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Latest From MASG

The inaugural MASG Fashion Parade

There are two ways to participate:

Come as a creator: 

Make something to wear on the catwalk.  If you don’t want to wear it, then find someone who will wear it for you!  We understand that sometimes creative genius is not extroverted. Your creation must be recycled, upcycled, repurposed reclaimed – you can use new thread in your sewing machine, but that is all the new stuff you can add!!!  Take apart old clothes, cut up sheets and curtains… use paper, plastic, hubcaps or an old cheese grater… anything goes!

Categories for prizes include high fashion, most creative, environmental themes, anything but textiles, op-shop spectacular and audience favourite.

Entrants will be divided into three age categories: adults, 12-18 and under twelves.

It is $5 to enter and entries must be registered by Wed 11th September – email to register.

Creators do not have to purchase a ticket to enter – your registration as a creator is your ticket in.


Come as an audience member:

Come along on the day just to watch and have fun.  There will be food and drinks available for purchase, a huge rummage sale… you will be able to purchase an extra large Boomerang Bag and for just $10 can fill it to the brim with clothes from the pile. There is also a fun workshop run by artist Eliza Jane Gilchrist – making headpieces out of recycled cardboard. The Planet Protectors will be raising money to plant one trillion trees to stop climate change and Boomerang Bags will have reusable, upcycled cloth bags for sale as well. Pl ease bring cash!

Tickets are $10 (its cheap as chips so no concessions or kids prices)

Get your tickets here!

Tickets available online until Friday 13th September.  Then tickets on the door only.


We invite you to donate old clothes to our huge rummage sale!! Bring as much clothing and accessories as you want to get rid of (as long as they are clean and in good nick) to the MASG office by Friday 13th September. Call Allie on 0416 145 899 to organise drop off.

This Fashion Parade is a major fundraiser for MASG so please come along and bring all your friends. We will have tables set up for people to sit at and enjoy the festivities. Our MC will describe each creation as it is revealed with fun music to dance to as we watch our creators strut their stuff on the catwalk.  The three expert judges will give feedback and award prizes.




2040 fundraiser for MASG


2019 SHED – Sustainable House Education Day

Our popular tour of environmentally progressive homes is back!

Be inspired by what four local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire have achieved with their homes and find out how they did it.

Click here for TICKETS

We have a rammed earth home and a mud brick home on the tour this year, both with permaculture gardens.  We also have a low cost sustainable home made especially for someone with low mobility.  Our final home on the tour this year is a retrofitted home that achieved 9 stars in the Victorian Government’s Scorecard rating system.

For the final hour of the day there will be a panel discussion featuring speakers form the local Eco-Housing group MAEG. Each panelist has a different set of ideas about how we can create affordable, ecologically friendly homes for people of all ages.


Date:  Sunday 19th May

Time:  9am – 4pm

Starting location: Meet at the Ray Bradfield Room


Tickets are limited so book now.



For additional resources about building materials


Short Course – Energy Efficiency in the Home

A seven week course run by Hans van Gemert – sustainable owner builder and scientist.

This Course is designed to help you make the best decisions for your home. Save money and be more comfortable in both the heat of summer and the chill of winter.

Saturdays 1-3pm

Ray Bradfield rooms

May 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

June 1st, 8th, and 15th

Please note that the 8th of June is a site excursion, where you will meet at a sustainable house and have a look around.


Book your tickets here:


2018 Members Forum Thursday 1st March

Posted 14 February 2018


As we get into the swing of 2018, MASG is inviting old, new, and potential members to join us for a members forum. MASG will provide an update of recent activities, and would love to hear about what projects are important to YOU!

So bring your thoughts and ideas to the Castlemaine Senior Citizens on Thursday 1st March, and tell us what you think MASG should be working on over the next 12 to 18 months.

Thursday March 1st
6pm – 8pm
Castlemaine Senior Citizens Centre
Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine
*Soup and Wine will be available for purchase.

*Please indicate if you will be eating with us for catering purposes


Thank you for your support in 2017

Posted 10 December 2017


Dear Friends of MASG,

This year has been another big one, and we say it often but it is entirely true, that we can not do it without the support of hours and hours of good will and time from the Committee of Management, volunteers and staff forever working above and beyond their call of duty. MASG is driven by the passion of this community to see innovation and action as we work towards Zero Net Emissions, in our ongoing response to reducing our ecological impact and adapting to climate change.

The MASG office will be closed 18th December to the 9th January.

We hope you have a fantastic holiday season and see you in 2018!



MASG AGM with MC Rod Quantock OAM 22nd November. 

