Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Someone has soiled the air!

Posted on 27 March 2014 by e-news

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The next e-news will be published on Thursday, 10 April, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am.

Earth Hour 2014

This Saturday, 29 March, 8.30pm, it’s Lights Out for the Reef. At 4.30 in the afternoon Channel 10 will screen a documentary on the threats to the reef posed by the coalmining industry, but you can download the documentary from the site and watch it at any time.


325BarkerMASG is moving!

We’re picking up sticks and packing boxes to move up to the old Vets All Natural Building, at 325 Barker St, opposite the North School. We’re sharing with some other interesting tenants, including the Enviro Shop, so we’d love to see you some time. Come up and visit us in our new building after 15 April.


reusablesIntroducing The Reusables

The Reusables Inc. (a new local not-for-profit group) recently launched the ‘Castlemaine Cup Campaign: It’s not a race, it’s a movement’. The campaign aims to reduce the use of disposable cups in Castlemaine by 75% by 2015.

The Reusables Inc. will liaise with local cafes and other relevant businesses in the Shire to design a reusable cup that will be offered for customers to buy and use each time they order a take-away coffee or other drink. Cafes and businesses participating in the campaign may sign up to the ‘Responsible Cafes’ program which is run by another not-for-profit, Responsible Runners.

Keep an eye out for the poster to know whether your favourite coffee shop is participating in the Castlemaine Cup Campaign! The Reusables’ Paula Ewing, Cass Ewing and Jenny Campbell are passionate about reducing waste and protecting the environment they grew up in. If you would like to know more about the campaign, contact or like their Facebook Page.


Volunteers! Screen printing and dishes

Do you have screen printing skills? We need our Wash Against Waste trailer tee shirts screen printed with something groovy. Please let Anna know if you can help: 0435 291 835, or

UQL9G00ZWe also need volunteers to work on the MASG Wash Against Waste Trailer. We are planning to service the Castlemaine Farmers’ Market every second month. We’ll give you free training to familiarise you with the trailer, and even train you as a licensed operator if you wish. It’s fun, and you’ll only need to do a two hour shift every second month.

Please contact Anna know if you can help: 0435 291 835, or


bushfireSustainability Drinks – Fire

Our next Sustainability Drinks will be on Climate Change and fire – what it means at a national level, globally and locally. We’ll have a great list of guest speakers, so put 2 May in your diaries. More information to come.


Youth Leadership Opportunity

Care for the environment? Looking for an opportunity to develop your leadership skills? The Mount Alexander Shire Council has an opportunity for two young people in the Shire to undertake the Youth Leading the World Facilitator Training Program in Swan Hill on 13-14 May.

The training will develop your leadership skills and help you inspire others. You will get to meet other young people who are working towards a sustainable future. For more information, please visit To register your interest, please contact Jay Smith, Youth Leading the World Project Officer on 5471 1743 or


which oneLast nail in the coffin for wind farm health scares

The Australian Medical Association have just assessed the evidence, and they’ve given wind farms a clean bill of health.

Read the full story 


Hub Plot Jottings

East Timor Visitors

Last week we shared our gardening session and lunch with  four Timor Leste visitors who came to the Shire on a study tour.

Timor Leste visitWe had a relaxed, informative exchange of ideas about differences in food production in Lolotoe and Castlemaine. Our visitors were particularly interested in the wicking beds and our worm farms.

The Hub Plot has donated to the group A Permaculture Guidebook from East Timor (Permaculture Timor Lorosa’e) – Written by Lachlan McKenzie, with Ego Lemos. This is a permaculture book written in Tetum and specifically for East Timorese conditions.

Thanks to everyone who brought food to share.  Thanks also to Louise who interpreted so well for us.

