Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest 10th July 2008

Posted on 10 July 2008 by e-news

For more information call 5470 6978

MASG News and Events

Climate Code Red: MASG members in the big sign last Saturday:

Climate Code Red: the case for emergency action, by David Spratt and Philip Sutton. In this meticulously documented call-to-action book, David Spratt and Philip Sutton reveal extensive scientific evidence showing the global warming crisis is far worse than official reports and national governments have indicated — and that we’re almost at the point of no return. Climate Code Red was launched by the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser, A.C. at Parliament House, East Melbourne and is available in bookshops now. More information: or order online:

Thanks to Wendy French, MASG has 2 copies of this book for sale at a cost of $25.00. Ring Jill on 5470 6978 or email if you are interested.

Position Available- Project Officer, Demonstration House
This exciting 8 hours a week position will commence in late July and end in mid 2009. It will involve the coordination of activities related to the demonstration house soon to be completed in Main Rd, Campbells Creek. Following the grand opening, we will regularly have the house open to the public and conduct workshops for tradespeople and others so as to spread the word as much as possible. Working with volunteers will be an important aspect of the position.

For further details, please see the Employment section of the MASG website. Closing date for applications: 5pm Wednesday 16th July.

MASG Social night Next social night will be on Friday 25th July at Templetons Café. More details next week.

Is your money Green??? 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:

Transport working group Slow Transport Forum being organised for Thursday evening, 21st Aug. Further details next week.

Demonstration house trainees needed Once the house is open to the public [planned for September 08], we will need a team of volunteers to be part of a roster to greet people and explain the house to visitors. This would include some weekend work. There will be orientation sessions for volunteers in August. A commitment of a few hours per month for a few months would be ideal. You would learn much about solar house design and meet interesting people. For more information, call Ian: 5470 6891.

As you all know, Carolyn Neilson finished working with MASG this week. She would like to thank the MASG team, volunteers, membership and the Mt Alexander Shire community for their friendship and support while she was with MASG. Carolyn would also like to thank past and present members of the MASG committee for their passion and drive insetting up the organization. While her time with MASG has been relatively short, it has been a phenomenal journey, she has learnt much and felt it was a privilege working with such an inspirational community. Carolyn and Dean hope to host the first Aussie carbon neutral Burns supper, so keep reading enews to find out when this will happen!

Membership Renewals: So far, over 25% of members have renewed and completed forms come back in every day. Please remember, we need you, as someone once famously said. We need your support, we need membership income and donations to do important work in coming months. We’ve got big plans in 2008/9. So, please help keep the wolves from the MASG back door and drop your cheque or credit card details into us at 233 Barker St. Jill will only be too glad to see you or to pick up your letter at the PO. If you need another form, please ring on 54 70 6978 or drop an email to

Local Food Production: Working Bee this Saturday 12th July in the garden at the rear of the MASG office – 233 Barker Street. 8.30am to 12noon (or for as much time as you can spare). We are continuing our work in the Demonstration Garden. We will be weeding (bring your favourite weeding tools), painting, building watering systems, etc. If you own, and can use a chain saw, that would also be most useful. It would help in planning for the day, if you could let Peter Sansom know if you intend to come. Contact 5474 2403 or

Bulk Solar PV News Our solar pv project is going very well. Around 60 households have applied to have 1KW of solar photovoltaics on their roofs. Following the well-attended meeting at the Ray Bradfield a few months ago, the completed applications for rebates have now been sent to the government agency in Canberra and we are now busy finalising the contract with the installer/supplier, raising the loan money and checking out our indemnity insurance. In the process, we’re learning a great deal and are confident it will be much easier next time around.

MASG’s Comment on the GAP Report GAP is the acronym for the Greenhouse Action Plan produced by Council in recent months. Along with several other groups and individuals, MASG accepted Council’s invitation to make a submission on the Plan. We argued that whilst Council has done quite a lot to reduce its own greenhouse emissions, it needs to do much more to reduce the emissions of the overall Shire. After all, Council emissions only amount to around 1% of the total Shire emissions.