Posted 17 December 2017


The Ray Bradfield Room was jam packed for MASG’s AGM on the 22nd November. A huge thanks to Rod Quantock for bringing his magic and informing, inspiring, and entertaining in a way that only Rod can. And the food! Thanks also to the incredibly delicious effort on the dinner front from Melissa, Kate, Briar, Mary, Marita and Mandy










Read more here…


Presentations and Pictures: The Other Renewables Forum, presented by the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group

Posted 30 August 2017




80 people gathered at the Castlemaine Town Hall on the 12 August to listen to expert presenters discuss a host of renewable energy options.

Head over to website page here, to read more or download follow up material from the expert presenters.


Or you can click on the links below:

Introduction – Alan Pears

Solar Thermal – Lu Aye

Geothermal – David Taylor

Shallow Geothermal – Ground source heat pumps – Guillermo A. Narsilio

Bioenergy – Andrew Lang

Biochar What Why How Summarised – Trevor Barrows – Charman

Soil Organic Carbon – Deane Belfield

Bendigo Mines Pumped Hydro – Chris Corr



The Other Renewables Forum, presented by the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group

Posted 13 July 2017


On Saturday the 12th August 2017, 1.30pm – 5.30pm, the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) will be presenting ‘The Other Renewables Forum’ at the Castlemaine Town Hall, with a line-up of recognised guests working in both a local and national context.

Hear from experts in the fields of:

Bioenergy, Geothermal, Mini-Hydro, Pumped Hydro, Thermal Solar and Soil Carbon Sequestration.


Andrew Lang, Alan Pears, David Taylor, Professor Lu Aye, Dr Guillermo Narsilio, David Carre, David Stratton, Deane Belfield, & Chris Corr

$20 General | $5 Members | Students Free


For more information and presenter profiles, head over to the event page here.


Read more here….

Mount Alexander Shire War on Waste Event 29th June

Posted 21 June 2017


Read more here…

Renew or become a member of the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) today!

Posted 21 June 2017

Dear Friend of MASG,

As we approach the end of the financial year, it is time for our annual membership renewal drive.As you may already know, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) established in 2005, delivers and supports shire wide sustainability and clean energy projects. And is targeting 3 priority areas on the path to Zero Net Emissions:

Renewable Energy, Waste Reduction, and Energy Efficiency.

MASG is working with the Mount Alexander Shire Council, Community, Business, and Industry sectors in reaching Zero Net Emissions by 2025.

MASG needs your support to continue this work.

To existing members, we thank you. Please renew your membership through one of the payment options listed below.

To new friends, colleagues and partners, we invite you to support MASG by becoming a member – Download the Membership Form, complete it and choose one of the following payment methods:

  • Pay over the phone – call us on (03) 5470 6978 during office hours (Tues, Wed, Thurs 11am – 3pm or by appointment).
  • Mail – mail the Membership Form and your payment to P.O.Box 1043 Castlemaine 3450.
  • Call into the office, 325 Barker St Castlemaine and sign up with an actual human being (Tues, Wed, Thurs 11am – 3pm or by appointment).
  • Pay via direct deposit (EFT) – pay us direct from your account and send us a message to let us know.

Bank Australia
Account Name: Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
BSB: 313 140
Account No: 120 187 83
Reference: your initial and last name or organisation/business name



Consider an end of financial year donation:

Supporting MASG with a one off or regular tax deductible donation has never been easier via our GIVE NOW account. Your donation will go directly towards supporting MASG projects.


You can read more about MASG’s local projects at:


Here is a snap shot of what you will find:

MASG is committed to the following goals:
  • To target zero net emissions by 2025 in the Mount Alexander Shire.
  • To encourage and support other organisations and business to contribute to the shire reaching this target.
  • To have financial, social and sustainability benefits realised in the local community and its economy.
  • To help build and nurture a community in which relationships, social justice and creativity are highly valued.
  • To have projects which are strongly supported by the local community and optimise the use of local resources.
  • To protect, and where necessary, enhance the built environment.


Current Projects and partnerships

Community engagement and education

Zero Net Emissions: From Data to Reality.
Engaging business, industry and community in mapping Zero Net Emissions 2025 data, to create a 3D model of a Zero Net Emissions 2025 Shire.

Sustainability Drinks: Quarterly Social Events with expert panels drawn together to discuss Waste, Energy Efficiency, and Community Renewable Projects.

Government Lobbying and Consultation: Community Energy Parliamentary Committee Hearing May 2017, Local Government Waste Reduction.

Energy Efficiency

  • Energy Efficiency Consultation for business and industry.
  • Energy audits across business, industry and domestic use.
  • Energy Efficiency for business and industry grant submission support.
  • Annual Sustainable House Education Day and Tours.
  • Website listing for local retailers, trades, services and resources.

Waste Reduction

  • Consultation with Council, business, industry, and community in waste reduction measures.
  • Waste to Energy and Bio Energy opportunities for industry.
  • Toxic Waste Recycling (Mobile Phones, Batteries & Light Globes).
  • Wash Against Waste Kit – Includes Event Trailer and reusable crockery.
  • Wash Against Waste The Next Generation: New trailer and design kit in consultation with user groups and other interested event companies and local and state government bodies.

