Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest – Friday July 6th 2007

Posted on 12 July 2007 by e-news

A summary of news and events: for further details follow the links; or contact the office (03) 5470 6978


Volunteer Powered. The Sustainability Group is very lucky to have attracted a strong team of skilled volunteers who are really getting the job done for us. This week we would like to welcome Jodie, Jim and Laura who have come on board to work on the CSIRO, Publicity and Renewable Energy programs, and to thank Felicity, Jill, Mel, John and Sarah who keep coming into the office every week. We are reliant on our dedicated and skilled volunteers so feel free to drop in little thank you into them (cakes, biscuits and other delicacies most welcome!) or consider volunteering too.

Renewing Hope @ the MASG monthly social gathering. This Friday the 6th of July our monthly social gathering featured a showing of the 25 minute documentary Renewing Hope. This film is about renewable energy in Germany and why we are so far behind in Australia. Filmed by MASG Chair Neil Barrett on his recent visit to Europe this is a must see film to inspire us as to what could be done here, and will be shown again.

Challenge to Change project with Schools. MASG welcomes Janet Phillips from Consentric who will be working with us, Terry White and Associates and Sustainability Victoria on this exciting energy efficiency challenge in schools across our shire during September. For further details on the project call the office 5470 6978 or

Bendigo Advertiser covered our Solar Schools initiative with a story and photo that included Jayson and John Davey (renewable energy volunteer researcher) in their weekend edition June 30th. They also included a story from Dean about other initiatives being undertaken by local schools to meet the climate change challenge.

Special General Meeting Tuesday July 3rd 2007, the 6 proposed constitutional amendments were passed, many thanks to those who braved a freezing night to turn out and vote.

Membership renewals and mail out. The Sustainability Group values our members and the strength and credibility it lends to our work. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity please rejoin and sign up a friend. Remember you need to be a current member to vote at the MASG AGM on August 2nd.

Maldon in Winter: The Tarrengower branch of the Sustainability Group will be staffing a stall at the Maldon in Winter fair on Saturday July 15th from 10am to 2pm. If you wish to help with this please contact Dean at the office on 54 70 6978

Solar Power Initiative Dob in a community building. MASG aims to have 20 solar farms on schools and public buildings in our shire to take advantage of the increased State and Federal rebates. We are working closely with schools in the Mount Alexander Shire to assist them with a single coordinated funding application and to raise funds by donation to cover the gap between the rebate and installation costs. MASG also wishes to hear from committees of management and other community groups who may be interested in joining this program to install solar PV onto their buildings. Contact Jayson on 5470 6978 or

Castlemaine Secondary College environment week competition winners were announced in the Midland Express on Tuesday 3rd July with a photo that included Dean and Ian. Well done to all those students who participated and to the School for an excellent program.

CSIRO meeting Friday July 6th. MASG hosted the final pre-project scoping meeting at the Garden Room, Buda. Over 30 people from 25 major organisations, companies and all levels of government spent 5 hours discussing the potential for an innovative partnership project to look at energy efficiency and energy security in our area. They were treated to a morning tea and lunch sourced only from local produce and given a chance to test drive Australia’s first production electric car, Blade Industries Bladerunner electric car, which is being manufactured in Castlemaine. More details of the project will follow soon.


Donations to our tax deductible fund to assist our schools and community buildings become solar power stations. Contact Dean or Jayson on 54 70 6978 or

OTHER EVENTS, not MASG endorsed:

Get Yourself in the Picture
: A Celebration of Mount Alexander Shire Volunteers @Mt Alexander Hospital, Cornish Street, Castlemaine (enter via reception). This fabulous exhibition is coordinated by MASG member and regular volunteer Deanna Neville. If you wish to go to the launch on Monday 9th July @ 5pm please RSVP to Tara Gilbee, Mount Alexander Shire Council T: 5471 1793 E: The exhibition will be on display until the end of July, every day between 9am and 5pm.

Castlemaine 500 Project are seeking homes who wish to have a home energy assessment undertaken. If interested please contact: Geoff Brown, Castlemaine 500 Project Team,, Mob: 0403 763 660

Live Earth
house party on July 7th. Al Gore is calling for people to stage house parties for climate change in a networked global event. They see the date of 7.7.07 as a significant opportunity and plan to bring millions of new people into the Gore lead Climate Change campaign. If you want to take the live earth pledge see

Climate Change, the Big Picture Saturday July 21st, from 12.00pm 6.00pm organised by the Fabian society. Join Australia’s leading experts in a special half day conference on Climate Change – what it means for Australia, what it means for the world, and what it means for each of us. This conference focuses attention on the policies of the major parties and draws attention to how the environment will fare under the Howard Government’s policies – for more details see

Hard Rain @Theatre Royal
. Tuesday July 10th, 8pm. David Bradbury’s, A Hard Rain, exposes the hidden agendas behind this latest push for Australia to go nuclear the magic fix that will save us all from global warming. For vital and factual information this documentary is a must see.

Managing Farming Systems in a Changing Climate July 19-20th. Central Highlands Agribusiness Forum, Ballarat. See

Victoria’s Greenhouse emissions: This week’s (23 – 29 June) indicator is 2.189 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This 42.4% above the 1990 weekly average for energy. For more information visit

George Monbiot Presentation for those who didn’t make it down to Melbourne on Tuesday night there is a excerpt available of his latest submission to The Guardian in the UK.

We are not alone! Research by Rocky Mountains Institute Director Paul Hawken reveals there are more than three hundred thousand environmental organizations strung around the globe. Such scale and scope is unprecedented among popular social movements and it may well be the largest social movement in history with an estimated global membership of tens of millions of passionate members.

Demography of global warming, Australia’s Shame: Some numbers to help us put Australia’s emissions into context. Total global 2007 greenhouse emissions = 46 Billion Tonnes CO2-e/a (Stern). Total 2007 world population = 6.6 billion people (estimate). Average 2007 per capita emissions = 7 tonnes CO2-e/a. Calculations from the International Energy Agency (IEA) note that the average emissions per person per year from OECD countries ( i.e Industrialised, developed economies) are estimated at 11.02 tonnes and annual emissions in the non-OECD (developing world) are 2.45 tons per person. The average amount of greenhouse pollution per year for each Australian is 26.5 tonnes. Australian’s are therefore polluting at a rate of over 2 times the OECD average, 3 times the global average, and over 10 times the rate of the majority of the world’s population.

Final Word
Continuing in our theme of volunteers and the emerging social movements for change:

They were nothing more than people, by themselves. Even paired, any pairing, they would have been nothing more than people by themselves. But all together, they had become the heart and muscles and mind of something perilous and great. Together, all together, they were instruments of change.

Keri Hulme in The Bone People

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