Spontaneous Solar cooker ‘workshop’

Last week Grace brought along her solar cooker to the Hub Plot.  We’d thought we could cook some of our lunch for the Timor Leste visitors.  It wasn’t to be as after weeks of sunshine we had a cloudy day – so no solar cooking!  But that didn’t stop us from learning so much from Grace about how solar cookers work and their great benefits. How often were ovens and stoves used over summer when the sun could have been doing the work directly? Thanks Grace for your inspiration.

Watch this space for a forthcoming workshop.


Our Chair heads north

MASG was one of the reasons why I decided to settle in Castlemaine – along with the yoga, food, train to Melbourne and liveability!  MASG is a great way of  getting  involved in practical action within my local community and moving out of helplessness and despair about climate change.   We all bring different skills and ideas.  My contribution is time, and the training and experience in governance, management and advocacy from a career in government and the community sector.   BA, (Melb) Dip Ed (Latrobe) BA (ANU) Grad Dip Community Counselling (UCAN) Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors

Chair of MASG, Marg Rasa, this week headed north to the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF)  at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. The conference was a major event for the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, to share ideas and network among Australia’s $600 billion not-for-profit superannuation sector. Marg presented the fund reps with one of MASG’s newest projects, The People’s Solar, which MASG is working on with Energy for the People.

Her presentation fell on keen ears … because Divestment is the name of the game in town these days.  The Super funds and the banks are talking seriously about divestment, and renewables are where the smart money is headed.


What is Divestment?
environment_fossil_fuel_divestment_180 Al Gore brought us An Inconvenient Truth, the compelling movie presenting evidence of human-induced climate change.
The next step is divestment, pulling your money out of the major banks and Super funds that are ignoring the advice of 95% of the world’s scientists and continuing to fund fossil fuel developments, including those for the Great Barrier Reef.
Pulling your money out is not easy. The moral argument around fossil fuels is not enough to get some institutions to do the right thing. So hit their bottom line.
Ask questions of your banks and super fund. Moving your money will mean doing some paperwork and making phone calls, but once it’s done you get the smug satisfaction of knowing your money is no longer wrecking the planet. And let your financial institution know why you have moved your dosh.

The Stranded Down Under Tour

“The coal price required for many of these projects to be economic, is unlikely to be sustained…” – Caldecott, Tilbury & Ma (2013)*

Ben Caldecott

Ben Caldecott

This week this message is being signalled loud and clear, as Ben Caldecott from Oxford University and Bloomberg New Energy Finance starts his tour of Australia. Click here to find out more.

The financial case for moving beyond fossil fuels is growing by the day. Come and hear Ben discuss the financial obstacles facing new Australian fossil fuel projects, discover how your money is funding these projects and learn how you can use your dollars and cents to secure a safe climate future. 

Click here to find your nearest event.



Six hundred people are now registered to switch to fossil free banks on Divestment Day on 3 May, with events in more than 14 locations around Australia.

You can participate in this first ever day of divestment action!

Some excellent divestment developments are currently underway:

809204-120121-b-banks-picsBut as major investors at home and abroad wake up to the risks of fossil fuels, new research reveals that, since 2008, the Big Four banks have loaned almost $19 billion to new coal and gas projects in Australia, many on the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s time show the big banks that we need to move beyond fossil fuels. Already 600 have registered to close their Big 4 account on 2-3 May and switch to a fossil free bank – more people are needed. Click here to find your nearest event and register today, then LIKE and SHARE to invite others to join you.


44SOL_DirtyCoal555“First shots fired in mining battle”

That’s the headline in a recent edition of the Australian Financial Review. The Minerals Council of Australia has started a campaign against the divestment campaign. As the article in the AFR points out, it’s the clearest sign yet that the divestment campaign is biting.

Your support is needed to help to win this fight. needs 100 people to donate monthly an average of $8/week. Will you be one of those 100 people? Click here to find out how.




“If I were a student, I would support what you’re doing. But if I were a board member I would do what I did when we took up the Apartheid issue. This is an opportunity for learning and the raising of awareness, for the discussion of sustainable capitalism.”

– Al Gore


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