Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Get inside a sustainable house this Sunday!

Posted on 28 November 2013 by e-news

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

The next e-news will be published on Thursday, 12 December, so get your contributions in to us then, by 11am.

kitchenSustainable House Tour THIS SUNDAY, 1 December

It’s on! The best sustainable house tour you’re likely to find in this neck of the woods is on this Sunday, 1 December. If you haven’t registered already, there’s still time. Come to the Ray Bradfield Room between 9-10am on Sunday, pay your (very reasonable) fee, get your map, tea and biccies, and on your way.

House Tour Update: Five houses for the price of four! And Lucky Door prizes! View our Facebook page and link for more information. Cost: $30; $20conc/member; $50couple.

Bookings via or ring 5470 6978.

bikeBike Repair Workshop

Join the Shire for a free community workshop. Covered will be basic bike maintenance, how to confidently and safely use gears, and how to keep safe when you’re out riding.

Women on Wheels, Thursday 5 December

Not confident on your bike? No problem! Join with other women in a supportive and fun workshop to learn the basics of biking. Wesley Hill Velodrome?6-7.30pm. Nibbles provided.

 bbqFreewheeling in Fryerstown

Wednesday 11 December. Everyone is welcome for this bike’n’BBQ workshop, from the avid cyclist to the brand new beginner. Bring the family for some biking fun. Old Fryerstown School Hall 6-7.30pm. BBQ provided. To book a place contact Zach on 5471 1813


Exif_JPEG_PICTURESixty thousand

Tens of thousands rally nationwide for action on climate change More than 60,000 Australians turned out for climate change rallies across the nation last Sunday, including more than 600 in Castlemaine, calling on the Abbott Government to keep the carbon tax. Thanks to those of you who participated locally. 


Saving money and going green – (or in other words, leave the dirty retailers behind)

How do you fare? Here is one example of the savings you can make below, outlined  on this government website

Incl GST Single rate 24 /7 TOU time of use, 2 rates peak and off peak
MOMENTUM      homes 22-26c/kwh     +    .85c/day 29 – 32 Peak  14 off peak  + $0.84/day
ORIGIN                  homes 30 – 33 c/kwh  +      $1.05/day 38 – 40c Peak, 16 off peak +$1.05/day
Incl GST Single rate 24 /7 TOU time of use, 2 rates peak and off peak
MOMENTUM      businesses 21- 25c/kwh     + $0.92/day 23-27c Peak, 13 off peak  + $0.91/day
ORIGIN                 businesses 32 – 34 c/kwh   +  $1.15/day 37–39c Peak, 15 off peak +$1.15/day


Hub Plot Jottings

floatWise water workshop

Despite patchy weather we had two great workshops on Saturday with Dr Wendy van Dok, and we learnt about how to use grey water for gardening. Wendy was an engaging presenter with a wealth of information about grey water. She analysed water samples participants brought along. If you couldn’t make it we are planning to run another workshop early next year on some of the most efficient ways of watering veggie gardens.


Chris Walsh at the Hub Plot lunchLunch with Chris Walsh from the Kindling Trust in Manchester  

Chris was very interested to see what we are up to at the Hub Plot … very interested in all the schemes we have for using water wisely and efficiently. The problem where he is from is TOO MUCH water!

In Manchester Chris is working on a scheme with local farmers and community gardeners to produce food for the Manchester region. With trees pulled out of Harcourt orchards because of cheap imports from China we have lots to learn from localisation schemes such as this. It was great to have feedback from Chris about the Hub Plot.

“This is truly a gem in the middle of Castlemaine.”  Thanks Chris.

Community Garden Workshop 2013Community gardens popping up in town

The Hub Plot is supporting the community gardens being developed at both the Salvation Army in Kennedy St and the garden in the car park behind the Continuing Ed building in Templeton St.

Some of our volunteers turned up to the planting out session at the Continuing Ed community garden last week.  We are looking forward to its launch next week.

Also, some of our volunteers are helping to make wicking beds at the Salvation Army community garden and we’ll also be conducting a gardening workshop there on Friday, 6 December.


fireClimate change and firefighting: a voice from the front line

As a firefighter, I can tell you things are not the way they used to be.

The natural environment is changing. In 2009, we witnessed the devastating Black Saturday fires in Victoria. In 2010, incredible and unexpected flooding in Queensland. Rainfall is up in parts of the country, down in others. Read more


Should Australian towns buy back their grids?

