Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group Thursday 17th July 2008

Posted on 18 July 2008 by e-news

For more information call 5470 6978

MASG News and Events

MASG Social: Calling all MASG members to come and have a drink and catch up in front of the open fire at Templeton’s Café on Friday 25th July between 5:30 and 7pm. Hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Focus on Community: MASG has funding for a new and engaging opportunity with a whole community approach to addressing issues of climate change. Focus on Community is a workshop designed to explore and develop bottom-up, grassroots community development skills for people in their own communities. Thursday 24th July, 9.45am – 1pm. Anglican Church Hall, corner Forest & Kennedy Sts, Castlemaine, $15. The workshop will have a strong focus on social justice and environmental sustainability, and consists of a practical step-by-step guide that describes how to develop creative, engaging and meaningful projects with people from across the community that makes a difference in a social, cultural, economic and environmentally sustainable way. Bookings are essential for the above and following workshops. Contact program facilitator, Deanna Neville, on 0428 751 090 or email: to book and for further information.

Maine’s Power steps up a notch: This week, Dean and Mick were involved with CSIRO scientists Dr John Goodwin, Luke Reedman and Tosh Szarow in a series of workshops with senior management from Don KRC (the Baco), Flowserve, the Hospital and Victoria Carpets. We explored in detail what the various businesses are willing to investigate, invest and consider to help the project get to a 30% emission reduction. An outline of the Shire’s stationary energy use should be available soon as part of this project and will be posted on the web, so stayed tuned. For an outline of the project go to our webpage

MASG hosts International Students: On Carolyn’s last day at MASG she hosted 5 international students visiting the region as part of the Green World Youth Day on behalf of the Loddon Mallee Leadership Forum. Carolyn outlined how MASG is working with local people to take action on climate change. “What an inspiring group of young people they are”, Carolyn said, “it clearly shows that despite what our political leaders would say people all over the world want to work cooperatively on sustainability”. The students were from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and India.

2008-09 Work Program: Earlier this year MASG staff and committee held a planning day to look at our strategic plan to identify which parts of it would be a priority for the year 2008-09. We agreed we could not do everything in our strategic plan at once and that a major focus would be what we call our ‘Residential Pathway’. This pathway will incorporate our identified priorities of wind, solar renewables, transport, built environment and advocacy. It forms the backdrop to our work program for the financial year 08/09, although we are still working on the Maine’s Power project which involves a number of key partnerships with industry. Some of the work will project based, some will not. We hope that the residential pathway will be a way of involving more members in taking steps towards sustainability. More news about this as we finalise the program. For more information contact Neil Barrett, MASG President on 54 70 6978 or email

Ethical Investment seminar: Did you know that most banks have no trouble whatsoever in investing your money in armaments or environmentally damaging companies as long as they are making a good profit? There is something you can do about it and it is important! MASG is running an Ethical Investment Seminar to be held in the Ray Bradfield Room on Tuesday 29th July at 7.30pm.

The night will be a forum to learn more about Ethical Investment. The keynote speaker for the night will be Peter Thompson from the Ethical Investment fund – UCA funds management (a Uniting Church organization) who will outline what the fund does and then answer any questions about the fund and ethical investment in general. RSVP or enquiries to Gordon Bannon – 5470 6007. For further information about Uniting Church funds check this link

MASG Forums for Members: At its July meeting, the MASG committee decided to have two forums per year for members. These will be in addition to monthly social nights. The first forum will take place on Wednesday August 6th in the Anglican Church Hall between 7 and 9pm. We expect the AGM to take place in November and then to have another forum not far into 2009. The forums will provide an opportunity for members to ask questions, make suggestions and, we hope, decide which MASG events or projects they would like to get involved with. It will also be an opportunity for the committee to explain MASG’s aims and plans, as well as the challenges it’s facing. We hope to see you there. For more information contact Neil Barrett, MASG President on 54 70 6978 or email

Climate Code Red: Since MASG started in early 2006, there has been a quantum shift in the importance given to climate change by both public and private institutions, especially the federal parliament. For this reason, our task sometimes doesn’t seem quite as daunting as it once did. On the other hand, unfortunately, over the same period scientific findings have meant that the urgency of the need for action has increased greatly. This point is made very strongly in a book being launched by Victoria’s Governor, David de Kretzer, today in Melbourne. Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action, written by Phillip Sutton and David Spratt, argues that `It is no longer a case of how much more we can safely emit, but whether we can stop emissions and produce a deliberate cooling before the Earth’s climate system reaches a point beyond any hope of human restoration’.

Executive Officer recruitment will now be open until Monday 4th August. See employment section of website for further details.

Events organized by other organizations

Sustainability: A Community Response Presented by Sanctuary magazine. Sunday, July 20 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, Level 2, 39 Little Collins St, Melbourne. $120. Includes fully catered organic and bio-dynamic lunch and wine. Speakers: Andrew Partos (Senior Urban Designer, VicUrban) Amadis Lacheta (Director, Village Well). A discussion on sustainable solutions that address the social, economic and environmental challenges of our communities: co-housing, place making and community initiatives. To make a booking for this event go to Eat Green Design

Sustainable House Tour in Macedon Ranges on Sunday 20th July, $45 per person. Meet at Sunbury Railway Station car park for bus pickup. Ring Michele on 5427 0384 to book, or Julie Baldwin on 0408 66 44 24 for further information.

Footprints to Sustainability: free training in July and August on offer from Mount Alexander Shire Council in partnership with Continuing Education. Sessions include running carbon neutral events, becoming a ‘low-carbon’ business, botanical drawing, responsible landscaping, composting, permaculture, etc. Bookings and Info: Continuing Education on 5472 3299.

Northern Bendigo Landcare Group is having a Sustainable Living and Land Use Field Day on Sunday 3rd August from 1-4pm. Topics include straw bale building and increasing the diversity of your property. Further info email:

One Woman/ One Colour Art Exhibition showcases 13 regional women artists at the Bendigo Pottery, Dudley House, Latrobe ‘121’ View, The Conservatory and Allan’s Walk from the 5th-26th July. Further information

Castlemaine Land Care Group: Sunday 20th July: Planting of eucalypts and wattles near the Happy Valley waterhole, mid-point along the Walking Track. Nearest parking is on Montgomery Street above the waterhole. Sunday 27th July: National Tree Day planting, Forest Creek (opposite Castle Motel). Further information: Robin at , 0408 706 630 or 5470 6630. They also have a new website at

Interesting Information and Links

MASG member Ed Griffin has a box of well-washed cloth nappies to give away. You can contact him on: 0431 538 242

Ecuador Constitutional Assembly Votes to Approve Rights of Nature in New Constitution

A good read about people taking action on climate change

The World Needs Your Passion: inspiring article about imaginative ways to change to a sustainable lifestyle. From an inspirational young life-coach

Biofuels: an up-to-date and in-depth analysis from The Age this week.

The invisible benefits of a helpful conductor: A great story on the value to be gained from human relationships.

Monash University’s most senior governance and climate change experts have called for the creation of a new National Sustainability Policy aimed at creating an effective and efficient system for monitoring and mitigating activities that contribute to climate change. Meanwhile Australia is falling behind on making greenhouse gas cuts.

Green tips:

Heating your room to 20 degrees rather than 23 degrees will save a lot of energy. In fact, each degree Celsius will save about 10% on your energy use. And with increasing electricity costs, this will also save money.

Quote of the week:

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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