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The next e-news (and last for the year!) will be published on Thursday, 11 December, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am.

It’s AGM time, it’s time for our annual Sustainable House Tour, and, of course, we bring you the results of our local candidates’ questionnaire.

 

agm-2014-150x150MASG AGM – tonight

Local psychologist Susie Burke is speaking at our AGM tonight, and she will be speaking on Climate Change and physical and mental health.

You will hear about MASG’s potential restructure, and a forum for members coming up early next year. Come along tonight and have your say about the future of MASG, hear about our projects, and make your own suggestions.

MASG AGM: 7pm at the Ray Bradfield Room, Thursday, 20 November.

 

artists new techSustainable House Tour

Sunday, 30 November

MASG’s annual Sustainable House Tour is on again, and it’s always a hit with locals and others who travel from afar.

The 2014 Tour’s theme is “Old Meets New” and features four very different homes.

  • A “permacultured” retrofit of a 1940s house, owned by a local community solar entrepreneur.
  • A chef’s dream commercial kitchen, emerging pristinely modern from an old stone cottage.
  • An artist’s “grand design” constructed from Ozone Panels (a type of quick-build Structural Insulated Panel, new to Castlemaine) and…
  • A unique “flat above the shop” scenario built with recycled materials from the owner’s soon-to-be-opened salvage yard.

For bookings ring MASG on 54706978: or Kate on 0423 087 030

 

800px-Victoria_Parliament_Melbourne_(Colonnades_&_Stairs)Candidates’ questionnaire

We do it before every election. We send questions on renewables or sustainability issues to all local candidates, and this year from the pool of candidates we received three responses: from John Brownstein (Greens), Michael Langdon (Lib) and Maree Edwards (ALP).

We do this questionnaire before elections to help give you an idea of where local candidates stand on the most pertinent environmental issues: and at the moment those issues are renewable energy and Coal Seam Gas.

The questions were:

  • (1) Will you support the repeal of the planning restrictions on windfarms introduced by the Baillieu Government?
  • (2) Will you support the retention of the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and its expansion to cover any reduction of the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target?
  • (3) Will you rule out Coal Seam Gas development in Victoria once the current moratorium expires?
  • (4) Will you support a shift in subsidies away from fossil fuels in favour of renewable technologies?

EdwardsMaree Edwards (ALP) answered ‘yes’ to all questions, except for (3) on Coal Seam Gas. She wrote: “I personally don’t support it but (I’m) not in a position to rule it out.”

 

 

 

 

brownsteinJohn Brownstein (Greens) answered ‘yes’ to all questions.

 

 

 

 

 

langdonMichael Langdon (Lib) answered yes to all questions except for (1). He would not support the repeal of planning restrictions on windfarms.

 

 

 

All other local candidates, including Damian Drum (Nat), Wendy Lovell (Lib), Amanda Millar (Lib), Greg Bickley (Lib), Jacinta Allan (ALP) failed to send in their responses.

Mathew Guy (Lib) Minister for Planning, Ryan Smith (Lib) Minister Environment and Climate Change and Lily D’Ambrosio (ALP) Shadow Minister for Minerals and Energy, did not respond either.

 

smith_minersDivestment Day, Friday 13 February 2015

It will be a black day for coal, among many many black days for coal. It’s still a long way off, but Friday, 13 February 2015, is the next Divestment Day in Castlemaine.

The local branch of 350.org will be launching the new Central Victorian Fossil-Fuel-Free Charter, which you will be able to sign and start thinking about moving your money away from fossil fuel investments, if you haven’t already.

Stay tuned, and we’ll let you know more about the event as we get closer to it.

 

mountain-biking-for-ride-maps-pagesHarcourt Mountainbike Park

Today – this morning – the Victorian Labor in Opposition announced that they would fund the Harcourt Mountainbike Park.

MASG has been sitting on the Steering Committee for the past year. Initially we were hoping the funding may come through earlier in the year, but the election intervened.

The Government has not indicated whether it will fund the park, but the Opposition’s announcement today means a great boost for Harcourt.

The $1 million investment in the Harcourt Mountain Bike Park plan is estimated to boost the local economy by $10 million.

“We want to keep locals active and grow local jobs,” said Maree Edwards, sitting State Member for Bendigo West.

“This will bring 100,000 visitors to town and be a real boost to our economy.”

It is estimated the park will create 58 jobs within five years.

 

MoU signed with Council

MoU_signing

Mayor Christine Henderson and Mick Lewin signing the MoU

MASG and Mount Alexander Shire will continue their collaboration of the past few years to make this Shire a local government leader in sustainability. We have just signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, which renews cooperation of the past three years.

“Council is committed to working for a clean and resilient environment, and this MoU highlights Council’s intention to work with us to improve our environmental record here,” said Mick Lewin, Chair of MASG.

 

 

BSG

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Sweden runs out of garbage

sweden

Due to Sweden’s innovative waste-to-energy program and highly efficient recycling habits, the country faces an interesting dilemma – they have run out of trash.

Sweden’s waste management and recycling programs are second to none as only four percent of the nation’s waste ends up in landfills. By contrast, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, over half of the waste produced by US households ends up in landfills.

Because the Swedish manage waste so effectively and then use what remains to partly power their country, they are now living an environmentalist’s dream; a shortage of garbage.

Read more…

 

 

yb9tyzb3-1410929828But Australia has too much garbage

Mining giant Glencore will shut down its Australian coal operations for three weeks due to an oversupply of coal.

The three week shut down will be carried out across all of Glencore’s Australian coal operations in December.

Glencore said the move was driven by the current oversupply of coal, which has hurt prices of the commodity.

Read more…

 

 

 

Graphic by Mark Logan

Graphic by Mark Logan

So who really runs Australia anyway?

The age of entitlement is over in Australia — except for the fossil fuel industry and those who can buy political patronage.

Treasurer Joe Hockey urges all of us to “share the pain” for his“budget emergency”, but, sadly, ‘sharing’ isn’t in the fossil fuel industry’s playbook.

Read the full story…

 

chesters

Last word

meadWe won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.
Margaret Mead