Zero Net Emissions by 2025

MASG Newsletter, 12 August 2010

Posted on 12 August 2010 by e-news

Key Dates
• Fun, Facts and Friendship – training workshop on renewable door-knocking at 233 Barker St., Sunday 15th – 10-11am and then go out for real life experience?

• Enews goes 21st century from next edition

    MASG membership news and events

Enews goes 21st Century
MASG enews will become more readable and with funkier graphics and links as from the next edition. Look out !!

MASG renewable energy survey: Ian and Naomi have surveyed over 200 people on the streets of Castlemaine about their thoughts on renewable energy. {See page 7 of last Tuesday’s Midland Express, and results at } Last Sunday we started door knocking. We invite YOU to come with us – on the Winter’s Rise estate. So far the task has been FUN, affirming and a great way to educate people about renewable energy and dispel some myths about what people really want. If you can help please contact Dean on 0448 327 791 or come to our training and door knock THIS SUNDAY 15th from 10am @ MASG.

Report from Meet The Candidates Forum: A full house turnout of over 60 people on a cold and stormy night appreciated the good humour and willingness of the Labor, Family First and Greens candidates to grapple with real questions from the floor in an open and candid way, plus great value from the dry, skilful moderation from Bishop Jeremy Ashton. MASG was delighted to work with the Uniting, Catholic, Churches of Christ and Anglican Churches in presenting the forum and trust that this was an effective way of supporting the Australian democratic process.

Future Focus Review of MASG: working groups have been meeting since the 17th July review and will come together for two full days on 1-2 Sept. This is in preparation for new directions to be implemented from the MASG AGM later this year.
Lucy will also be ringing members over the next few weeks so please spend some time helping us with your thoughts. For a more detailed update on the review, contact Bron on 0438 867 183. If you still haven’t done the survey, please click on this link.

    MASG Advocacy News

Council’s Environment Strategy Survey: we encourage MASG members to have their say on this potentially important Council plan. Please complete the Community online survey at: Please also consider going to one of the workshops – details below under “events”. For more information contact John Pollock, Environment Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council or 5471 1736.

‘Vote Climate’ Resource Website: If you want to know what the major parties aren’t doing on climate change, and what they should be doing visit the “Vote Climate” website. MASG is a supporter of this project. It also has great resources for people if they wish to forward them onto friends and family. See

Energy retailers on your doorstep? Some energy companies are using the installation of smart meters to try to get you to change retailer. If they are knocking on your door don’t sign anything until you have done your research. will tell you where there are good deals with 10% and 100% green energy and if you find the sales people too pushy, take note of which company they are from and call the Energy Ombudsman 1800 500 509, who can pass on complaints to the retailer without prejudice.

    Events organised by other groups

Public workshops on the Shire Environment Strategy: the Shire is developing a strategy with the aim to link strategies and plans to protect and enhance the natural environment around the themes of:
• Climate Change, Greenhouse and Energy
• Land and Biodiversity
• Urban Development, Planning and Sustainable Transport
• Waste and Resource Efficiency
• Water
There are two workshops with different themes:
“Managing Landscapes in Change” – Tuesday 24th August, 10am – 2pm at Maldon Community Centre.
• explore key trends and issues affecting land use, land management and biodiversity, including climate change, water, biodiversity, weeds, feral animals, land use planning, bio-links, landcare,

and “Using Resources Sustainably” – 25th August, 5 – 8pm, Castlemaine Town Hall, which will discuss:
• key trends & issues on waste, water, energy, transport and resource consumption in MAS,
• implications of these trends and what are the role[s] of Council,
• ideas for strategic direction for Council and priorities for action & innovation.

Bookings please to or 5471 1768

Maldon 50 K shop: specialises in selling locally grown and/or made produce. About 90% of stock is sourced from within a 50 kilometre radius of Maldon. There is an ‘open day’ at 33 Richards Road in Castlemaine on Saturday 21st Aug to show-casing our wares. Visit the store at 63 Main Street, Maldon or call Glen on 0402 711 082.

