Green groups have come under fire again this week with the Abbott government pushing its plan to change environment laws, after actions by Queensland conservation groups, contributed to Indian mining company Adani’s environment approval for its massive Carmichael coal mine being set aside.

Three crossbenchers say they will not vote for changes in the form being proposed by the government, which is to repeal a section of Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act that allows conservationists and other community groups to challenge environmental approvals.

Farmers have hit back in fury as under the proposed changes many farm organisations will also be denied standing to challenge federal environmental approvals in the court.

The attorney general, George Brandis, told the Senate on Wednesday the government would only abolish 487(2). There are three parts to section 487 and (2) is the part allowing individuals to take court action. Repealing only that section would stop individual farmers taking action, but leave the sections that allow both environment and farming peak bodies to continue to take action as they do now.

We will be following this closely over the coming weeks.  Read the statement by Environmental Justice Australia here.

MASG’s Wasteless Project


Since MASG Volunteer and Project Worker Kate Orr began our battery recycling program 3 years ago, the number of collection points has increased from 1 to 27, ranging from schools to hardware stores and local businesses, the Council office and landfill sites, and all local CFA branches. In 3 years approximately 314kgs have been recycled, compared to around 90kgs in the preceding 5 years.


MASG Reverse Garbage and Recycling Initiative

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group are mapping business waste in the townships of Castlemaine, Maldon, Newstead and Taradale that can be re-purposed.
We want to link businesses with waste to individuals, community groups and schools that need it: it’s that simple!

Local businesses
Do you have waste items that you could give to individuals, community groups and schools that need them? Do you want to save money on your garbage bills? We want to hear from you!

Individuals, Community Groups, Schools

Are you looking for a special item to give it a new life?
Are you involved in a local community group, school or project that needs materials?

Find out more here:

or Contact MASG:
Ph: 5470 6978

MASG Battery & Light Globe Recycling

Bring your spent batteries and light globes into the MASG office:
325 Barker St, (opposite the North School)
Weekdays 9.30am – 3.30pm
and they will be taken to a recycling station.

This is a free service though a small donation is appreciated.

Interested in helping MASG’s Wasteless project

MASG would like to see these projects grow, and this is where we need your help.
MASG is driven by a longstanding legacy of committed volunteers, and we’d love to hear from you if you would like to get involved.
Contact the MASG office or email

Young People and Sustainability: Local Events


Local sustainability educator Jay Smith, invites young people, groups and individuals interested in youth leadership to two special events. Jay works out of the Synergize Hub in Bendigo and is passionate about educating and empowering people to create thriving communities, with vast experience in youth and community sustainability education and engagement. Jay is also a member of the AYCC, Victorian Young Greens and the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group.

Empower Young People in Your Community:
‘Learning Lunch': 27 August

Thursday, August 27, 2015
12:30 PM1:30 PM

Synergize Hub (in Haven Building)
Level 2
10-16 Forest Street
Bendigo VIC 3550

How can we build the capacity of young people to become informed citizens, actively involved in strengthening the wellbeing, resilience and sustainability of their communities?

Jay Smith will share his experiences in tackling this question head on through OzGreen‘s Youth Leading the World initiative, a project which empowers young people to take positive action on environmental and social sustainability issues in their local communities.

This award winning initiative is currently running in over 100 communities, both across Australia and globally. Project partners include government, youth and community organisations, schools, universities, TAFEs and businesses.

For more info or to register your interest contact:
Jay Smith
Ph: 0439 611 696
Or click the link here

Local Young People Leading the World:
Sustainability Assembly 4 September

Jay also invites you to come along to the ‘Youth Leading the World’ Sustainability Assembly inspired by the ideas of young people in our community, which will accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.

Students from Winters Flat, Elphinstone and St. Mary’s Primary Schools will present their action plans which they developed during OzGreen’s Youth Leading the World Congress in Castlemaine in late July.

To register your interest in attending the Assembly, please contact:
Jay Smith, Youth Leading the World, Mallee Coordinator, OzGreen.
Ph: 0439 611 696
RSVP Thursday 27 August.



Stand with Farmers for a Gasfield Free Victoria:
@ The State Library 20 September

The Victorian Auditor General’s report on unconventional gas has just been released, warning that well recognised risks may make unconventional gas mining unsuitable for Victoria because of it’s dense population, scarce water resources, and high reliance on agriculture.

Auditor-General John Doyle said: “Victoria is not as well placed as it could be to respond to the risks and impacts that could arise if the moratorium is lifted’ and there were “major problems” with the state’s current regulation of unconventional gas, managed by the departments of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Working with a range of groups, Friends of the Earth will help host a large ‘Farmers and Friends against Fracking’ rally on Sunday September 20.

The draft report from the inquiry into unconventional gas is due on Sept 1, so now is the time to make it clear the community wants an outright ban.

If you would like further information, or would like to get involved, please contact:
Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth:

Event details here:

Sign Friends of the Earth’s Petition calling for a ban here:

For other ways to contribute to the campaign to protect Victoria from Unconventional Gas, head to:

‘An Evening with Tim Flannery’ 26 September

MASG are delighted to be working with The Hub Foundation to support the delivery of this event.

Professor Tim Flannery, Chief Councillor at the Climate Council, will discuss how Australia can prepare itself for a clean energy future, provide an update on the latest climate science, and outline the current impacts of climate change in Australia.

Fancy brunch with Tim Flannery? Become an Event Supporter and this is one of the benefits, as well as tickets to the main event.
It will be a great chance to meet Tim informally over a delicious breakfast prepared by the team from the Gov Cafe (at the Old Castlemaine Gaol) as well as other like-minded supporters and sponsors.

To purchase your ticket head to the link:

For more info contact:
Jo Kaptein
Ph: 0455 589 065

Any profits generated will be shared between local sustainability organisations and the Climate Council.

Call for Volunteers: Local Lives Global Matters
16-18 October

“Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that has ever changed it” Margaret Mead
Volunteers are needed to join our conference team and be part of this inspiring global meets local conference.

You can help before, during or after the conference or all of the above!

Volunteer tasks include:
Facilitators for plenaries/panels, billets for international/interstate speakers, registrations, assisting at site visits, mini buse drivers to field sites, publicity, media, audiovisual, scribes for workshops, setting up / packing up venues, and volunteer coordinators.

If you have some time and energy to offer, please contact:

Carolyn Neilson
Ph 0439550904

Become a MASG Supporter


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:

Support MASG with a donation

Make a tax deductable donation to help MASG continue its shire wide projects including the ‘Zero Net Emissions by 2025′ campaign.

Click here to make a donation or go to

You can also email Mahesh at
or Ph: 03 54
70 6978.


If you haven’t already subscribed to MASG’s fortnightly enews with clean energy updates, offers and events click here
or head to: