Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest Friday 4th April 2008

Posted on 4 April 2008 by e-news

For more info call 5470 6978

MASG News and Events

Growing The Harvest Festival, 12th & 13th April. A weekend of workshops, church services, eating and entertainment. Full program now available at the MASG office, summary below, and on website.

MASG Volunteers needed for Growing The Harvest. Can YOU help set up displays, welcome and host people, staff MASG stall, pack up at the end of the day?  If you can help for anything from an hour to a day please call Helena on 0400 062 930, or leave name and contact details on the board in the kitchen at MASG office, or As you may know from past experience, you will work hard, have fun, and be warmly appreciated!

Harvest Program summary:

Saturday 12th April.

9-30am: making yoghurt, or drying and preserving your vegetables, or making plum puddings.
1pm: filleting the catch, or making honey, or making your own cider & vinegar.
3pm: growing your own herbs or making your own chutneys and jams, or growing and making your own wine.
all at: Uniting Church Hall, Lyttleton St., Castlemaine. Each last an hour. $10/$5. Bookings 5472 3094. plus 12.30 FREE making olive oil demonstration.

*10am – 3pm Local food & produce display for entry details ph 54 721137. Anglican Church Hall.
Morning tea between 10.30 – 11.30.
*11am Anglican Church gum tree service – outdoors in Mostyn st near the church.

*2 – 5pm singing with Fay White. Presbyterian church hall, no experience needed. $5/$3 children free with an adult. Inquiries Judy 5470 5747.

* Harvest Café: Uniting Church Hall, 11.30 – 1pm a café offering warm local produce.

Sunday 13th April:

Harvest Church Services: Anglican, Castlemaine 10-30am, Uniting Church Harcourt 9am, Uniting Church Castlemaine 10-30am; and * 10-30am-12:

TIDDALIK – Anglican Church hall. Learn to dance the indigenous story of sharing with Ron Murray of Kinja $5 / $3 children free with an adult. No experience needed. Participants will then perform Tiddalik at the shared lunch. Inquiries: Thais 5472 5172. Shared lunch at Anglican Church hall at 12-30pm


Shire Council budget information session: Castlemaine’s Phee Broadway Theatre 7pm on Wednesday April 9th. An opportunity to look at how council is implementing its commitment to a 30% reduction in C02 and how its draft budget reflects that. If you want Council to build on the steps they have already undertaken, please attend this public session.

MASG poetry prize $500: topic of Climate change, part of the National Poetry Festival that will be held in Castlemaine from 25 – 27th April. Competition Entries close 14th of April. For details see the notice board in MASG window, pick up a bright pink program from the library & see page 2 of the brochure

Community-Owned Wind Park Open Day: MASG are investigating the potential for a community owned wind park in our shire. We would like to invite all our members to an open day to learn more about the project and how you can be involved. Saturday 19 April from 10.00am to 2.00pm. Phee Broadway Foyer, Mechanics Lane, Castlemaine, with light refreshments provided. There will be a range of written information on the day. Wind park developer David Shapero and MASG representatives will be available to answer enquiries and discuss the project. For further information and to make bookings, please contact Jayson on 5470 6978.

Can you fix-it? Do you know of anyone locally who does repairs of electrical and powered equipment. Some of our members say: “We’ve got a dead toaster and lawn mower that just need a bit of TLC from someone. We’ve approached local businesses but they’ve pointed out that the cost of repair is higher than replacement and so aren’t willing to do the repairs, but we’re reluctant to throw the stuff away without properly giving it a chance to be fixed, so as to reduce resource use”. We will list all potential fixers on the website. Email suggestions to

NEW staff and projects at MASG: Welcome to Jill Bryan who started on Monday as our Administration Manager. You’ll meet Jill if you come in through our new front door on the corner of Barker and Templeton Streets, Castlemaine. Welcome to Mez Woodward who is managing the second round of Challenge to Change (C2C). Lat year MASG hosted the first ever C2c and this autumn/winter it will run in three shires: Mt Alexander, Maribyrnong and Port Phillip. Full details in next weeks’ e-news.

Product Reviews: latest one is from Rosemary and Peter Turner about Clear Comfort plastic film on windows at: . Submit your reviews to . 

Carbon Heroes: Recently MASG received a small grant to profile Our Carbon Heroes, using photography and story-telling as a way to identify and celebrate the efforts of people actively reducing their carbon footprint, as well as to inspire others. With permission, we will be presenting the photos and accompanying stories on large canvas banners to be exhibited and launched on World Environment Day, in early May. The banners will also be displayed at future events, celebrations and information days – a great way to honour a small anthology of Carbon Heroes that represent the vast network of active and dedicated Carbon Heroes in our community.

To make this a strong, community-engaging process, we want to hear stories from local people (Mount Alexander Shire) about their Carbon Heroes, rather than depend on the agencies of change to provide only names. We are interested in hearing from you – who do you know in our community that is your Carbon Hero; can you share your story of their efforts and achievements? Or are you one of our many heroes, in which case can we hear from those you inspire?

And what constitutes a Carbon Hero? It may be someone quietly reducing their carbon footprint; sharing their knowledge with others; have always been energy efficient; just joined the campaign; the unexpected; was once a climate change sceptic; are a carbon hero to you for any other reason; an individual; a child; a family; a big-end business; someone sustaining low income; an un-sung hero?

