Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group Weekly News Digest, 8 Aug 2008

Posted on 8 August 2008 by e-news

Our Carbon Heroes
The Carbon Heroes banners are moving around town. Drop in to Goodfoods Café, Barkers St, Castlemaine and the MASG office, on the corner of Templeton and Barker St, and see for yourself what people in our community are doing to make a difference through reducing their carbon footprint. Please let MASG know if you would like to display the Carbon Heroes banners in your neighbourhood or organization.
Ring 5470 6978 or email:

Morning Tea welcome for new staff member, Fran Woodruff, who is Project Coordinator for the Solar House. Come and help welcome Fran to MASG on Tuesday 12th August at 11am. Have a cup of tea and talk to other members and volunteers and see how you can help with this exciting project. See the next item as well.

Volunteers needed!
The Low Energy Solar Home Project requires a volunteer for two half days over the next few weeks (to be confirmed). We require someone with good phone skills with an eye for good design to contact potential sponsors for furnishings and fittings for the solar home. You would be working closely with Debbie Taylor and Felicity Faris and will need to be confident to ring sponsors and to be able to follow up. We have a sponsorship package prepared to send to potential sponsors so your role would be to make the contact, send the relevant information via email or fax and then follow them up in one week’s time. Interested?????
Please contact Fran ASAP on 5470 6978 or 0407 822 723

Greenpower Checkup
MASG will soon begin work on a major promotion of Greenpower in the Shire. The average household emits around eight tonnes of CO2 as a result of electricity consumption. By taking up 100% Greenpower this is reduced to zero as the energy retailer must purchase wind or solar power. But therein lies the rub for some of our members. We’ve recently had reports that at least one major retailer makes it difficult to obtain 100% Greenpower. It appears that people tell this company over the phone that they want 100%. When the bills come in a few months later, they find that they are on 20% or 50% Greenpower, not 100% as they’d wished. In one case at least, attempts to correct this failed and the person moved to another retailer. If you‘ve had any similar experience with Greenpower, please drop us a line to We will then take the matter up with the company and let the media know about it.

Festival of the Wheel (FOW)
Need to Book early!
It’s going to be a great weekend in Castlemaine, with seven rides on the Saturday (from 9 to 92km), Cycling’s Big Night Out at the Theatre Royal on the Saturday night, fun Duathlons on the Sunday morning and a huge Family Day in the Botanical Gardens on the Sunday afternoon. You will see that there are rewards for Early Bird entries, including being in a draw for a quality bike and other prizes. Also, if you’d like to ride out to Maldon and come back on the steam train, you need to book early as there are only 260 seats available on the train. In fact if you book really early and are one of the first 40 entrants for the steam train return, you can travel in the De Luxe Tambo carriage at no extra charge.

Volunteer profile – a new weekly item in E News!
This week we are profiling Ro Bancroft: My graphic design studio is near Guildford, where I design logos, printwork and web pages for local and regional businesses. I recently started volunteering my help with the MASG Festival of the Wheel, designing printwork and promotional material and updating their website. I support MASG because they are committed to a more sustainable future by implementing renewable and alternative technologies and resources for Castlemaine and surrounds.

Schools sign…. help MASG help our schools
Dean is helping organise schools in our region take part in a statewide human sign project on Wednesday 20th August. Schools in Geelong, Surf Coast, Bendigo, Portland, Gippsland, Ballarat, Riddells Creek amongst others are taking part and we want to enable schools in our shire to do the same, but need some help
If you are interested in helping see this and contact Dean on 5470 6978 or email

Slow Transport Forum will now take place on Thursday 4th September from 6:30-9:30 pm. A wide variety of speakers will be there, so this is your chance to find out what is happening in our Shire. Please RSVP before 1st September to Jill Gibson on (03) 54723098 or 0409404791. You can also email:

Events organized by other organizations

Mafumani Secondary School Choir Comes to Castlemaine! Theatre Royal Friday 8 August 7.30pm, Bookings 5472 1196 Cost: $25 full, $22 concession. A magnificent celebration of South African rhythm, song, dance and colour. With professional percussionist Basi Mahlasela, and gumboot dancer Sakhile Kumalo. To be joined by the Acafellas, the Chat-Warblers, and the Central Vic chapter of the Melbourne Millennium Chorus… A spectacular night of singing – followed by the Olympic Opening Ceremony on the big screen – free entry from 10pm.

Amnesty International fund-raiser at the Theatre Royal on Sunday 10th August at 4pm. Cost $12. A screening of HOPE, a film about Amal Basry who survived the sinking of SIEV X. “HOPE is an inspiration to all Australians who hope for a better treatment of refugees in the future.” Julian Burnside QC.

Central Victorian Business Network – Networking Dinner – Topic: The impact of Global Warming on Regional Business. This dinner will take place at the All Seasons on Tuesday 12th August at 6pm. $65.00 members and $80.00 for non members. To RSVP: 5434 6100

Upcoming talk by Richard Eckersley from ANU on “Suspicions of the Apocalypse: Global Threats, Sustainability and Well Being” on Tuesday 12th August at University of Melbourne from 1-2pm. The talk will cover three responses to climate change- nihilism, fundamentalism and activism; and how the growing understanding of health and happiness research can assist people to build on their quality of life. The talk will take place in room 516, level 5 at 207 Bouverie St, Carlton. For further information ring: 8344 3180

An evening with author David Spratt on Thursday 14th August at 6pm for 6:30pm
The New International Bookshop invites all activist groups, community sector organizations and unionists concerned to this important discussion of the way forward on climate change
For w/chair access and more info: Seb 0431 294 773 or email:
Note that MASG has ordered more copies, so please ring 5470 6978 or email to reserve a copy for yourself.

GetUp Torch Relay: GetUp is an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organisation giving everyday Australians opportunities to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues. With the opposition still debating their stance on the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme, GetUp have launched the next stage of our Climate Action Now campaign calling on bold leadership to tackle climate change. In honour of this campaign GetUp are organising an Olympic torch relay to cross Australia and have designed a solar and wind powered torch for the event. To register your interest in supporting the relay go to or just go online to check out the cool torch!

Climate Change protest
“We call for a national week of protests across Australia at the Spring Equinox, in the week beginning September 21. This week of action can highlight the summer melt of the Arctic ice and other worrying signs that demand urgent measures to de-carbonise the economy from state and Federal governments. We ask climate change campaign groups and networks and all environmentally concerned organisations across Australia to work together for a co-ordinated and effective week of public protest around these themes”. Call issued by the organising committee for the July 5 Climate Emergency Rally in Melbourne.

Garnaut, the Green Paper and Climate Change: What happened in July 08, what does it mean, and what is the role of the public? A Seminar-Workshop on Emissions Trading and Climate Change
Tuesday 12th August 2008, 1-4pm Meeting room, Ground floor, 60L, 60 Leicester St, Carlton. Organised by the Climate Action Network Australia and Environment Victoria

Steps to Securing Your Financial Future seminar and workshop program as part of the first ever Women & Money Month in September 2008. See this link.

Climate Emergency Network General Meeting
Saturday 13th September 1.15 to 5pm
Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC Further information:

Interesting Information and Links

From Friends of the Earth
George Monbiot is the highly regarded Climate Change correspondent for the Guardian newspaper. Audio from a recent video conference held between him and FOE is now available for download. A transcript is also being typed. Please contact if you would like a copy.

Future fuel report has clear advice for government
A new CSIRO report on Australia’s future fuel challenges should prompt Federal and State governments to massively invest in public transport and help reconfigure our vehicle manufacturing industry to produce cleaner cars.
The report, Fuel for thought – the future of transport fuels, looks at the need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s transport sector and how Australia can best deal with the reality of dwindling oil supplies.

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

Green Drought: According to Castlemaine Landcare Group Coordinator, the total rainfall in Happy Valley this year is now 250mm.This compares with 417mm at the same time last year.

Green tips:
Windows: Cover your windows at night with heavy curtains or blinds to reduce heat loss. However, don’t cover north facing windows

Quote of the week:

“After having one President in the pocket of Big Oil, we can’t afford another.”

From the latest Barack Obama TV ad. (Obama has also set a goal of ending oil imports from the Middle East within 10 years but we haven‘t seen his policy on bikes and public transport yet!)

Rural Indian family

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