Master Class for Experienced Facilitators: Monday 16 – 19 August with Dr Dale Hunter, originator of the International Federation of Facilitators. Much of Hunter’s work is based on or aligned with the work of Otto Scharmer, Fran Peavey, Stuart Hill and others who are doing inspired change work with groups. For more details contact, Laurel on 5348 2236 or email

Powershift: a series of youth climate summits that will inspire, educate, empower and mobilise young people to take action on climate change. Power Shift 2010 is being run by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, August 14th to 15th (Geelong – Deakin University Waterfront Campus)
For more see

Advanced Permaculture Principles And Planning Tools with David Holmgren, 18th to 21st September in Hepburn, see . Call 5348 3636 or email

Climate, Sustainability and Society public lecture series at La Trobe University.

6pm Thursday 26 August – Professor David Karoly, Theatre 3 in Bundoora with Video link to McKay Lecture Theatre in Bendigo and Main Lecture Theatre in Albury-Wodonga.

6pm Thursday 23 September 2010, Professor Ross Garnaut – McKay Lecture Theatre in Bendigo. Video-link to Agora Cinema in Bundoora and Main Lecture Theatre in Albury-Wodonga.

6pm Thursday 14 October 2010 – Professor Tim Flannery Main Lecture Theatre in Albury-Wodonga, Video-link to Agora Cinema in Bundoora and McKay Lecture Theatre in Bendigo.

RSVP one week before each event at the latest. More info: 5444 7374

Build Green Expo: As part of the Herald Sun Home Show and Garden Expo, the HIA BuildGreen Expo includes the latest products, advice and solutions to convert your existing home or build a new green home. August 19, 10am-6pm to Sunday August 22, 10am-6pm –

CERES Electric Vehicle Conference – Sunday August 29th at CERES, Brunswick. Cost $110-$150 includes meals and post conference resources. For bookings call 9387 2609

Bikelodging in

    Latest science and news:

The rain in Victoria is welcome but there is too much in Pakistan and much of SE Asia. Meanwhile, a giant chunk of ice four times the size of Manhattan has broken off from one of Greenland’s two biggest glaciers, creating the largest Arctic iceberg since 1962. In late July, the Yangtze River at the Three Gorges Dam had its highest river discharge in 130 years, and the reservoir’s water levels peaked at 158 meters – exceeding the “alarm level” of 145 m by 13 metres.

About 98% of climate scientists agree that human activity over the last 50 years has contributed to climate change and that one of the main results is extreme weather events. For more on global climate extremes go to

Climate and Health Alliance: Health leaders meeting in Melbourne diagnosed urgent action on climate change as needed to safeguard the community’s health. Over 40 health sector leaders from across Australia the formed the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) to advocate for urgent policy action on climate change to reduce the very significant threats posed to human health. Internationally respected medical journal The Lancet said last year: “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” More information: Fiona Armstrong 0438 900 005.

Bushfire Commission and powerlines: an article in the Weekly Times outlines the expected costs to farmers if the bushfire commissions recommendations on the SWER lines is implemented at a cost of $17-$20b: this is a good case for more support to go to our farmers to enable them to move to off-grid renewables or upgrade the grid connections to allow them to generate renewable energy and feed it back.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12 Times the Support for Renewables: Global subsidies for fossil fuels dwarf support given to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and biofuels, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. Governments last year gave more than $43 billion to renewable energy through tax credits, guaranteed electricity prices known as feed-in tariffs and alternative energy credits, the London-based research group said today in a statement. That compares with the $557 billion that the International Energy Agency said was spent to subsidize fossil fuels in 2008. From Alex Morales in London at

Global warming blamed for 40% decline in the ocean’s phytoplankton” – Scientists may have found the most devastating impact yet of human-caused global warming — a 40% decline in phytoplankton since 1950 linked to the rise in ocean sea surface temperatures. If confirmed, it may represent the single most important finding of the year in climate science. For more info see
Portugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover: Nearly 45 percent of the electricity in Portugal’s grid will come from renewable sources this year, up from 17 percent just five years ago. “I’ve seen all the smiles — you know: It’s a good dream. It can’t compete. It’s too expensive,” said Prime Minister José Sócrates, recalling the way Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, mockingly offered to build him an electric Ferrari.
Quote of the week

    “The experience of Portugal shows that it is possible to make these changes [to renewables] in a very short time.” Portugal’s Prime Minister José Sócrates

This week’s MASG enews was put together by Dean and Ian. To advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to: or phone 5470 6978.

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