Renewable Energy

  • Shire Wide Renewable Resource and Asset Mapping Project.
  • MASG led process to support local Reverse Auction bids for Small, Medium and Large Scale Solar Farms for the Mount Alexander Shire.
  • Waste to Energy Community Bioenergy Project in partnership with Mount Alexander Shire Council, Don KR Castlemaine and Coliban Water.
  • Congress for Community Energy Presentation
  • Alternative Renewable Energy Forum to be held in August 2017.


An Garden of Earthly Delights packed with pledges for action at the Castlemaine State Festival.

Posted 24 March 2017


Congrats to the team behind the Castlemaine State Festival’s Garden of Earthly Delights, which ran for the duration of the festival with over 200 pledges made.

Thanks to Jodi Newcombe from Carbon Arts, for inviting us to participate in this project alongside:

The Hub Foundation, Connecting Country, The Growing Adundance Project and

Such an amazing amount of good positive action is taking place in our community, and it was great to see all the pledges lined up in the form of a gorgeous digital vine.

We will be following up with Jodi and the other orgs involved to have a look at the pledge data, so we will have some further updates to share soon.  Read more here…



MASG’s popular Sustainable House Education Day (SHED) is back on Sunday 26th February, as part of the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival….

Posted 18th February 2017


Be inspired by what local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire have achieved and find out how they did it.

Featured as part of the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival, local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire are opening their homes to the public to discuss some of the design and build choices they have made in their energy efficient and sustainably constructed homes.

Book tickets here:
*Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea included in ticket price.

For more information contact:

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG)
Contact: Tina Helm
p: 03 5470 6978


2016: Another huge year for the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group and we couldn’t have done it without you!


Walking back through the year, there are many people to thank and acknowledge. Volunteers, Staff and Committee members who are all working tirelessly in a tricky climate of funding and policy, to work towards a zero net emissions future for our community.

Your feedback is super important – and we want to keep getting better at how we communicate with you. If you have 2 minutes spare please complete our survey here.


A great turnout for ‘Pardon My Carbon’
A massive shout out to Rod Quantock OAM for offering his precious time and energy to entertain and inspire a packed house at the Town Hall on the 8 December.
Challenging times are made a whole lot better by brilliant artists like Rod.

Thanks also to Archer who played a truly heartful interval set in support.  A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped with set up, pack up and at the bar.

Funds raised will go directly towards MASG’s Zero Net Emissions 2025 projects.



Welcome to Tina Helm, MASG’s new Development Officer.
In September we welcomed Tina Helm to the team, who has dived in and helped deliver a busy few months of MASG events, and with plans for an exciting 2017.It takes a certain kind of person to jump in and respond to what is needed within an organisation and wholeheartedly give their passion and energy in support.
Tina is that kind of person.


A reminder to Landholders interested in Solar
Make sure you stay up to date with progress around MASG’s Solar Farms Project.
An info session will be held in the New Year.
MASG aims to support a number of Mount Alexander projects to be ready for the reverse auction bids, and they would compete with others from around Victoria.

For this reason, the more bids that we have coming from our Shire, the better.

You can register your interest at
Or head to the MASG website for more information and criteria.



Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design
The next event in the series will be MASG’s Sustainable House Education Day on Sunday 26 February 2017, to be held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival.  We want to keep the discussion going, which indeed could have continued into the night at the Sustainable Design Mythbusters event in October.

A huge thanks to the panel: Fred Shultz, Geoff Crosby, Jane Knight, Frank Forster, Mick Lewin, Karl Albrecht and Ben Wilby who gave practical, tangible and super inspiring responses to a packed out Taproom.

SHED event information will be available on the MASG website.



Maldon Twilight Festival Vollies Needed:
MASG are currently seeking volunteers to wash dishes at the Maldon Twilight Festival on Sunday 15 January.
It’s set to be one of MASG’s biggest fundraising events for 2017.

The required shifts are: 10am – 12pm or 12pm – 2pm

There will be two commercial dishwashers and our Wash Against Waste trailer set up. The dishes will be soaked the night before to quicken the cleaning process.

If you can assist, let Jay know as soon as possible.



Wash Against Waste Licensed Operator Training
Saturday 14 January 2017
Windarring, 14 Hunter Street, Castlemaine
Cost: FREE
There is a double benefit in attending the training:

Save your organisation money: Next time you book the trailer you will not need to pay for a licensed operator.

Be included in MASG’s licensed operator register: Which means you will be qualified to get paid work on the trailer at events.

This is a very busy season for the trailer, and MASG would love to see our list of licensed operators grow, so that we can offer more people employment on events over the next 6 months.

