Zero Net Emissions by 2025

News from MASG: Welcomes, Farewells, Fundraiser Success

Posted on 18 June 2015 by e-news

News from MASG: Welcomes, Farewells, Fundraiser Success

There is a huge amount of news and updates to report on, with new staff announcements, recent Fundraiser Success, MASG project updates and ways to get involved.

In local news, MASG supported a divestment action organised by 350 Castlemaine, at the Commonwealth Bank as part of a week long campaign.

The MASG Community Renewables Project is reaching its peak. There will be a special project e-news dedicated to a more thorough update on the findings, and updates on other MASG projects including the soon to be announced Sustainable House Tours and the ongoing Waste Less Project.

In state politics the Labor Government has made a strong stand on Victoria establishing a Victorian renewable energy target; The G-7 economic leaders announcing the commitment to phasing out Fossil Fuels by the end of the century; and new information has been released dismantling perceived negative health impacts from wind farms.

A big thanks and farewell and welcome to new staff.

The new staff would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the massive efforts of outgoing Office Manager Anna Hedigan, and Communications Officer Andrew McKenna.  We have an exciting new team who have hit the ground running this week.  We would like to introduce you to the new Office Coordinator Mahesh Kandasamy, the new Communications Officer Mandy Field, and the new Wash Against Waste Coordinator Helen Kaptein.  Come and pop your head into the office at 325 Barkers St (next to the Environment Shop) to say hello. Mahesh is in on Mondays, Mandy on Thursdays, and Helen Fridays.

Fundraiser Success ‘Rhythms for Renewables’

The first Rhythms for Renewable benefit gig was held on May 16, at the beautifully restored Castlemaine Town Hall. Around 90 people came for an evening of great food, music and inspiration.  Local acts Mary Fairburn Orchestra and Memphis Joe kept the crowd entertained in between the food and presentations. Andrea Wilson led the catering team, producing a superb and abundant tapas menu. The evening finished with a bang, with Melbourne group Mr Furious, getting people up and dancing to some brilliant pub rock.

Special thanks to: the incredible kitchen volunteers, Dean Bellfield and Mark Carter for the wonderful placemats and design help, to the amazing and generous musicians who gave their time and talents support MASG, and for all of you that came along, or that couldn’t, and supported anyway:)

Thanks also to Ben for his brilliant sound teching, Mount Alexander Shire Council for the free use of the Town Hall, and a massive shout out to the local businesses who contributed food, flowers and items for the Event and the Auction:

Castlemaine Floristry
Sprout bakery
Central wine store
Bress winery
Mike Reeves	
Nada Smark
Image Isight
Cycle Concepts	
New Northern
Five Flags Hotel	
The Environment Shop
The Bike Shop
Wesley Hill Bakery	
Barfold Estate Winery
Red Hill Hotel
Rocket Roast Coffee	
Henry of Harcourt	
Railway Hotel
Lewin Consulting	
Bendigo Bank Maldon	
Castlemaine Brewing Company
Angel Organics (Welshmans Reef) 
Beyond Free Range (Taradale)  

We raised around $2,500, which is a fantastic effort, and we’re aiming to do even better next time! 

Local News

On May 22nd, 40 protesters entered the Commonwealth Bank in Castlemaine, for a 3minute ‘Freeze in’ as part of the week of action, against the Commonwealth Bank’s investment in a massive coal mine in the Galilee Basin in QLD. Coordinated by Castlemaine 350’s Bernard Tonkin, Susie Burke and Dean Bridgfoot and aligned with

For information about how to divest, in order to abandon these banks while they continue to invest in fossil fuel mines and exports, click here to go to the MASG Divest Page.

See a video from the action from Castlemaine 350.

You can also support the divestment movement by going to the Central Victorian Divestment Page and signing the Fossil Fuel Free Charter.

In the Media

The States and the World Continue the Move Away from Fossil Fuels

The Victorian Labor Government is continuing its strong stance for a removal of Section 7c of the Renewable Energy Target Legislation to allow Victoria to set its own renewable energy target . With the ACT committing to a target of 90% renewables by 2020, SA at 50% by 2025, and QLD 50% by 2030 pressure is mounting on the Abbott government to allow states to respond to opportunities that Renewable Energy Targets will provide.

In international news, the G7 nations have made an agreement to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century, in a bid to cut emissions as recommended by the  IPCC, the United Nations’ climate change panel, ‘to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at the upper end of a range of 40% to 70% by 2050, using 2010 as the baseline.’ 

Studies Suggest Link Between Perceived Health Impacts and Expectations of Negative Health Impacts from Wind Farms.

New studies, investigating the negative impacts of wind farms on health, ‘suggest that stress related symptoms can be mistakenly attributed to the infrasound emitted by wind turbines.‘ Dr Susie Bourke, from The Australian Psychological Society, states. The Australian Psychological Society has made submissions of this evidence to government inquiries on the health effects of wind turbines.‘  Building on the 2013 study by Simon Chapman, University of Sydney, exploring the ‘nocebo’ effect, a recent experimental study at the University of Auckland, indicates ‘that negative health information readily available to people living in the vicinity of wind farms has the potential to create symptom expectations, providing a possible pathway for symptoms attributed to operating wind turbines.’ writes Fiona Crichton, University of Auckland.

Slacktivism – Renewable energy action from your computer

Put your support behind a VRET and sign Friends of the Earth’s ‘Yes2Renewables’ campaign petition, calling on Daniel Andrews and the Victorian State Government to commit to a VRET and to show leadership on environmental issues.

Friends of the Earth are running a campaign calling on a fair senate enquiry into wind farms.

Sign the petition here:

Whats on

Wash Against Waste Trailer at The Village, Saturday 20th June.

Equinox is coming, and you can celebrate (or give the ‘big V’ to) the darkest day of our year, by participating in the Village Festival on 20th June. As well as attending and enjoying all the treats and performances, we would ask that you give us two hours of your time on the Wash Against Waste Trailer – it’s a lot of fun, you’ll have your hands in hot water to keep them toasty as well as contributing to a low-waste festival ethos.

Call the MASG office to volunteer on 5470 6978 or email on


Alternative winter heating

Saturday June 13, 10.30am-12pm
325 Barker St, Castlemaine

Winter has arrived and with it the dreaded winter heating bills. To reduce your winter woes and increase your comfort, perhaps it’s time you looked at alternate ways to warm your home. How about a heated foot mat to keep your toes warm whilst you’re at your computer? What about hydronic h
eating run off a super-efficient heat pump? Maybe a heat-shifter is what you need to get the heat from one room to another? If you want to explore al
l things warm, come along to our free session to discuss your options this winter.  Places are limited so book early by calling 5472 4160 or email

Enviro Shop Stocktake Sale

The end of the financial year is nearly here and Castlemaine Environment Shop have stock to clear. Get into the store for 30%off Bambo nappies, 40% off the last of the Bio Paints (which 

will no longer be imported into Australia), 30% off leftover bags of Expol and Earthwool insulation and 30% off mushroom growing kits until stocks run out. 

Become a MASG Member

MASG is a volunteer driven organisation with part time staff that support the ongoing project operations that MASG undertakes to research, advocate and implement large scale community renewable energy solutions, and sustainability initiatives. MASG is committed to representing community interests in communicating these aims across local government, industry and services.
Though we need your support to continue this work. Click this link to be taken to the membership page on the website.

Or go to:

Make a donation

With the end of the financial year approaching now is a fabulous time to make a tax free donation to help MASG continue its shire wide projects which include the 100% Renewable Energy community campaign.

Email Mahesh to donate or call 5470 6978.

Or click here to make a donation to the community renewables project.




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