Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 13th June 2008

Posted on 13 June 2008 by e-news

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MASG News and Events

Mount Alexander Community wins the UNAA Award 6th June 08! This annual national awards program acknowledges action taken at a local level to address global environmental issues. Congratulations to everyone involved and many thanks to Carol McDonough who with MAS-CAN put all the hard work into the nomination. For further information and unique pictures see our website.

World Environment Day celebrations took place last Thursday in the Theatre Royal with a large crowd enjoying the afternoon tea and presentations by different groups. Dean Bridgfoot and the mayor, Alan Elliott gave out the Low CO2 Awards to local businesses and organisations who are taking on the challenge of climate change. Our congratulations to all those listed below. The winner of the inaugural Mayoral Award for Innovation and Excellence in Energy Management was The Down to Earth Store, with a special commendation going to the Maldon Football Club for all their hard work. For further information and unique pictures see our website.

When you’re out and about make sure you support the Low CO2 businesses, and congratulate them for leading the way to a sustainable future.
Bronze Category winners:
Castlemaine Childcare Co-operative, Goldfields Provender, Goodfoods of Castlemaine, Gourmet Yabbies, Green goes the Grocer, Leckie Gallery, Mostyn Street Clinic and the Theatre Royal.
Silver Category winners: Instramental, Maldon Football Club, Run Sushi Run and Zen Produce
Gold Category winner:
Down to Earth Store

Our Carbon Heroes were also on display last Thursday and attracted a great deal of attention. If you missed seeing them, they are now on display in the MASG office.

Finally, all volunteers were thanked for their wonderful work in helping this shire become sustainable.

Wash Against Waste Service update: MASG’s Wash Against Waste service has been fortunate to receive a $2000 grant from the Calder Waste Management Group as part of its Waste Wise Events program. This grant, along with money received from the Mount Alexander Shire Council and a very generous donation from a MASG member, has enabled us to purchase items to be used in the Wash Against Waste Trailer and to commission the customisation of the trailer to carry the wash up gear. This project has been possible because of these wonderful financial contributions. However, it would not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated volunteer, Rex Odgers. Thank you Rex.

Committee Vacancies
We currently have two vacancies on our committee. We are especially looking for the following skills and experience: management experience in medium or large organisations, marketing, fundraising, and new business development. MASG committee members have a strong interest in climate change and sustainability generally and, ideally, several hours per week available for committee and subcommittee meetings which normally take place on Tuesdays.

If you’re interested in this rewarding community involvement, please write to the Chair, Neil Barrett at: or phone 5472 3094 by Wednesday 18th June. A special thanks to those who have had to resign: Terry White who, as previously notified, has taken up the position of Executive Officer with the Western Region Greenhouse Alliance in Melbourne and Deb Wardle whose part-time position as Business Manager at the Steiner School has now become full-time, causing her to have to cut back on other activities. Both remain valued advisers to MASG.

Please note that all nine committee positions will be up for election or re-election at the AGM which will be held at a date to be announced in the new financial year and that members are very welcome to attend committee meetings at any time.

Renewal notices have all been sent out. Why not come in and pay as well as taking a look at the Carbon Heroes displayed in our office!

Advance notice about The Festival of the Wheel! This MASG-organised festival will take place over the weekend of the 25th and 26th October, with an opening night on the Friday and great events over the weekend, including three rides from 20k to 80K in length, a duatholon (riding and running), a bush ride possibly to Maldon along the rail track, exhibitions of weird and wonderful bikes, lunch at a family day on the Sunday in Victory Park, films and workshops. Please start asking friends and family to put it in their diaries and, if you have the time, we’d love to have more people helping with the initial organisation. The weekend itself will need a large number of volunteers as marshalls, food servers, liaison officials etc. The Festival aims to raise both funds and bike awareness. Inquiries: Neil 5472 3094.

Come and join us for winter drinks at the Theatre Royal, on Thursday 26th June from 5:30pm until 7pm. This is a good chance to catch up with everyone and discuss the events and awards of the past month.

Events organized by other organizations

MASG members may be interested in helping sustain our landscape. The Castlemaine Landcare Group has some VERY important planting days over the next few weeks so put these dates in your diary:
Sunday June 22nd: Preparation of planting sites for National Tree Day, Forest Creek.
Sunday July 6th: Sowing of native grasslands in Happy Valley through hand broadcasting – a first for Castlemaine!
For further information contact Robin at

Local Artist Kynan Sutherland has an exhibition at the Flinders Lane Gallery (upstairs) in Melbourne from 4th – 18th June that aims to inspire a greater appreciation of our environment and the need to sustain and nurture what we have. In 2007 Kynan won the Dominique Segan Drawing prize at the Castlemaine State festival. So, if you’re in the city or have time before catching the train home, call by and have a look. For more details

An Ecotourism guide book is being compiled by Ken Eastwood, so if you know about any ecotourism ventures in the area – eg: sustainable tours or attractions; organic food producers with farm gate; tourism outlets or environmentally sustainable accommodation places, he would appreciate hearing from you.
Details as follows: and phone numbers: 02 9887 4660 or 0425 203 852

Climate Emergency Rally on Saturday July 5 is calling for all Victorians to help send a wake-up call to state and federal governments re our use of and reliance on fossil fuels. They are calling on governments to implement sustainable alternatives and asking all community groups and individuals to send this important message. People at the rally are going to form a 140-metre-long human sign to spell the words “Climate Emergency” wearing something red to symbolise emergency. Further information

Interesting Information and Links

Two great new websites on food and climate change
A new website from the Small Planet Institute helps spread the word about the consequences of our food choices for the climate. Visit Take a Bite out of Climate Change to find 10 things you can do to reduce the impact of your meals on the planet. Also, check out Bon Appetit’s website to calculate the carbon footprint of your meals. The company’s new Low Carbon diet is a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of the food it serves by 25 percent by serving smaller amounts of beef and cheese and sourcing more foods from North America rather than from overseas.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is planning to draw up new policies to protect Britain from a looming food crisis which could leave consumers facing huge price rises and even shortages of some foodstuffs in supermarkets. The Guardian understands that the Cabinet Office has won a battle with the Treasury and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for a more pro-active and interventionist policy to ensure the nation has sufficient food security to ride out a global shortage of food, water, soaring oil prices and the effects of climate change. Full story , and whole section on climate, food and oil.
Major report finds that climate change is already affecting U.S. water resources, agriculture, land resources, and biodiversity, and will continue to do so.

Wireless technology for climate change Mobile technology is transforming the way advocacy, development, and relief organizations accomplish their institutional missions. The UN and Vodafone have published a report called Wireless Technology for Social Change.

Green tips: Fridges
Help your fridge waste less energy – and save you money – by trying these tips. Dust down the coils at the back of the fridge – dusty coils can waste up to 30% extra electricity. Defrost your fridge regularly. Let food cool down properly before putting it in the fridge.

Quote of the week: UN Award
Janet Phillips Project Coordinator, Castlemaine 500 commented:
“This award acknowledges the commitment and ingenious approach of Mount Alexander citizens towards creating a low carbon community. In our homes, schools, businesses and neighbourhoods we are creating a community of practice that values working together for a sustainable future, and kicking the carbon habit!”

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