The Wash Against Waste Trailer has had a huge local impact, since it began operating in the shire in 2007, with an aim to support events to achieve Zero Waste. Regular users include the Castlemaine State Festival, The Village Festival, Maldon Twilight Festival, Taradale Mineral Springs Festival and Harcourt Applefest.

To register or for more info contact:
Jay Smith, MASG Wasteless Project Officer:
Ph: 5470 6978



A message from the Mount Alexander Shire Council:


Mount Alexander Shire Council Plan – your say, your shire

What do you love about living in Mount Alexander Shire?
What are your aspirations and priorities for the shire over the next four years?
Have your say to inform the new four year Council Plan.

There are a number of ways to get involved in this project. For more information please visit the website.

A message in response from MASG:

MASG as an independent and member led not for profit organisation acts in the interest of the community, with all its activities working towards a Zero Net Emissions future.

MASG strongly encourages members and supporters to take time over the next few weeks to feedback to council.

This is our opportunity to carry a strong and unified message.

We need strong leadership from an innovative council that will harness the opportunities for our region in working towards a Zero Net future.

And we need a council that is committed to responding in every possible way to Climate Change to ensure the health and sustainability of the Shire’s communities.


Join us this Thursday 8 December, for a special event with the one and only Rod Quantock

masg-comedy-poster-draft-2The special events keep on coming with this Thursday’s MASG fundraiser,
Rod Quantock’s ‘Pardon my Carbon’.
Proceeds will go towards supporting MASG to work towards a Zero Net Emissions 2025 goal for the Shire.

Presale tickets available here, and will also be available at the door.
Supper platters and bar also available.


‘(Rod) is the refreshing word on climate change… (He) has found a way through the science, the economics, the politics, and the apathy. His formidable knowledge is slathered in wit.’ THE CANBERRA TIMES

‘You’ll learn some great tips for rebuttal when it comes to the deniers and the do-nothings polluting the climate change debate. Rod says everything you want to say. Everything you want to scream.’  AUSTRALIAN STAGE REVIEW

Find more info on the event page here or call the office on 5470 6978.


Thanks to all that attended MASG’s 10 year celebration and 2016 AGM


Thanks to all that attended MASG’s AGM and 10 Year Celebration last Thursday. A particular thanks to Terry White for his REALLY inspiring recap of MASG’s history, and Natalie Dillon for helping us learn more about the ethical fashion industry. It was also a chance to acknowledge Neil and Heather Barrett who were the champions behind MASG’s beginnings, and also Michael Lewin for his incredible commitment to MASG as Chair over these past 2 years. You can read more about MASG’s past projects on the website here:


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MASG 10 year celebration and AGM 2016

10-yearsOn Thursday the 24th November, The Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) is hosting its 2016 AGM at the Castlemaine Bowling Club, and would like to invite all current and previous members and supporters to celebrate the people and projects that have contributed to the past 10 years of MASG’s local legacy.


Terry White who has been behind regional organisations such as MASG, The Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, and the Goldfield’s Sustainability Group (Maryborough) will take us through the highlights of MASG’s past 10 years.

Natalie Dillon from 3 Fish clothing will also talk later in the evening about the fair trade clothing industry, and how business can partner with communities to create sustainable futures.

The MASG team will also share a snapshot of current major projects, including: $100,000 New Energy Jobs Funding announcement for the local Waste to Energy Project, Medium and Large Scale Solar Farms Project, Wash Against Waste: The Next Generation Trailer developments, and MASG’s toxic waste recycling and mapping project.

The AGM kicks off at 6pm, with speakers at 7pm. The bar will be open with the cheapest craft beer and local wine in Castlemaine, and dinner will also be available.

Please RSVP to and to book your meal for catering purposes.

Forms and info available for download here.


Wanted: Landholders interested in Solar Projects

Wanted Land For Solar

Representatives from MASG’s Medium and Large Scale Solar Working Group Mick Lewin, Taryn Lane, David Woodgrove, Deane Belfield

Another exciting opportunity to progress the Zero Net goal, comes in response to the Victorian State government recent announcement for reverse auctions – similar to a tendering process – for large scale renewable energy projects.

Whilst the details of the reverse auctions are still to be released, MASG is encouraging Mount Alexander Shire farmers to get in contact, and will support landholders in meeting with developers that are keen to investigate solar farm developments in our shire. The community may also have the opportunity to invest in these and MASG will seek facilitate this.

‘We would like to see local energy needs met by local energy providers.  We want to support local people and local landholders to benefit from large scale renewable energy projects.’ Says MASG Chair Mick Lewin.

‘Reverse auctions have been used widely in Europe and in the last few years in the ACT. MASG has followed this process closely, and the best way to be competitive, is for farmers to ‘pair-up’ with experienced solar developers who have a good track record and can fast track developments.’ Says MASG Project Consultant David Woodgrove.