Some communities and towns are now asking: Are we better off owning the networks ourselves, and directing excess earnings to local needs? And who will be the first in Australia to develop a not-for-profit network operator? Read more

Castlemaine Pool Consultations – it’s 70 years old

The Pool Issue has reared its head again, as Council organises consultations about the outdoor pool’s future. Council and MASG are keen for you to respond to a survey about the future of the pool. It’s quick to complete, but we believe environmental considerations should be up front and centre with any redevelopment. As a MASG constituent, you may be interested to plough through some of the issues below that we have identified. Feel free to use and modify as you see fit. Go to the survey

  • MASG members and supporters are keenly interested in this issue not just from an environmental perspective but from a social and economic point of view
  • MASG has no views about where the facility should be except that it should maintain wide accessibility in location (public transport, parking, biking) and disability and other health/aged care access
  • MASG is encouraging members to make their own contributions from their own knowledge, interest and experience but we are also providing the following as background guidance:

1.  Any consultation and subsequent decision-making needs to take into account what the community wants in the operational and maintenance burden to ratepayers (ie a pool or a monument).

2.  The tender process needs to reflect environmental sustainability as core to the business case, and that the business case needs to be clear and transparent

3. The discussion with the community needs to outline the costs/ benefits of sustainability features now as against uncontrollable energy costs in the future

4. Many sustainability options are available for water heating, lighting and cooling, including solar, ground source heat pumps and other design options.  The ultimate choice will depend on the location, size and community preference around costs, but Council should keep in mind local providers, and ongoing maintenance

5.  Council should stand by its previous commitment to offsetting greenhouse emissions from any pool build or redevelopment



Do you know Colin?

If you don’t today, you will after Monday. Because, on Monday, 2 December, Colin will be travelling to Canberra to speak to federal politicians about solar in Bendigo, and why politicians can’t tax the sun in our community.

Here’s why Colin is going to talk to your representatives:

“I know that solar PV and other forms of renewable energy will inevitably replace fossil fuels, just as petrol vehicles replaced the horse and cart. I am honoured to be able to represent the millions of people who support renewable energy in Canberra.”

The team at Solar Citizens has been working around the clock to get 25,000 signatures on their petition to present to Greg Hunt and Ian MacFarlane to show the depth of support for solar around Australia. Solar Citizens is a new, non-profit, non-partisan organisation funded by ordinary people like you – and they need your help getting Colin to Canberra to tell Lisa Chesters about the love for solar in the Bendigo electorate.

Can you donate $50 or whatever you can afford to today to help Colin get to Canberra to tell Lisa Chesters that we want more solar in Bendigo – not less?

The Bendigo electorate boasts over 8,000 solar homes, saving families over $4 million in electricity bills. Colin will go to Canberra to ensure that every roof in our region that wants to go solar has the ability to do so.

Telling our elected officials directly that their constituents in the Bendigo electorate care about solar will ensure that our message gets to them loud and clear.


BaBmYFxCMAAn3IQCherry Tree Range Wind Farm approved

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has just approved the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposed for Trawool in Central Victoria.

The project’s approval would not have been possible without a supportive community.

The local environment group BEAM took a leadership role after known anti-wind farm groups came to town with a fear campaign about wind farms and health. These anti-wind farm campaigners put jobs, drought-proof income, and climate action at risk.

BEAM stood up for a wind farm in their region with support from Yes 2 Renewables. Sign your name to stand with them!

We welcome VCAT’s decision to approve the Cherry Tree Range wind farm and stand with BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group in support of the project. The wind farm will create jobs and drought-proof income for their community, and help our state address the threat of climate change. 

And sign this!

More than 18,000 people have signed the petition to politicians telling them to stop any sort of tax on the sun! But, we still need 7,000 signatures before 2 December – and we need your help to do it!

Currently, Michael Long from Action Park in Tasmania is in the lead – recruiting over 40 signatures. We asked Michael how and why he’s done it – and this is what he told us:

“I have a 10kW system on my own house. Governments pushed for the uptake of solar by Australians and now they’re trying to dismantle that. I’m getting as many signatures for this petition because I care about alternative energy – especially solar – and I want to hold governments accountable to continue supporting the growth of solar in our communities.



Environment & Sustainability News from the Shire

Want to keep up-to-date with how the Mount Alexander Shire Council and the community are responding to environmental and sustainability issues? Council sends out a quarterly e-newsletter which includes information on what Council and the community are doing to transition to a more sustainable future. The e-newsletter includes details on upcoming environmental and sustainability events in the Shire. To sign up to receive the e-newsletter, click here.

Jac_Nasser_BHP_emailIt’s time to divest from BHP (if you didn’t know it already)

According to BHP Chairman Jac Nasser: “BHP Billiton will not be investing in wind and solar … that’s just not us … so if you want us to invest in those companies, cash in your shares today.”

You heard the man!


Carbon Expo Australia

Don’t miss this chance to position your business & understand the likely new low-carbon business opportunities in 2014. Delegates can REGISTER HERE

The UPDATED CONFERENCE PROGRAM can be downloaded here


Last word

Firefighter, Jim Casey

Firefighter Jim Casey

“We need action on climate change. Firefighters will continue to go to work, as we have always done, helping people in emergencies. But we’re treating the symptoms of the problem, not the disease itself. It will require a mass movement, prepared to be bold and imaginative, to do that.”






RailRevival Poster jpg


Comments are closed.

« | »

Our sponsors & supporters