Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 12th December 2008

Posted on 12 December 2008 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary

Wednesday 17th Dec. 5:30pm: MASG Xmas Party for members and volunteers.
Wednesday 24th December: MASG office closes
Tuesday 6th January: MASG office opens for 2009

MASG News and Events

MASG Party – Wednesday 17th December; 5:30 to 8pm: Next Wednesday is a great opportunity to celebrate our achievements for the year and to meet our new Executive Officer, Mike Hall, who will be calling in to see you all. Mike starts officially on Friday 19th December. BYO food and drink to share. No need to RSVP – just make sure you come on the night! The Odds and Sods will be here to entertain you along with Xmas craft activities for children. Party in the garden – enter from Templeton St.

Donate to help equip MASG: With new staff, we need to buy a new laptop and other equipment. We have already received a very generous donation of $1500.00 and we’re looking for a further $600.00. Remember, all donations are fully tax deductible. If you’re able to help in any way please call in at the office or ring 5470 6978.

Project Officer, Jayson Burhop and Jim Norris attended the annual Maldon and District Community Grants Program presentation today to accept a grant for $15,000.00 on behalf of the Tarrengower Working Group from the Bendigo Bank, Maldon and District Community Bank, Community Enterprise Foundation. This money will allow the second stage of the 4kW solar installation on the Bill Woodful Reserve Clubrooms at Maldon to go ahead. Thanks to Mike Brauer, Wendy French and Lorna Atkinson for their assistance with the grant application.

Small financial commitment to bikes in the Victorian Transport Plan. The new $40 billion transport plan has an additional $800 000 a year for bikes. Per head, that is 20¢ extra. We have been told that the bicycle component of the Plan will be launched in February. Please write a couple of lines to the Premier today and encourage him to announce a bike budget of at least $30m a year over six years when the Bicycle Plan is launched. As you write we will be seeking support from the wider community to get a meaningful financial commitment to bikes. In Australia, more bikes are sold each year than cars, and biggest increase in bike use is where cycle infrastructure is best; so please put your weight behind our effort to get more people riding. Contact the premier here. Read about the plan in more detail.

MASG Xmas closing dates: The office will be closing on Wednesday 24th December at 5pm and reopening on Tuesday 6th January.

May all your Christmases be Green: Looking for a Christmas gift with a difference? Want to have a green Christmas but avoid chopping down a Christmas tree? Consider giving a membership of MASG as a gift this year. Your family and friends will thank you … and so will the environment. MASG membership costs $20 per annum for an individual and $30 per annum for a family. Simply visit the MASG website, download a membership application form (under Support), provide your family member or friend’s contact details and your credit card details. Send the form back to the MASG office by Friday 12th December and a new membership card will be sent on your behalf. You will receive a confirmation of the gift and a receipt for tax purposes.

General support of MASGs projects and activities can also be provided by donating to MASG’s campaigns for 2009. Follow the links from the Donate button on the MASG home page to donate via our community. Donations of $10, $20, $50 or $100 can also be made via our membership form, or contact the office on 5470 6978 if you would like to contribute a larger amount. And whatever you are doing this Christmas, think about making it a Green Christmas.

Low Energy Solar Display Home: With summer now upon us, the vegetable garden at the Low Energy House in Campbells Creek will need watering daily. Whilst only a small section of the garden, the vegetable patch is a fantastic way of demonstrating to people how simply they can reduce their greenhouse emissions and environmental footprint. If you are able to assist in watering the vegetable patch any evenings over January or February, please e-mail Daniel Borton: advising what dates/days you’re available, and how many times you’d be able to help.

The display house will be open to the public for the next 2 weekends between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays and from 11am until 3pm on Sundays. It will then reopen on Saturday 17th January. If you want to book a private house tour contact Fran on 5470 6978 or email:

Food for the soil – compost, weed tea and worms. This free workshop/ training session has been postponed early next year. Stay tuned for a further update.

Events organised by other groups

Heritage Victoria is seeking real-life examples of the following heritage building types for the Joint Sustainability and Heritage Project: Mid-late Victorian, single and double storey; Edwardian; Interwar and Postwar. This research project seeks to understand the embodied energy, operational energy and water usage of heritage buildings and is at the leading edge of research into environmental sustainability of existing buildings. For further information email: or ring: 9637 9286.

Interesting Information and Links

Permablitz: this concept has made headlines in Melbourne with edible make-overs of backyards. Now there is Bendigo permablitz. It’s a small beginning. Take a look at

Powerful and confronting animation on climate change that covers the science and the politics in only 11 minutes. Useful for school students as well as adults. Low resolution viewing here [with link to download higher res version as well].

Good news climate-wise: Royal Dutch Shell and Anglo American have announced the shelving of a proposed $5 billion coal-to-liquids project in the Latrobe Valley because of cost blow-outs. Monash Energy, the company jointly owned by Shell and Anglo American, said market conditions made it unfeasible to move ahead with the project. Both the Federal and Victorian governments have been promoting coal-to-liquids fuel because it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, reduces dependence on overseas fuel markets and creates export opportunities. Further information here.

Innovative idea to bring bikes to Namibia:

Canadian eco village:

Green Building fund: The Green Building Fund ($90m over 4 years) aims to reduce the impact of Australia’s built environment on green house gas emissions, by reducing the energy consumed in the operation of existing commercial office buildings. Round 1 for the Green Building Fund closes at 5pm local time on 15 January 2009.

Green Tip

If you are buying traditional gifts for Xmas, minimize your carbon footprint by purchasing local and energy efficient gifts that are minimally packaged.


Victoria’s first State of the Environment (SoE) report was released last week. The Age reports: “[the SoE] is an indictment of disjointed policies with conflicting impacts. Even the overarching threat of climate change has yet to trigger a consistent, whole-of-government policy response. In a week when the Government relaxed limits on urban sprawl and unveiled more road projects, [commissioner] Dr McPhail laments the failure to join the dots between issues on the public radar, such as climate change and water supply, and other policies with a direct bearing on these problems: ‘There is still a tendency to see to see urban form, subdivision design and architecture as distinct from energy and water efficiency …yet the first is utterly dependent on the second … to see low-cost purchase as distinct from life-cycle costs and operating and replacement expense; agriculture policy as separate from ecosystem management, …

MASG’s E News is compiled by Jill Bryan. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send to: by 3pm Wednesday.
For further information ring: 5470 6978.

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