‘Initial estimates show that our shire would require around 150MW of renewable generation to replace the transport, gas and electrical energy we now use from fossil fuels.’ Explains David.

‘MASG aims to support a number of Mount Alexander projects to be ready for the reverse auction bids, and they would compete with others from around Victoria. For this reason, the more bids that we have coming from our Shire, the better. Ideally a mix such as: one large project over 100MW, several in the 10 to 100MW scale, and even some under 10 MW.’ Says David.

As more information is released from the state government, MASG will post it on its website:

An information session will be held in the coming months to further inform landholders about the necessary characteristics for a good solar farm.

MASG encourages landholders to contact to express their interest and to be included in further planning.


Solar Towns Success: 18 Mount Alexander Shire Community Groups Receive Grants for Mini Power Stations


IMG_9885Congratulations to the 18 community groups in Mount Alexander Shire who will receive free solar power systems – some up to 20kW in size. The installation of solar photovoltaic panels to all the recipients, is supported through funding from the Australian Government ‘s Solar Town’s Program.

The community groups have been granted a total of $253,000 to pay for solar  panels on the roofs of community buildings.

The successful applicants include: Castlemaine Tennis Club, Castlemaine Art Gallery, Buda Historic House and Garden, Castlemaine Bowling Club, Mount Alexander Golf Club, Windarring, Harcourt Uniting Church Pre School.  Representatives of some of these organisations gathered at Harcourt recently to mark the occasion.

The Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) and The Hub Foundation worked to support a number of local organisations in their applications, as the application process was quite involved.

‘It is encouraging to see the federal government supporting not for profit organisations to go solar, and it’s great that so many local groups have taken up this opportunity.  MASG and the Hub Foundation wanted to assist to ensure that as many local groups as possible benefitted from the program,’ says Gerry Egan from MASG.

Community Group representatives like George Milford were instrumental in getting the grant applications across the line. George was involved in the successful applications which will see solar panels installed at the Harcourt Preschool, Buda Historic House and Garden and also the Castlemaine Art Gallery.

‘It is pleasing to see the utilization of the roof space of public buildings for the generation of solar power. This will have lasting benefits to the environment. Our success has repaid the administrative effort in making the grant applications. This task was only achieved with helpful and constructive assistance from MASG and the Hub Foundation.’ Says George Milford.

‘We are proud and excited to see Castlemaine Tennis Club successful in receiving this support to go solar. We are going to see mini solar power stations across many community buildings with economic and environmental benefits well into the future. Thanks to MASG and the Hub for their support with the application process.’ says Sally Kaptein from Castlemaine Tennis Club.

‘This will see a huge injection into the solar and renewable energy economy across the region, boosting the activity of local providers, as well as supporting groups to move towards a carbon neutral future.’ says Neil Barrett from The Hub Foundation.

To stay in the know about opportunities for your business or organization subscribe to MASG’s enews.

Photo Credit: Recipients of the Solar Towns Grant: Solway Nutting (Harcourt Uniting Church), Lisa Mitchell, Jorga and Abraham (Harcourt Pre School), Rod Fletcher, (Castlemaine Bowling Club), Chris O’Connor (Windarring), Sally Kaptein (Castlemaine Tennis Club), Gerry Egan (on behalf of MASG and The Hub Foundation), Brian Cornish (Mount Alexander Golf Club), George Milford (Castlemaine Art Gallery, Buda Historic House and Garden.)


Government Delegates from Tianjin, China, visit Castlemaine to discuss Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy examples with MASG

IMG_9795On Wednesday 1st June, a delegation from the Tianjin Government traveled to Castlemaine as part of a Government Leaders Program facilitated by RMIT University in partnership with the City of Melbourne. Read more here..

MASG’s Mick Lewin, Deane Belfield and Mandy Field delivered a presentation discussing MASG’s local projects including:

The Waste to Energy partnership with Coliban Water and Don KR Castlemaine, Energy Efficiency Initiatives for new buildings and retrofits, and large scale solar options.

We are looking forward to further exchanges and sharing more learnings with China’s largest industrial community, as strategies are investigated to create more clean energy options.

Many Thanks to Marco Amati and Yu-Wen Chien from RMIT, for arranging the visit.

About the Tianjin Government Leaders Training Program

Since its inception in 2001, the Tianjin Government Leaders Training Program (the program) is a joint partnership among RMIT University, Tianjin Municipal Government and the City of Melbourne. Every year a group of around 20 Tianjin Leaders arrive in Melbourne to undertake a 9 to 12 week management course at RMIT University.

The format of the program consists of lectures, workshops, site visits, social activities and mentoring.The Program has become a flagship project for the sister city relationship between Melbourne and Tianjin. The City of Melbourne fully supports the Program and arranges networking functions, industry visits and business matching sessions to facilitate establishment of personal and professional connections between Tianjin leaders and their counterparts in Melbourne.

