Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group Weekly News Digest, 29th Aug 2008

Posted on 22 August 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary

Friday 29th August – Social night for members
Monday Sept 1st – Solar Display Home volunteers get-together
Thursday 4th Sept – Focus on Community workshop
Thursday 4th Sept- Slow Transport Forum
Sunday 7th Sept – MASG stall at Farmers’ Market
Sunday 7th Sept – FOW Introductory Ride
Wednesday 15th Oct. Ride to Work
Sat/Sun 25/26th Oct. Festival of the Wheel

Every day – time to renew your MASG membership. We need you!!

MASG News and Events

Social Night for members will be held at The Criterion Hotel this Friday, 29th August, from 5:30pm until 7pm. If you’re new to the area, this hotel is on the corner of Mostyn and Barker Sts. We’ve booked tables near the open fire and look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Slow Transport Forum – a community consultation and conversation
Thursday 4th September, 6:30-9:30 pm, Castlemaine Town Hall.
What is your contribution to a transport vision for this Shire? MASG’s Transport Working Group is organizing a community forum to discuss and consult on this issue. We want to hear your ideas on such topics as:
* Mt Alexander Shire needs a vision that includes 50% of short trips done by no-and-low polluting transport
* how we get around to addressing the bigger issues involved in how we move/live/travel
* how communities can allow for easy mobility through shared, safe and well-planned routes for public transport, walking and cycling
* how skills and positive ideas can be shared within the community to make low energy transport alternatives accessible.
During the evening a number of speakers will share with us what is being planned or proposed by several organisations. Please confirm attendance (for org & catering purposes) before 1st Sept, contact Jill Gibson (03) 54723098, M: 0409404791or email

Homestays Needed for Festival of the Wheel (FOW) 25th & 26th October
Accommodation seems certain to be short over this weekend and could limit the success of the event. We are therefore inviting members and others to put up a bikerider or perhaps a family of bikeriders with bed and breakfast at least on the Saturday night. Remember that bikeriders are always near the top of the `most fascinating people’ surveys!
If interested, please hit the return button and let us know:
1. how many beds (double, single) you have
2. whether you would be interested in one or two nights, and
3. whether you have room in the backyard for a tent for up to 3 people.
4. Your name, address and phone numbers to save us looking them up

FOW Introductory Ride
We are planning a FOW introductory ride along the Maldon rail track on Sunday 7th September. There will be two groups, one going part of the way (covering around 10km) and the other all the way covering around 35km). Both groups will leave from the MASG office 233 Barker St at 9am, the first returning around 10-30 and the other around 12-30pm. This is one of the best rides in the area. So dust off the treadley in the back shed and let Neil know you’re coming:
We expect to have another similar ride the following Sunday.

Ride2Work – Wednesday 15th October – Victory ParkIf you would like to help on the MASG Ride to Work Working Group, please contact Jill Gibson on 5472 3098 or

Focus on Community
Remember to sign up for the next MASG workshop designed to explore and develop bottom-up, grassroots community development skills for people in their own communities. This session will be held on Thursday 4th September, 12.45-5pm, at the Anglican Church Hall, corner Forest & Kennedy Sts, Castlemaine, cost $15.00. 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. Bookings are essential, so email program facilitator, Deanna Neville on: to reserve your place

Looking for Interesting Presents for Fathers Day? The MASG office has copies of Greenhouse Solutions and Sustainable Energy by Mark Diesendorf, Climate Code Red by Philip Sutton and the DVD Renewing Hope, for sale. Call in to the office and have a look. Check that you have remembered to renew your membership at the same time…

Low energy solar home volunteer open day a hit!Thanks to all those volunteers who came to the house on Tuesday 26th August. The morning was a great success and we all had a good look around, got to meet each other and enjoyed a cup of tea in the sun, thanks to Ian Martin. Also thanks to Hans van Gemert for taking photos which will be on the website by the end of next week. For those who could not make the Tuesday session, you could meet Fran at the house at 10:15 on Monday 1st September. We still need more volunteers and this is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills to become a sustainable house guide. Email Fran on if interested. There will be further training sessions in the not too distant future.

Volunteer Profile
Julia Scoglio has been volunteering with MASG since the beginning of 2007 and contributes to the stalls team, which organises the equipment and displays at the Farmers Market. This is a vital role as it enhances community awareness about MASG and increases our membership. Julia’s background is in dance and she has worked as a Feldenkrais practitioner, helping people move in sustainable ways! This links in with her general interest in sustainablility issues.

Urgent Request for Volunteer HelpHelp is urgently needed to set up and dismantle the MASG Information Stall at the Farmers Market in the Castlemaine Market carpark on the mornings of Sunday 7th September, 5th October and 2nd November. Willing volunteers will be required for one hour to set up at 8.00 am, and a further one hour at 1.00 pm to pack up. Some moderately heavy lifting (shared) is involved. If we cannot find people to help with these three Sunday mornings the Information Stall will not be able to be used – this would be a great pity as we are advertising Festival of the Wheel as well as raising community awareness about MASG. If you are prepared to help, please register your name / contact details with Jill at the MASG on 5470 6978 during business hours, or email:

Events organised by other groups

Hepburn Wind Share Offer
Please support this local initiative to build Australia’s first community owned wind farm. An investment in Hepburn Wind not only will return a dividend to the investor, but will also make a significant contribution back to the community, and pave the way for other communities to take responsibility for their energy requirements. The share offer is currently open and details can be found at Now is the time to rally and put some investment money where it will make a difference!

