Zero Net Emissions by 2025

MASG news April 1st 2011

Posted on 1 April 2011 by e-news

Yes its no April fool joke….here is the news

Stopping waste….. Wash against Waste volunteers needed for 1 hour @ the State Festival Gardens day on Sunday the 10th

10 people are needed to help wash and dry dishes with the WAW trailer. The trailer will be out in force keeping plastic plates and other throw away items out of the landfill at the final event of the state festival in the Botanical Gardens on Sunday the 10th. So contact Kerry on or 54706978 if you can help with a 1 hour shift.

Members gathering standing room only …

Last Friday’s members gathering focussed on solar PV and the Goldfields Solar Hub program and it was standing room only in the meeting room.  Sean from Braemac Energy was kept flat out fielding questions and offering advice.  The next day he and MASG member Mike Reeves were back again, and once more had lots of interested people attend.

The next member’s catch-up is Friday April 29th from 5 to 6pm. Let dean know what themes or issues would you like covered at our monthly catch-ups on 54706978 or

Goldfields Solar Hub

The Q & A information sessions held at the Hub on Friday and Saturday, called “Sunny information sessions” were very busy.
The next sunny info session is on Wednesday April 13th @ Ray Bradfields Room from 7pm-9pm.
You can register with the Goldfields Solar Hub PV bulk buy program or  come to the Wed 13th session or email: or call 5443 5244 .

Food production group news

Compost and worm gardens workshop:

 20 people attended the compost and worm farm workshop on Saturday the 26th of March.  Thanks to the presenters;
• Peter Sansom for his thorough knowledge and comprehensive notes.
• Jan Lukins for sharing her expertise about bokashi bins.
• Pam Connell for such a practical and inspiring worm session. 

The Monday food/garden group meets in the Hub Plot, rear of 233 Barker St, each Monday morning from 9 a.m.  We work in the garden, exchange produce and recipes and share a cup of tea.  Anyone interested feel free to drop in.  More workshops and field trips are being planned.  Ideas welcome! Please send them to

Committee of management meeting or Coordinating group

 Last week on Thursday the 24th there was a Committee meeting with participation from working group members and staff. This group is called the Coordinating Group (or CoG) and it discussed items from the Garden Group and their work on obtaining funding for signage for The Hub Plot demonstration garden, The Wash Against Waste trailer and how it is getting requests from festivals across Victoria, an update from the Wind Working Group and the exciting offer they have received from community energy support group Embark.  To get a copy of the minutes email or drop into the office Tue-Thur 10am – 4pm. The next CoG meeting is Thursday April 21st 7-9pm @ The Forge (opposite She Sells Seafood) and all are welcome. Come and contribute to the running of MASG and hear what working groups are doing.

Comfy Homes project update

Deanna is busy fielding calls from people around how to make their homes more sustainable, from everything from keeping warm to using the car less and reversible shade trees !!. The new Comfy Homes tip sheet Winter Warming Solutions is available online   or drop into the office or contact Deanna on 54706978 or

Renewable energy Campaign

MASG joins 111 other groups to write to MP’s

MASG along with 111 other groups from across Australia as part of the 100% renewable energy campaign sent a joint letter to all 226 Federal  MP’s and Senators. The letter included a survey to gauge their  support and level of understanding of renewable energy. This letter – now sitting on the desks of politicians around the country – is helping to highlight the need for the government to introduce measures beyond the pollution price if we are to significantly boost investment in renewable energy this year. Click here to see a copy of the mp letter and all MP personal survey . The results of that national letter and MP survey will be made available online in mid April.

 Door-knocking for renewable energy is fun and tactically important

To build community support for renewable energy and put pressure on our politicians MASG and those 111 groups are hand collecting surveys from the general public. Our first doorknocking effort was on Sunday and Dean writes

Lucy, Barb and Ian do the renewable energy surveyors three step !

“it’s a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon in Castlemaine and we are ready to go out doorknocking for the 100% renewables campaign.  I am nervous, I always am until I’ve had a few doors under my belt, but Ian is his usual implacable calm self.  We are also going out with two new doorknockers today, Lucy and Barb. Neither has done this before, and after a quick briefing (and a change into resplendent red 100% T Shirts) both are keen to just get on with it and see what happens.

We are trying a Sunday afternoon to see if more people are home, and boy did we hit the jackpot. For the first 1½ hours every door we knocked on has someone at home. They seem to preface answering the door with, “ok I’ll do the survey but I’m in a hurry so as long as it doesn’t take long”…and after 2 questions they are off and chatting. It’s hard to get away in under 15 minutes….not good if you want to get as many surveys done as possible, but great for really engaging with people. Listening to what they know, what they want to know and what rubbish they know they are being fed and suspect as lies but don’t know where to get real information and alternative viewpoints.