Federal Election, Meet the Candidates Q&A, June 14th 2016


Thankyou to all that braved the cold last night and a special thanks to Scott Sanders on sound, Justin Marshall for the use of audio gear, Frank Forster and Gerry Egan for their fine question delivery, Bill O’Donnell for moderating, and the Mount Alexander Shire Council for the access to the Town Hall.
A note from Mount Alex Sustainability-Group:

The Meet the Candidates Event was designed and delivered in consultation with candidates from the 4 major parties, with questions gathered from the General Public across a wide range of topics including Economy, Education, Infrastructure, Climate, Environment and Asylum Seeker Policy. This process was advertised in the Midland Express, The Castlemaine Mail, on Main Fm, and on Social Media. At 4pm and 5pm respectively on Tuesday 14 June Megan Purcell (Liberal) and Andrew Maddison (Nationals) canceled.

Lisa Chesters (ALP) and Rosemary Glaisher (Greens) were in attendance. Independent and Minor Party Candidates were not known to the organisers at the time the event was confirmed, and in this instance it was felt that additional inclusions would not receive balanced attention. If you would like to email feedback contact:

Click hear for the full audio.

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Sustainability Drinks: Zero Net Emissions, How do we get there? 2 June 2016

Thankyou to all that joined in the discussion at Zero Net Drinks.  Great turn out, great discussion. There will be more opportunities as MASG works with Business, Industry and the Community in a unified response to climate change, mapping our Shire’s pathway to a Zero Net Emissions Future.



‘Lighting the Regions’ Celebration and MASG Fundraiser Screening of ‘Trumbo’ 7pm Thursday 17 March 2016 at the Theatre Royal, Castlemaine.

Celebrate lighting the region at the movies!

The Lighting the Regions Project is partnering with Mount Alexander Shire Council to host a fundraiser movie night to celebrate the completion of one of the largest street lighting partnerships in Australia.

The fundraiser will feature a special screening of Trumbo at the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine on Thursday 17 March to raise funds for Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG).

“The event aims to raise awareness in the local community about the new cleaner and greener street lights installed throughout the shire,” said Jason Taylor, Director Sustainable Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Fifty percent of the ticket sales will go towards Mount Alexander Shire Sustainability Group to help run important education, research and advocacy initiatives.

“Come and celebrate the completion of the Lighting the Regions project, and help support MASG and the work they are doing to support sustainability and green energy usage in Mount Alexander Shire,” said Mr Taylor.

Last year, Council replaced nearly 900 old streetlights with new energy efficient LED streetlights as part of the Lighting the Regions changeover project.

The new lights save around 77 per cent of energy and associated greenhouse gases along with significant savings in future operating and maintenance costs.

“Lighting the Regions is an initiative which will see a significant impact, with an estimated reduction of 180,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission over 20 years,” said Mick Lewin, Chair, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group.

“Energy efficiency is an important way to reduce emissions, and it is great to see Mount Alexander Shire Council taking action,” he said.

LEDs were installed at Baringhup, Barkers Creek, Campbells Creek, Castlemaine, Chewton, Elphinstone, Fryerstown, Green Gully, Guildford, Harcourt, Maldon, McKenzie Hill, Metcalfe, Newstead, Taradale, Vaughan and Yapeen.

The recent completion of the Lighting the Regions project saw the replacement of 23,000 mercury vapour streetlights across 16 local government areas in Victoria.

What:  ‘Lighting the Regions’ Celebration and
MASG Fundraising Screening of ‘Trumbo.’

When:  Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm Screening, Thursday 17 March 2016

Where:  Theatre Royal Castlemaine

Tickets: Purchase at the Theatre Royal for $15.50 each
(50% of ticket sales go to MASG).

Contact: For Bookings, Theatre Royal Ph: 5471 1700 or 5443 6886

Media enquiries:
Lisa Shiner, Communication Officer
Mount Alexander Shire Council
Tel: 5471 1810 or 0409 018 195




Sustainable House Education Day SHED Sunday 28 February 2016

Beautiful weekend for it! Sustainable House Education Day (SHeD)

Sunday 28th February, registrations and morning tea in the rear courtyard


Mount Alex Sustainability-Group

325 Barkers St, Castlemaine

between 9am and 10am.
Or if your not on the tour join us in the courtyard for an afternoon drink from 3pm – 4.30pm where architects Geoff Crosby and Danilo Paglialonga, and Karl Alcrecht from the Built Collective will be answering questions and and discussing other local projects.

For more info go to the SHED Webpage here.

Mount Alex Sustainability-Group's photo.Mount Alex Sustainability-Group's photo.

‘Solar Towns’ federal grants program –  solar panels for community organisations. Deadline 12 February 2016

The Federal Government is offering grants of up to $20,000 for community organisations in MountA - Golf Club 004 - for press Alexander Shire to install solar photovoltaic panels (or a solar hot water system).  This is a great opportunity for eligible organisations to get funding for the total cost of a system, which will save money on electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gases.

