the benefits of community owned wind power. The Mayor Councillor Janet Cropley has agreed to chair the meeting if Mr Baillieu accepts.
Download the invitation here (51 Kb)invitation to the premier to Castlemaine 


Handing over the big invite to the Premier to support community wind

MASG co-chair Susie Burke handed over an invitation and said:

“We can’t understand why on the one hand the Coalition Government awards a community wind farm down the road but, then places significant obstacles to building similar wind farms in our area.

“We are concerned that the Government wants to ban our small wind farm proposal, but at the same time supports the expansion of coal and gas mining, and plans to build a new coal fired power station. It seems that they are taking away our ability to choose which type of power we want.

“ We are handing over this invitation to Mr. Baillieu and hope that he will come to hear from our community that we choose to make our power from a locally owned, safe and efficient wind farm rather than use old and polluting coal and gas power,” she added.

Other support events for wind in Victoria

Today also saw MASG community wind working group chair Mick Lewin  addressed the renewables support rally in Melbourne speaking about the benefits of community wind farms. Meanwhile support events for wind power were also held in Ballarat and Geelong. Read more about those other community events here.   

Newsletter distributor

Hey let’s get this great newsletter out in hard copy to your favorite café, notice board and public space.
If you can help once a fortnight to collect or spend a hour or so printing copies of the newsletter and distribute them it let us know 54706978 or


Paul Hawken is coming to Bendigo! Hosted by the Bendigo Sustainability Group

Paul Hawken is the biggest name in business, community and the environment globally. He is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author who has helped countless businesses profit from sustainability.
Business luncheon – Business Advantage in the 21st Century. @ the  Bendigo Town Hall October 28, 12.30 – 2.30 pm Cost: $70 each . How will your business thrive in the new economy? Can business profit from the path to sustainability?
The 2011 inaugural Bendigo Community Sustainability Awards.   Nominations close Friday 14th October. Winners will be announced at the Sustainability Awards night on Friday 28th October @ The Bendigo Town Hall 7.00 – 9.00 pm Cost: $40 per adult
Visit the BSG website for full details and bookings

Healthy homes and Healthy Bodies

Castlemaine CWA presents Jenny Howe speaking  about Healthy homes and Healthy Bodies
 There will be an opportunity to ask her questions, and make a booking for a home visit/assessment to create a healthy home Monday 17 October 7.30 p.m. Ray Bradfield Rooms Hosted by Castlemaine CWA Enquiries to Anet ph: 5470 6497 Gold coin donation


Farming without fossil fuels

The Hindmarsh Landcare group is holding this field day and Dinner in Jeparit on Tuesday 4th October 2011. The farming without fossil fuels field day is on the same day near Kaniva. Please RSVP prior to the 28th of September to Brett Wheaton 0427 861 010 or email

Good ideas from SA : Solar plans to retrofit coal-fired power stations

SA already produces more than 20% of its electricity from wind power, and there are now moves afoot to retrofit the coal power stations in Port Augusta (which supply 40% of the state’s electricity) to operate as baseload renewable energy solar thermal plants.  
Mark Ogges from Beyond Zero Emissions says most equipment and staff would be kept under the plan.
“In a sense a solar thermal power plant is exactly the same as a thermal coal plant, the only difference is to produce the heat you use mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy rather than burning coal,”
Read more in the ABC SA story.

Renewable energy highlights: Renewables 2010 Global Status Report

This report outlines the status and growth of renewable energy annual by country and technology.
This is a short summary;

– Renewable energy counted for half of the total new installed electricity capacity in the last year (approx. 100GW)
– 26% of China’s installed electricity generation is now renewable energy
– In 2010, China was the top installer of wind power and solar thermal and is the highest hydropower producer and spent the most money on renewable energy investment.
– Australia is beaten by countries including Spain and India in new wind capacity, Italy and the Czech Republic in solar PV and China, Turkey and India in solar hot water. Way to go Oz!
Full report here

Welcome baby seven billion

On one day – one minute – in the next month, the world’s 7 billionth human resident will be born. The United Nations is marking the occasion on the last day of October with what it describes it as an “opportunity” to promote “7 billion actions” for environmental sustainability and women’s education, estimating that the world’s population will top out at 9 or 10 billion mid-century before declining as economic development matures in countries with higher birth rates. 
Read more in the Guardian.

China to invest 2 Trillion Yen into low carbon economy & LG To Pour About $7 Billion In “Green New Business”

China will  invest 2 trillion yuan (about $313 billion) to promote a green, low-carbon economy in the next five years, a

LG maybe means Life is Green

senior economic planning official was quoted on Sunday as saying meanwhile  LG, South Korea’s second largest business conglomerate will invest 8 trillion won ($6.83 billion) in “Green New Business” sectors such as electric vehicle parts, LED lighting and sewage treatment industries by 2015.

Ford Develops E-Bike Protoype

Earlier this year, Ford announced its ongoing commitment to vehicle electrification.. The automaker will be sticking to expansions in four-wheel offerings, but, surprisingly they’re also also turning their attention to two-wheelers: E-bikes

L.A. Air Force Base Will Deploy 100% Electric Vehicle Fleet

The U.S. Air Force recently announced that its Los Angeles base would be the first federal facility to replace 100 percent of its general purpose fleet with electric vehicles.

Back from the brink: endangered species successes

The Oryx is back and get a load of those horns

The Arabian oryx was once extinct in the wild, but a captive breeding program has seen this animal brought back from the brink. Read more about the Oryx recovery in the ABC


We are very fond of blaming the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, including governments, that are responsible.


Wangari Maathai 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

 Wangari Maathai: the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”, founder of the Green Belt Movement. Wangari passed away this week aged 71.

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