That is how we are winning. We are having direct conversations with people, as volunteers, as members of their community. People give us more time and we listen to their concerns and they hear our message. It’s something that can’t be paid for in cash for comment on 2GB or the daily tabloids and TV infotainment. Its real, it’s personal and it’s a privilege to be a part of this.

When we get back together we have surveyed 40 people. Lucy recruited one lady to join us next time. We have a good laugh over the funniest door-knocking story of the day and vow we will be back …..with at least one friend each next time !. 

Who will stand up for renewable energy and join us ?

IF you support renewable energy then the current hung parliament offers the best chance to see policies enacted, but that won’t happen unless people get involved and put it on our politician’s agenda. Join us for 2 hours once a month for the next 2 months and make that happen.

Our next doorknocking session is Saturday 30th April. We want to collect 500+ surveys from the area to add to the national total of 20,000 and to hand over to local MP Steve Gibbons  but to do that would need at least 10 more surveyors to help. Can you do your workplace or street and/or join us on April 30th to come surveying? If not you why not, if not now then when ?  Visit the 100% website to see why the 100%  campaign will work s.

To help contact Dean on or 0448 327 791

Local Projects

Get ready for another great Castlemaine State Festival

Music and bikes – Kirsten Rule travels by bike with her cello and has created a dedicated webpage which includes more info on her CSF event on Saturday the 9th of April which includes an invitation to join with her and ride from Victory Park to the concert in the Botanical Gardens as part of a special bicycle ride pre concert journey. 

Field Trips – with local archaeologist David Bannear and artist Kynan Sutherland on 2nd and 9th April [10am] to learn about the local landscape, and make works of art inspired by nature.

Festival info at and

Mapping our growing abundance….

The Growing Abundance project is looking for a person to assist us map fruit trees in Castlemaine.  If you have:
• access to and knowledge of GPS systems.
• A couple of days driving/cycling time to get the mapping underway.
• A desire to contribute to this exciting project
Please contact Lucy Young, Growing Abundance Coordinator, Castlemaine Community House, 54724842 or 0400654242.  email:

News from elsewhere

Heritage Home renovators needed for research

RMIT University is seeking research participants willing to be interviewed about their priorities and experiences in upgrading the environmental performance of heritage dwellings.
The interview is informal and will last for approximately 60 minutes.
For further information:   email.  or mob. 0431 663570

The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability

Prof Kate Auty who recently visited Castlemaine has released the Strategic Audit Report. The report can be download from

California Assembly OKs increased renewable energy requirement
to 33% by 2020 and thereby to create 100,000 new jobs.

The legislation is the most ambitious of its kind in the USA and will  require the state’s electricity companies to provide 33% of power from renewable resources by the year 2020. Supporters made their case by invoking the nuclear plant problems in Japan and conflict in the oil-rich Middle East, as well as the struggling California economy. Estimates are that it will create an extra 100,000 new jobs. Read more in the LA Times.

Maine Town Passes Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance Becomes First in US to Declare Food Sovereignty

The town of Sedgwick, Maine, population 1,012 (according to the 2000 census), has become the first town in the United States to pass a Food Sovereignty ordinance. In doing so, the town declared their right to produce and sell local foods of their choosing, without the oversight of State or federal regulation. Read more here.

South Eastern Australia Farm Forestry and Firewood Machinery Expo

9.00 – 4.30 Friday 8 April 2011 455 Millwood Rd Huntly (15km north of Bendigo)
Demonstrations of community scale firewood and farm forestry along with Farm-scale equipment demonstrations for more see the Northern United Farm Forstery website.

Free power for your home cooking !

Parabolic Solar cookers : There are 2 main reasons why people choose to get a solar cooker. One of them is that it allows you to reduce your carbon footprint. The only energy used is that of the sun, it does not produce any greenhouse gases. 

Andy from Talbot makes them locally and a local group in Maleny Qld has imported some from India. For more see Andy’s website  or the Maleny information on parabolic solar cookers

Investment in Renewable energy worldwide now $243B in 2010

A new report has shown that the clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630 percent growth in finance and investments since 2004.
In 2010, worldwide finance and investment grew 30 percent to a record $243 billion with China the world’s clean energy powerhouse investing a massive $54.4 billion in clean energy investments in 2010–a 39 percent increase over 2009. 
Germany saw private investments double to $41.2 billion and was second in the G-20, up from third last year.
A clean energy sector report confirms that national policy matters. Countries like China, Germany, Italy and India were attractive to financers because they have national policies that support renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production and that create long-term certainty for investors.
Click here to read the renewable energy investment report.

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