Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 5th December 2008

Posted on 5 December 2008 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary

Wednesday 10th Dec: CRAG information session
Wednesday 17th Dec., 5:30pm: MASG Xmas Party for members and volunteers

MASG News and Events

MASG Xmas Party on Wednesday 17th December in the garden from 5:30 to 8pm. Come and catch up with other members and volunteers and celebrate our achievements for the year! Our new Chair, Jim Norris, is looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. BYO food and drink to share. No need to RSVP – just make sure you come on the night!

MASG is delighted to welcome our new Executive Officer, Mike Hall, who will begin on Friday 19th December. 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.

MASG will be at the Farmers Market this Sunday 7th December and will be selling plants and books so use this chance to buy some sustainable gifts for your friends and family.

May all your Christmases be GreenLooking 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.
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 ourcommunity. 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!

Solar Open House: The solar display house will be open to the public on weekends between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays and from 11am until 3pm on Sundays until 22nd December. It will reopen on Saturday 17th January. If you want to book a private house tour contact Fran on 5470 6978 or email:

CRAGs – Carbon Rationing Action Groups: reminder about the CRAG information session in the MASG backyard garden, Wednesday 10th December at 5.30pm. You may like to form a group within your household or at work, in your neighbourhood or amongst friends. Reducing your personal carbon footprint could be one of the most important steps you take to help reduce carbon emissions. Bring a plate to share, products you’ve used, photos and ideas. RSVP Deanna on 5470 6978 (Tues & Wed), mob 0428 751 090 or email:

MASG Solar PV program almost complete: the bulk-purchased PVs will be connected to the electricity grid by Christmas, if all goes to plan. Maurice from the Sydney Energy Co-op has installed the panels and is taking a well earned holiday in Tasmania. Steve Breheny and team should finish their part of the installation next week and the electrical inspector is following close behind. After this, Powercor install the new meters and make the final connection.

This ambitious program has been a success, offering environmental, social and economic benefits. A further 72kW of renewable energy was embedded in our shire, saving around 150 tonnes of emissions per year. Many people have helped out during the program but a special thank you goes to Sally Smith who assisted MASG prepare the contracts, Kevin Vallence who helped with administration, Trevor Butcher who kindly donated the use of his farm shed and fork lift to store the equipment, and Neil and Heather Barrett who put Maurice and his assistants up while they were in Castlemaine. Thanks also to Bendigo Bank for providing the financial support and we hope to build on this relationship with future programs.

Analysis of the program is almost completed and if you have any ideas about solar PV to share please contact Jayson – or 5470 69768.

Carbon Heroes visit the Castlemaine Library: The colourful collection of innovative Carbon Heroes banners are on display in the Castlemaine Library until early January.

Globe Recycling: MASG’s globe recycling continues. Bring your compact fluorescent light globes (CFLs) to the office for recycling. We ask for a gold coin donation for the recycling of each of the globes – the cost of recycling is $2 per globe. Please let others know of this service. More info: Gordon: 5470 6007.

Food for the soil – compost, weed tea and worms. This is a free workshop/ training session on Sunday the 14th December from 2-5pm organised by MASG member Sas. If interested email: or call on 5472 2340.

G Magazine : Do you have any back issues of G Magazine? We are trying to secure a full set as a reference for CRAG and other community activities. If happy to donate or share, please let us know by email or drop them in to MASG.

Events organised by other groups

CWA Castlemaine – sustainable sewing session Saturday 6th December 1.30 – 4.30pm at Ray Bradfield rooms. $3 a session with afternoon tea provided. This is a chance for anyone who wants help with rejuvenating a garment, a beginner who needs help to thread a needle, sew on a button. Also knitting, crochet assistance too. Make it, wear it, save money on new clothes. Open to everyone.

EconoSpace Framing: Building a small and green sustainable mini- shelter. Hands on learning, first time presented in Australia by Peter Cowman. Sat 6th and Sun 7th Dec. from 10 – 5. or phone 9005 5833

Hepburn Wind Farm offer extended to 12th December. Copies of the Hepburn Wind Share Offer document and the extension can be obtained by calling 03 9429 5629, or by direct download.

Wild Homes training courses: Sustainable Housing Seminar – Bendigo, Sunday 7th December – practical direction through the maze of sustainable building information. And Owner Builder Workshop – 24th, 25th, 26th January (Australia Day long weekend). For information ring: 5439 3990, email: or check the website.

Support Association for the Women of Afghanistan – Thursday 11th December, from 2;30 until 4pm. Admission $10.00. “Kabul October 2008” You are invited to see this 30 minute DVD and hear the National Convenor of SAWA, followed by afternoon tea and the chance to buy wonderful Afghan women’s crafts – great presents! Further information.

Interesting Information and Links

President-elect Barack Obama promised the world that as President he would bring the US back to the table to negotiate climate change agreements between nations. 18th November, 2008

‘Climate Safety’ is a major new report from the UK. Full of accessible information and graphics, it can be downloaded [2MB] here. Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Vice-Chair of the IPCC.

Quote of the Week

A great quote from George Monbiot relating to the need to decarbonise our global energy use and how the world rallied for the so called global financial crisis. “The costs of a total energy replacement and conservation plan would be astronomical, the speed improbable. But the governments of the rich nations have already deployed a scheme like this for another purpose. A survey by the broadcasting network CNBC suggests that the US federal government has now spent $4.2 trillion in response to the financial crisis, more than the total spending on World War Two when adjusted for inflation. Do we want to be remembered as the generation that saved the banks and let the biosphere collapse?”

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