Please contact me on 0428 751 090 (by Friday 11th April); I look forward to hearing your story. Deanna Neville. ‘Focus on Community’ – Our Carbon Heroes

MASG Sustainability Raffle: Are you able to sell tickets in your workplace, to family/ friends, or at markets before 12 April? Contact Lorna on 0419 108 847 for tickets or for more information. 5 great prizes:
1. 5000 litre tank courtesy of Kelly Plumbing (value $1395),
2. organic food harvest basket (value $200),
3. 5 bare rooted fruit trees of your choice courtesy of Bold Garden (value $125),
4. Eco-Bokashi bench-top compost bucket from Down to Earth Store (value $100)
5. 2 years’ subs to Digger’s Garden Club & Digger’s fruit and veg book (value $90).
Tickets available at Down to Earth, Barker St, and Castlemaine Wholefoods (Mostyn St.).

Local Talks: Heather made two speeches recently, to the Castlemaine View Club (approx 50 women) and to the Chewton Elderly Citizens Club (approx. 50 people) telling of how MASG started, what we are on about, and what our current projects are. 

V’line and Perez talks – both took place last night, 3rd April. These were very successful. More details next week newsletter and updates from Monday 7th on website:

MASG free bike hire will be re-starting. Can you donate a bike in reasonable nick? We are wanting hybrid and mountain bikes. Also helmets, bike baskets, safety vests and other gear, pumps, trailers etc most welcome.

Can all hire bikes that are in use at the moment be returned by 11 April. Thanks. Jill Gibson – 5472 3098

Coming Events, not endorsed by MASG

Eating-Moving-Living: pathways to sustainable urban planning, transport and food production; Saturday 5th April, 11am to 7pm The Port Phillip EcoCentre – 55A Blessington St, St. Kilda. A day to share ideas on these increasingly important issues and their place in our community – Speakers on current issues – Hearty lunch, Tour of EcoCentre, Live music, Photographic exhibition.

Peak oil, energy transition and development: World Vision Australia, Oxfam and ACF
A forum for development practitioners and thinkers. Monday 7 April, 9.45am – 1.00pm
60L Green Building Conference Room, 60 Leicester St, Carlton. The impacts of ‘peak oil’ and climate change point to increased costs of food, fuel and agricultural inputs. Includes presentations by Roberto Perez; Brett Parris (Monash Uni Dept of Econometrics); and Charlotte Sterrett (climate change advocacy coordinator, Oxfam).

Congratulations to the Bendigo Sustainability Group, who are launching their group on Sunday April 13 at 2pm., at the Kangaroo Flat YMCA. They now have a website at

Resource Smart Forum: Bendigo, 22nd April. 7am – 9am Calder Regional Waste Management Group and City of Bendigo invite you to attend a to discuss community wide programs and identify strategies that will assist our community in household waste reduction. Despite significant changes such as:
* the introduction of kerbside recycling,
* the development of Sandhurst Materials Recovery Facility
* the establishment of Eco-Centre at Eaglehawk, Bendigo waste generation remains one of the highest in the state, approximately 200kg per household higher then state average. RSVP by 18th April 2008 Kerrie Tomkins email:

Biodiversity Law Workshop: presented by the Environment Defenders Office (EDO) and sponsored by Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests. To help conservationists use the law to save and protect the bush and other natural ecosystems. Wednesday 9 April at Continuing Education, 30 Templeton St., Castlemaine, 10am-4pm; suggested donation $20 ($10 concession). Bookings needed: phone Frank Panter on 5470 5072

Other news

Remember Your Bag Campaign working group: expressions of interest to participate in a Calder Regional Waste Management Group. Rather than “plastic bag free” campaign they are planning a “remember your bag” campaign: most people have their own bags, they just forget them. Kerrie Tomkins: , 5427 3803 or 0419 106 461

Solar Hot Water rebate gets better: The Victorian government will spend $33 million helping households in regional and rural Victoria switch to solar hot water. Eligible residents can claim a rebate of up to $2500 to install a hot water unit. State Minister for Environment and Climate Change Gavin Jennings said “It means that an upgrade to (solar) hot water will now cost less than the normal replacement cost of an electric or gas hot water system which is around $1000. Hot solar water has been proven to be more energy efficient and cheaper to run over time” Mr Jennings said. MASG will provide more details soon.

Transport: Paris self-service bike-rental program “Vélibre“, [meaning free bicycle] brainchild of the socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, who has made the automobile his personal bête noire since his election in 2001. His idea is to flood the city with subsidized rentals in hopes of reducing air pollution and weaning the capital’s residents from their cars for short trips to work and play.

Car pool? Good website: Why not set up a region here?

Food: Grow your own vegies says Brisbane mayor Campbell Newman, though an environment group and academic say it may not be a good idea.

Climate change to have dramatic impact on native species: report on climate change re-inforces last year’s message from CSIRO – that even a small rise in temperatures will have a dramatic effect on Australia’s native species. The Threatened Species Network and the Climate Change Ecology Group at Macquarie University, concluded that global warming could produce sweeping changes in bushfire intensity and frequency, vegetation cover, and feral animal numbers.

Victorian Government summit on climate change. Today Premier John Brumby told the summit that climate change was the “defining issue of our era”. “The scientific case for change has been made … Victoria will not miss the opportunity to become a leader in the world’s emerging climate change economy,” Mr Brumby said. He also promised parliament house would switch to green power.

The summit also included a proposal for $72 million to be spent on renewable energy. Two days earlier, government announced an $18 billion proposal for road and rail tunnel projects in Melbourne. That’s 250 times more money, much of which would be sunk in the expensive and C02-generating road tunnel, that has dubious returns.

because we’re not used to thinking of the atmosphere as a scarce resource, we don’t see how unfairly we are behaving.” Peter Singer in this article

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