This is the second or third such Plan Council has produced over the past 6 years or so and it’s by far the best, partly because it’s taking the problem seriously and partly because it attempts to detail where the savings in emissions would come from if we as a community were to cut emissions by 30% by 2010, which is of course the stated aim of both Council and MASG.

However, this key area of the Plan – where the cuts are to come from – suffers from serious deficiencies. First, there are no sources listed and that’s a real problem for anyone trying to evaluate it. Second, Council is relying on other community organisations (MASG?) to do the heavy lifting and not proposing to make a serious commitment of resources itself. (This year as far as we can tell, it will spend almost $3,000,000 on roads and bridges, less than $100,000 on greenhouse reduction measures and only $20,000 on bike development measures. And thirdly, in many cases, we know the size of the cuts envisaged would be impossible to achieve within the next 2.5 years, or is unrealistic even in the long term.

In fact, MASG’s submission has suggested to Council that it should put back the date for achievement of a 30% cut in emissions by 3-5 years. It’s time we admitted we’re well behind the proverbial 8 ball. Council is to be congratulated for opening this subject up to public comment and for setting out a good framework for discussion but there’s a long way to go before a really useful and inspiring Greenhouse Action Plan is produced. For more inforamtion, contact Neil Barra

Carbon Heroes: Wonderful pictures from the banners.

Is sequestration and carbon trading of interest to you? If so, MASG member, Leon, is interested in forming a discussion group. You can contact him on: 0418 149 458

Events organized by other organizations

The Great Guildford ReGift ReTurns A great recycling example! A fundraiser for Guildford CFA at Guildford Hall, tomorrow Friday 11th July beginning at 7pm sharp (doors open at 6:30). Tickets are $5 each – children under 16 free – and can be purchased from the Guildford Store. Light supper, mulled wine and a visit from Santa included.

Transition to a Resilient Society: Short talks and discussion about Rob Hopkins’ highly acclaimed Transition Handbook – “From oil dependency to local resilience”. Rob initiated the Kinsale Energy Descent Plan in Ireland and is mentor to the Transition Movement in the UK. His book has just reached Castlemaine and readers find that it weaves together climate change, peak oil and community action in a valuable mix. Monday 14th July, 6.30pm at 8 Campbell Street, just north east of Castlemaine Railway Station. Bring a plate to share. Copies of the book soon to be on sale at $27. More info: Carol 0427 204 524.

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

MASG members may be interested in Castlemaine Land care Group plantings: Sunday 20th July: Planting of eucalypts and wattles near the Happy Valley waterhole. Sunday 27th July: National Tree Day planting, Forest Creek (opposite Castle Motel) Further information: Robin at , 0408 706 630 or 5470 6630.

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. Flyers at usual outlets around the shire or call Continuing Education on 5472 3299.

Studio One
Young people (age 14-24) who are disengaging from mainstream education may benefit from the opportunity to learn skills in music and film, in a new environment. Sponsored by Vic Health. Have a go at song writing, recording and documentary and story telling film making. Include a climate change theme? From 17th July – 18th September. Info: Gabrielle Brauer, 5472 3299 or

Camp for Climate Action
Five days of inspiring workshops and direct action in Newcastle from 10th July to 15th July. For further information contact: or check the following website:

Interesting Information and Links

Planning to buy a new car?
The Green Vehicle Guide may be of interest to you:

Climate change and flat screen televisions:

National Farmers Federation: We know the risks, now for the solutions:

Green Tips: Ventilation

The better insulated and draughtproofed your house is, the more important it is to have adequate ventilation. Otherwise, the air can’t be exchanged often enough. Pollutants (especially from unflued heaters) may accumulate and condensation can cause mould and mildew to grow. So, despite the cold, open some windows for a few minutes several times a day (cross ventilate if possible). This is much more effective than leaving a window open partly all the time and you will lose less heat.

Quote of the week:

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”.

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