There are rules of course and forms to fill in.   But the great thing about this government program is that the grant can pay for the total cost of the system – the organisation doesn’t need to find any money (other than for meter reconfiguration).

And $300,000 is set aside for community groups in Mount Alexander Shire!

MASG and the Hub Foundation can help you apply:
Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) and The Hub Foundation Castlemaine are not-for-profit organisations which share an objective of encouraging renewable energy  and helping the local community become more sustainable.  We want to bring this grant program to your attention, because it would be a shame if there were insufficient applicants and some of the available grant money was not taken up.

What you need to do:
Applications must be submitted by 2pm on 12 February 2016, so there isn’t much time to prepare your application.  There is a bit of work involved – in brief what you need to do by the deadline is:

Work out if you are eligible
Get two quotes for the installation
Fill in the application forms (online) and attach quotes and other documents

You can find out all the details from the government’s website at:

We have also prepared a summary of a few other things you need to know, which you can find here:

Solar Towns program – Overview

Who to contact for help with your application
If you need some advice or assistance, the Hub Foundation and MASG are willing to help out as much as they can.

For questions about choice of PV equipment and getting quotes from suppliers, contact Jo Kaptein at the Hub Foundation on 0455 589 065 or

For questions about eligibility and filling in the forms, contact Gerry Egan of MASG on 0407 092 642 or

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MASG Sustainable House Education Day (SHED) Sunday 28 February

The Mount Alexander Sustainability Group’s (MASG) popular tour of environmentally progressive homes is back on the 28 February 2016. Be inspired by what local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire have achieved and find out how they did it.

On Sunday 28 February 2016, 10am – 3pm, featured as part of the 2016 Sustainable Living Festival, local residents of the Mount Alexander Shire are opening their homes to the public to discuss some of the design and build choices they have made in their energy efficient and sustainably constructed homes.

For more information please contact:

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG)
p: 03 5470 6978


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Thank you to all that supported the Castlemaine Climate Rally & Picnic Sunday 29 Nov 

It would not have happened without the energy you all contributed.  This was a zero waste, zero budget and entirely community driven event.  The following individuals and organisations generously supported with their time, expertise and resources:

The Hub Foundation, The Environment Shop, Julie Holden & Chewton Primary School, Jeanette McMahon & Winters Flat Primary School, Mount Alexander Shire Council, Castlemaine, Lions, Rotary, Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria, People’s Climate Australia, Mount Alexander LETS, Connecting Country, Christine Hooper, Mark Carter, Jo Kaptein, Heather and Neil Barrett, Jim Austin, Rex Watts, MASG COM, Staff, and Volunteers, Uncle Rick Nelson and Alvin, DJ Poco Loco, Musos: Meg and Ethan Corson, Lilly Betts, and The Seducaphones, Artists: Eliza, Mark and Molly on activities, Ben and Jacinta, Mary, Alex and Andrea for preparing the delicious food, Speakers: Christine Henderson, Maree Edwards, Rosemary Glaisher, Susie Burke, Cam Walker, George Ryan, and our MC Dean Bridgfoot, Deane Belfield for the film compile, Ian Jones for bringing down his Nissan Leaf, Leonnie Van Eyk and Lisa Mills for their great pics, and a huge thanks to all the volunteers and young people who helped make it such a smooth and inspiring day.

We made a call to gather together and occupy Victory Park, in a way that allowed for families and children to participate and be represented in this powerful global movement.

There is a lot of interest in potential annual event, perhaps tied in with a Climate Rally, that brings together local groups, individuals, organisations, that are working hard to support a sustainable and safe future in our Shire.

It was a great way to capture an engaged audience, and encourage more participation in local initiatives.  MASG visited local schools, brainstorming and designing activities, and there are many exciting ideas that schools are excited to continue working with.

Coverage of rallies in the media throughout the weekend:

Do send in your pics or any links that we can include in the next e-news update:

We look forward to the next opportunity to come together.

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group Staff and Committee of Management

Castlemaine Climate Rally and Picnic Update: Sunday 29 November 2015

One day to go Castlemaine!

WIN TV  will be coming down at 11am so come down early so we can have a huge presence for all the regions to see on the Monday News! Slow down for the planet at 10am with a morning meditation/sit and walk.

And then Uncle Rick will open the day with a Welcome to Country around 10.30am.

We have a host of wonderful speakers – so set your picnic rug up nice and close, as we would love this event to be an opportunity for good discussion and sharing of information that is important to our shared futures in our beautiful region.

Here is the Program for your info, with more speakers announced!

