Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 19th September 2008

Posted on 19 September 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary
Wednesday 1st October Focus on community
Wednesday 15th October Ride to Work
Thursday 16thOctober Focus on Community
Saturday 18th October Low Solar House Volunteer Training
Sat/Sun 25/26th October Festival of the Wheel
Tuesday 28th October Low Solar House Volunteer Training

E-news Survey
Thank you to the 59 people who responded to our e-news survey. Overall the response indicates that members are pretty happy with it as an information provider. The main issue for us to consider is whether to make it fortnightly, with perhaps an occasional special edition if something urgent crops up. Watch this space.

Greenpower Survey
Back on 7th August, after hearing some rumours, we asked our readers if they had had any negative experiences with Greenpower (GP). Seven rather frustrated present or past Origin customers responded and told us their experience over the past year or so. Despite originally requesting 100% GP, five of them said that they had found that they were on only 20% and one had found he was on 50%. After making 3-4 calls to Origin only one had successfully got 100%. The others had either given up or (in three cases) switched to another retailer. The seventh person had managed to get 100% GP but was having awful trouble with errors in his electricity accounts. It appears in his case that the marriage of solar PV panels on his roof and GP for the remainder of his electricity use had caused Origin’s computers to tear out their hair quite often. So, if you’ve got both PV and GP it’s a good idea to check your accounts carefully.

In an effort to get a response from Origin, we went to Contact Us on the Origin website. First we read the service blurb:
“Commitment to service ?At Origin Energy we are committed to providing you with superior service. To this end we have the right people and technology to ensure we meet your needs with the right services and advice, first time”.

So in the absence of an email or snail mail address, we rang the only option: the Green Energy number, 13 24 63. Ten minutes later there was no sign of anything but advertising messages and frequent requests to… yes `please stay on the line’. Sorry Origin, we’re just too busy. If any readers have the time and patience, we’d be pleased to print what you find out.

PS: Despite these complaints, MASG remains firmly committed to Greenpower. It‘s in fact one of the best ways of reducing our carbon footprint. It’s just that it appears to be a wee bit difficult to access in Origin’s case, for reasons we just don’t understand.

Other MASG News and Events

Seniors week home energy audits: helping seniors save money and the environment
As part of the Seniors Week Festival, MASG will run 5 free energy assessments on senior’s homes. We will assess one home a day between the hours of 10am and 11am, in the weekdays of Oct 6th to Oct 10th. The assessments are also open to the public enabling other seniors to come and see what is involved in having a house energy assessed and getting some handy tips to take home for their own home. If you are a senior, or know of a senior whose house would benefit from a free household energy assessment, contact Dean on 5470 6978 or email

Solar PV in action
The first 20 solar PV installations will begin at the end of this month and take up to 2 weeks to complete. It’s been a long process so it’s a relief that it’s finally on the way. More news about the remaining 50 installations soon.

The Grand MASG Raffle, 2008
Raffle tickets are selling quickly so don’t forget to come in to the office and buy your own and/or a book to sell.

Focus on Community
Projects that support the community in a creative, meaningful & sustainable way. Projects that are creative and engaging are great platforms for informing the community about positive opportunities and messages. Contact facilitator, Deanna on 0428 751 090 or email

October Bike
MASG is involved in two major bike events in October: Ride2 Work (Oct 15th) and the Festival of the Wheel (Oct 25th and 26th). Both are aimed at raising awareness about cycling as part of the solution to climate change. The FOW is also MASG’s main fundraiser for 2008. If you would like to help on the MASG Ride to Work Working Group, please contact Jill Gibson on 5472 3098 or

Volunteer Profile
Gary Bunn lives at Smeaton and works as a metallurgist at Flowserve. Well known for his splendid beard, his involvement in the arts and his deep love of all things cycling (except lycra and new bikes), he is currently organising the Don KRC Family Day in the Botanical Gardens on Sunday 26th October. The family day is of course part of the Festival of the Wheel. Go Gary!

Low Energy Solar Home training sessions on Saturday 18th October between 10am and 3pm and Tuesday 28th October between 7and 9pm. If you haven’t already signed up for this fantastic opportunity, please email Fran on as soon as possible. Why not walk or ride past the house and check out the landscaping which is happening right now!

Trades Directory. Thanks for your input so far in developing the MASG Trades Directory. Keep the information rolling in about good trades people who work in a sustainable way, so that we can develop this community resource for anyone wanting to renovate or build. Email with the details.

The best investment you could make in 2008.
The prospectus for this great project is available now or you can obtain a hardcopy by emailing Applications close on 31st October.

Turn the Tide Visual Petition
MASG now have a visual petition/banner reading C’mon Kevin, Peak Carbon by 2010 Turn the Tide. All you have to do is take a photo of your gathering holding up the banner. Ring Wendy French 5475 1067

Events organised by other groups

Castlemaine Landcare group are having a working bee this Sunday, 10-1pm. For further information contact: Robin Haylett, Castlemaine Landcare Group Projects Co-Ordinator, 0408 706630 & 5470 6630 or

Stillness in Action
Meditation, Community and the Earth, Seymour, 22nd – 28th September 2008. Further enquiries: Tathra: 0416 743 605 or email: See the following website

Public Forum
Save Water and the Vegie Patch, 7 -9 pm Wednesday 1st October at Brunswick Town Hall, cnr Sydney Rd and Glenlyon Rd, Brunswick.

Centre for Sustainability Leadership is running courses on 4th October and 8th November in Ballarat. Further information or email.

Interesting Information and Links

These maps are manipulated to show pollution etc in a very graphic way!

Good News Story

Winners of the Earthworks 2008 competition, in the New Internationalist, on the theme of global warming. You can see them, and some others, on this website

The old Castlemaine gaol: the future of the site continues to be under discussion. The old gaol is owned by Mount Alexander Shire and leased to education and training specialists, CVGT. CVGT has commissioned a consulting group to conduct a feasibility study re further development of the gaol site. You can view further information on a local proposal here.

Ethical Leadership Opportunity
If you aspire to lead and create a good society, the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship could be for you. The Fellowship is Australia’s premiere national leadership program, designed by the St James Ethics Centre. Applications close 30 September 2008. Apply at

Green tip:
If it’s a fine day, forget the dryer, and use the clothesline.

Quotes of the week:

Of all of the leadership contenders within the Liberal Party, I think Malcolm Turnbull seems to understand climate change better than the others.– John Hepburn, climate change campaigner, Greenpeace, SMH 16/9.
(For full article .

An efficient car can’t be made of steel, for the same reason that a good airplane can’t. And when cars are designed less like tanks and more like aircraft, magical things start to happen, thanks to the laws of physics.
– Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution, Hawken, Lovins and Lovins 1999, p28.

MASG’s E News is currently compiled by Jill Bryan and edited by Neil Barrett. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to Closing time for copy Wednesday 3pm.
If you would like further information, please phone 5470 6978

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