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Rebates, recycling and revolutions: you heard it from MASG first!

Posted on 25 April 2013 by e-news


Was that beans, Carey?

Switch on to our e-news! Switch off fossil power.

The next e-news will be published on Thursday, 9 May, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am.

This week, as we remember those who died in war, we consider one of the great non-sequiturs of the modern world (no, it’s not ‘military intelligence’, but something very like it) and some great local workshops.

Sweet juice, smelly dirt, rebates, recycling, revolutions and the US military is going green – you can say you read it on MASG first!


MASG staffing news

desksFarewell and lovely to have you: Two resignations – Mark Carter has left through pressure of work and Felicity Faris for health and related reasons.

Many thanks for their strong and positive contributions over the last five months. The Committee of Management has achieved a lot, in no small part to their efforts. Mark and Felicity have indicated they will continue to contribute to MASG.

We are delighted to welcome new member Julia Scrafton to the CoM. Julia is a lawyer and former senior executive in the Commonwealth public service. She lives in Castlemaine where she has a consultancy to government and the not-for-profit sector dealing with governance and ethical issues relating to climate change.

Photo by André Kertész

Photo by André Kertész

Council’s bright idea

Congratulations to Council for being part of a bright idea.

Our Shire is one of 16 local governments in Victoria that have developed a submission to the Federal Government to upgrade 23,000 street lights with energy-efficient lighting technology.

“The upgrade will save over $40 million in electricity and maintenance costs over the next 20 years,” said Margaret Rasa, Chair of MASG.

“MASG included an upgrade to street lighting in our recent submission to the Council Plan, so we are thrilled to see Council working with other shires in our region to start making this project a reality.”


Buying local always seemed a smart idea

And here’s why


windWind news

The Premier on Wind Farms

Premier Denis Napthine has declared his personal love for wind turbines, but says his government’s restrictions to where they can be built won’t change.

I love them, but we can’t have them everywhere: Premier on wind farms


Two reports that won’t quiet the anti-wind lobby, but oughtta:

Property Values – let the market decide

Wind farm sickness – spread by word of mouth

Seven things you should know about the Waubra Foundation

The Waubra Foundation promotes itself as an independent and neutral agency in discussions of wind energy. They present to wind generation, citing review boards, government inquires and communities eager for information about wind proposals world wide. However, the truth, as they say, is out there.


Climate Action Network of Australia Conference and non-violent direct action

ck_wt_fossilfuels_22From MASG member Bernard Tonkin

The annual two-day Climate Action Network of Australia conference is an opportunity to get inspired by meeting others advocating on climate issues. People around Australia are defending their communities from fossil fuel companies, making the need to transition to renewables ever more compelling.

I met Julie Lyford, the former mayor of Gloucester in the Hunter Valley, who is convinced that non-violent direct action (NVDA) is the only way ahead for their community to defend their farmland from gas fracking. AGL has 110 coal seam gas wells in their area.

Julie Lyford

Julie Lyford

I also met Nicola Paris, fresh from the NVDA campaign in Broome, who claims it was indigenous land owners’ resistance that forced Woodside to declare the James Price Point LNG economically unviable.

100% Renewables campaign is winding up again, so please join us to recruit “Solar Citizens” in the lead up to the Federal election and build people power for renewable energy! Watch this space for more details. Contact Bernard Tonkin, 0459 472 558



The Hub Plot Jottings

At the bio char workshop

At the bio char workshop

We held a great day of workshops last Saturday for our Garden Round Robin, with at least 35 attendees at each of the six workshops. Over 60 people came through the gates.

What a great group effort by the Hub Plot volunteers. We planned the day, set up, presented workshops, held activities for the children and provided a fabulous lunch for the participants. THANKS HEAPS!

If you’d like to see more photos of the workshops please have a look at our blog

Then on Sunday we participated in the chook house ramble Buda conducted. Over 90 people came to the Hub Plot to check out our three resident chooks and their gorgeous house! Thanks to Catherine, Peter, Flic and Abbie for volunteering on Sunday.

On Monday a group from St Lukes visited the Hub Plot and we explained the workings of our worm farms, composting and wicking beds, and talked about what to plant in autumn/winter.

This is the start of a collaborative project to help them set up their new vegetable patch.

Apple juicing

On Sunday, 5 May, 12-4pm there will be a community apple juicing day at The Hub Plot. The best and sweetest apple juice you could ever imagine and a lot of fun to boot!


Hub Plot suggestion: plant your garlic and broad beans now, if you haven’t already. You could also be putting in some snow peas and onions.

If you want a full guide to planting what, when and how, we have copies of our Planting Guide and Chart available for just $20. Pick them up from The Hub Plot on Monday mornings or at the MASG office. A wonderful Mother’s Day present.


Waste and Recycling Guide and Collection Calendar

Council has updated a guide to residential recycling and waste services to help you with your home recycling and waste and to minimise the amount of contamination in recycling streams.

Click here to download.

Council has also produced a new Rubbish and Recycling Calendar, March 2013-February 2014, to help you remember which day your bins will be emptied. Click here to download.??Hard copies of the guide and collection calendar are available at Council’s Town Hall and Halford St Customer Service centres, or by phoning 5471 1700.


Solar Hot Water Rebate

Until 31 May 2013, a Victorian Government rebate up to $1600 is available to replace hot water systems with an eligible energy efficient unit. The Solar and Gas Hot Water Rebates are available as a point of sale discount from participating suppliers.

Applications for the rebate must be made through a participating supplier by 31 May 2013 and installed by 30 June 2013.?? For further information, please click here.


Join the Compost Revolution!

Are you interested in reducing your environmental footprint in a fun and easy way? Then be part of the Compost Revolution!

Learn how (if you haven’t leant from the Hub Plot already) worm farming and composting can return rich nutrients to your veggie garden, while reducing the volume of food scraps destined for landfill where they produce greenhouse gases.

Log on to Council’s Compost Revolution website, and take an online tutorial and quiz. You’ve got until the end of June 2013 to take advantage of Council’s great program. For further information and to view the conditions to claim your discounted worm farm or compost bin, please visit .

Also, don’t forget to take part in the fun events during International Compost Awareness Week from Monday 6 – Saturday 11 May. Visit for more details.




Flyer - Property Planning and Management For Rural Residents

Flyer - Biodynamic Composting Workshop - 12 May 2013





Heating and Cooling - Solar PV information session flyer

































More power on less oil

Heck, Uncle Sam’s going green. How ’bout you?

The US military is about as far from green as you can get. It’s a massive organisation with a carbon footprint to rival many large nations.

Its hundreds of thousands of vehicles, ships, planes, tanks and submarines burn enough fuel to make it the largest buyer of petroleum products in the world. Its environmental record is grim.

But even the military recognises that times are changing and that cheap oil may not always be available.

So, how much better will Pashtun tribesmen feel when they know it was green power that rained drones down on their villages?

(Even greener tip: stop making war.)


speak the truthLast word

This week our last word goes to an anonymous graffiti artist.




















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