Castlemaine Climate Rally and Picnic Program 2015

10AM: Slow Down for your Planet Meditiation and Slow Games, with DJ Poco Loco

10.30AM: Welcome to country with Uncle Rick Nelson, Dja Dja Wurrung Elder

10.45AM: Speakers Christine Henderson (MASC) Maree Edwards (ALP) Rosemary Glaisher (Greens)

11.00 – 12.00 PM: Music by Meg and Ethan Corson, Lily Betts and Nioka Mellick-Cooper.

11.00 – 12.00PM Climate Games and Activities. Films (in the Ray Bradfield Room)

12.00PM: Speakers Cam Walker (FOE), Susie Burke (, Dean Bridgfoot (, George Ryan (Mount Alexander LETS), Janet Phillips (Growing Abundance).

12.30PM: MASG School’s Recycling Awards, Big Group Photo

12.45PM-1.30PM: Climate Games, Activities and Films

12.45PM: The Seducaphones

1.30PM: Thankyous and final clean up games!


Bring your unicycles and bikes for the slow races
Help build blocks for Chewton Primary’s eco cubby
FacePainting (By children)
Make an upcycled xmas decoration or gift
Create a powerful positive peace flag
Bring something to exchange at the kids swap shop

What to bring:
Picnic Rug and Food, Shade, Water, Signs, Props or Banners and your passion for change!

Things we need:
Spare balls of Wool
Scrap or brown Paper
Toilet rolls
Paints in Climate Colours – Orange, Yellow, Red, White
Small blocks of wood

If anyone has any spare bring them to the activities area..  We are using what we have, and would love some more materials to keep the activities rolling throughout the event.

On the day:
Rocket Roast Coffee, MASG Vegie Burgers and Salad, Fresh Juice Slushies, Ben and Jacinta’s endangered animal T-shirts, Music, Divestment Information, VRET Petition, Local Enviro Groups and Orgs info and membership, films and more…

Get behind our local organisations and sign up to become a member and volunteer.
It takes all of us!

Thankyou to all of the individuals and organisations that have supported this event: The Hub Foundation, The Environment Shop, Chewton Primary School, Winters Flat Primary School, Mount Alexander Shire Council, Castlemaine, CFA, Rotary, Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria, People’s Climate Australia, Mount Alexander LETS, Connecting Country, Mark Carter, Jo Kaptein, MASG COM and staff, and a huge thanks to all the volunteers, participating speakers, musos, artists and young people.



60,000 people at the Melbourne Climate Rally!

See more photos from Australia here

‘Thousands of people were marching through Melbourne’s CBD on Friday evening in what is expected to the largest in a series of climate change protests being held throughout Australia over the weekend.Climate change marches will also take place throughout the world over the weekend, to call for a transition to 100% clean energy and an end to burning fossil fuels, as Paris prepares to host the United Nations climate summit next month.

The climate change campaign manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation, Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, was among the Melbourne protesters and told Guardian Australia the series of marches would prove a crucial moment in the climate movement.

“By coming together in this way, we are showing that we have strong expectations for action, and that we expect more from our leaders, who we believe need to get on to the job of creating a cleaner, better future,” she said.’

Read more:

The Age have a great article in todays publication including the following links:

Read more:

An inspiring evening at MASG’s 2015 AGM, Thursday 19th November

Thanks to all that attended MASG’s 2015 AGM and Sustainability Drinks on the balmy evening of the 19th November 2015.  It was so wonderful to see so many of the people present, that have been involved in MASG’s ongoing legacy, which is very much a product of the efforts of these and other extraordinary local people.

Thankyou to the Castlemaine Bowling Club for having us, and making us feel so at home. And also to Taryn Lane and Dean Bridgfoot for their presentations, which informed and inspired great conversations around larger scale renewable energy projects, risks and opportunities. Dean also gave us an update on international divestment movements, with institutions increasingly moving their money away from fossil fuels, and what that could mean for the renewable energy sector.

















Victoria’s Renewable Energy Plan, Castlemaine Consultation Report from MASG 

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources held a Castlemaine forum and invited submissions regarding its Renewable Energy Action Plan.

MASG attended and have submitted the following summarised recommendations:

Need for communities to sell to the grid without paying for network we don’t use. e.g. Virtual Net Metering or a variation

Target for 2020 of 20% would be achieved without any new initiatives. Not good enough.

MASG expressed the importance of a higher target for 2025 of at least 50% and 2030 of 90%.

A suggestion to use Victorian State Royalties to reflect emissions from fossil fuels and not just their energy output. This would balance out the current flawed system where the worse the fuel the cheaper, and could be phased in as an incentive for generators to transition to cleaner energy.

Support ‘making room’ for renewables in the market.

Make funds available for Community Groups research, and for communities to identify and plan community based projects, not only  delivery. The difficulty in keeping organisation in place to initiate these projects is created because funding generally targets project delivery only.

The Road Map is available online here:

MASG will provide further updates once public submissions have been considered and/or applied.

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