Afternoon Tea with Professor Stuart Hill on Sunday August 31st, 2-4pm at the Uniting Church Hall on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine. His presentation will be about: “10 common mistakes to avoid, and needs to meet, when seeking to create a better world”.Gold coin entry with light refreshments. For more information contact Jane Knight on Ph: 5348 1855 or Janet Phillips on Ph: 0400 050 399.

Free events at Continuing EducationEnviro Badges Get your enviro-slogans out there with badge queen
Barb Sparks-Henderson. Make three badges for free and a small fee per badge after that. When: Saturday 30th August 2-5pm
Responsible Landscaping Responsible use of materials and plant choices for Future Central Victorian Gardens and landscapes. Saturday 6th September 10-1pm.
For information on further courses, ring Continuing Education on: 5472 3299

Sustainability Youth Forum will be held on Saturday 6th September at RMIT Storey Hall, corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne. For further info email: or ring 0403 591 045

Volunteers needed for Sustainable House Day: Now in its seventh year, the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society will be holding Sustainable House Day across the nation on 13th and 14th September 2008. Carefully selected homes are open for visitors in major cities and some regional areas, including Elphinstone. Check the following website for house locations and training sessions (note that one will be held in Daylesford) Please contact Sarah Dugdale by email: or ring either of the following numbers: 9025 9080 or 0409 640 841, if interested. This will also be excellent training for when the MASG Low Energy Display home is open later in the year.

Footprints to creating a sustainable small business
Mount Alexander Shire Council is sponsoring FREE workshops for small producers and artisans working in the shire, to improve the sustainability of their business.
Places are still available for individual sessions, which offer practical activities, tools, inspiration and advice for developing action plans to sustain yourself, your business and your planet. Sunday August 31st 10-1pm: Alternative energy, carbon offsets and greenpower. For more information and bookings please contact Jane knight on ph: 5348 1855 or email: OR Gabrielle Brauer at Castlemaine Continuing Ed. 5472 3299 or email:

Picnic at Muckleford Steam and Wheels, Muckleford Railway Station
Saturday 6th September 2008, Father’s Day Weekend, 10am to 5pm
Working steam and diesel trains, rides available
Local wines, food, produce and crafts, Live Music Program. Children’s Entertainment
Children admitted free. Enquiries:, George Young 54752442
Sustainability Youth Forum: Details: Saturday 6th September, Level 7, RMIT Storey Hall, Swanston St, 8.45am to 5pm (lunch and morning and afternoon tea provided). Contact Gordon or Stacey via sustainabilityyouthforum@gmail.comor or ring 0403 591 045

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

Stillness in ActionMeditation, Community and the Earth, Seymour, 22nd – 28th September 2008
Further enquiries: Tathra: 0416 743 605 or email: or

Box Iron Bark Ecology course, Nagambie 13-17th October 2008. Brings together leading researchers and experts to share up to date knowledge and thinking about this landscape in change. For further information email:

Meditation Retreat with Subhana Barzaghi and Carol Perry13th – 20th March 2009, Daylesford. For beginners and experienced meditators. The cost is $410.00 and covers accommodation and three vegetarian meals a day. A limited number of concession places are available, please apply early. For Information and bookings contact Karina on (03) 5472 2956 or email: . Application forms can be downloaded from

Interesting Information and Links

Australia’s most Sustainable Shed
We’ve known for a long time that every true blue Aussie bloke – not to mention the occasional sheila – needs a shed. Now ReNew magazine is looking for a shed that excels in sustainability. Are you building an electric car or a water-saving device in your shed? Is your shed solar powered? Does it have its own wind turbine or did you build your own turbine in your shed? Is your shed made from recycled materials? Or perhaps you just sit in your shed and read about sustainability? The competition, which closes 16th January 2009, will be judged by acclaimed shed researcher Mark Thomson, author of Makers, Breakers Fixers: Inside Australia’s Most Resourceful Sheds. For more details, email or go to the Alternative Technology Association website:

Global figures on CO2 increase

Green tips

Always turn taps off fully and replace worn tap washers. Just one drop of water per second wastes 1200 litres per month!

Light quote of the week: President Bush says he’s really going to buckle down now and fight global warming. As a matter of fact, he announced today he’s sending 20,000 troops to the sun. – David Letterman

Less light quote of the week: Given the lessons from the Arctic summer of 2007… allowing warming to reach even 2 degrees, let alone the increasingly advocated 3 degrees, is reckless… This is our emergency.– David Spratt and Phillip Sutton, Climate Code Red –the Case for Emergency Action, 2008

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 Closing time for copy Wednesday 3pm.
If you would like further information, please go to the website,, or phone 5470 6978

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