Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 16th October 2008

Posted on 17 October 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary
Saturday 18th October Low Energy Solar House Volunteer Training
Sat/Sun 25/26th October Festival of the Wheel
Tuesday 28th October Low Energy Solar House Volunteer Training
Wednesday 29th October Annual General Meeting
Thursday 30th October Challicum Hills Pacific Hydro farm tour

Other MASG News and Events

All members are invited to attend our second Annual General Meeting which will be held in the Ray Bradfield Room (behind the Market Building) at 7.00pm on Wednesday 29th October Only current financial members will be able to vote
Following the AGM, at 8.00pm there will be a public meeting to hear a talk by Mike Hill, titled: Communities Taking Action on Climate Change
– Lessons from the Coalface.
Note: All members should have received a detailed notice about the AGM either by email or post. For any enquiries, please contact the Office on 5470 6978.

Festival of the Wheel 25th and 26th October
The Festival includes 4 major events: the Rides on Saturday, the Cycling’s Big Night Out on Saturday night, the Duathlons on Sunday morning and the Don KRC Free Family Fun Day in the gardens on Sunday starting at 11-30am. You can book for the whole weekend and help MASG’s funds at the same time by going to this link OR of course attend particular events.

Cycling’s Big Night Out
For non-riders unlikely to book for the whole weekend, we are now selling tickets for the Big Night Out separately. Comedians, Team and Tim Hurley, will turn on their own special brand of wackiness and the film Breaking Away is really worth seeing, whether you’re a sports nut or simply a lover of good movies. Russell Ogier, Council’s Manager of Healthy Environments says: “I’ve seen this film a number of times in the past, but not for many years. This film brings back some memories. I first saw it at the Horsham Drive In. It’s a great film, even if you are not really into cycling; it has got some great moments as well as being quite inspirational. I remember the film really conveyed the fantastic feeling of freedom that cycling offers, but also the great joy of being young and enthusiastic. It’s a film not to be missed”. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for 17s and under and are available from the MASG office or Fergus the Frog at 188 Barker St. Tables for up to 12 can be made available on request.

A Big Thanks to Raffle Donors, Sponsors and Volunteers
Local businesses get called on frequently to give to various causes. Recently several of these businesses have generously supported the Festival of the Wheel. These are the Bike Vault for the $700 bike which is the first prize in the raffle; Sheer Drop Winery for the dozen bottles of red valued at $260; and the Down to Earth Store for a solar radio valued at $119. .
We also have sponsors for the event which so far include Don KRC (sponsor of the Family Day), Robinsons, Waller Realty, Tonks and CHIRP.
In addition, we have had a mountain of special assistance from Greengraphics, Bancroft Art, the Castlemaine Copy Centre, Taylors Produce in Forest St and the Anglican Church which houses our temporary office.
And last but not least, several of our volunteers have given up a great deal of their normal work time – a big thanks to all of them.

MASG met with Steve Gibbons, Federal member for Bendigo. Last week, Dean and other Maine’s Power local partners met with Steve Gibbons, our local Federal member, to brief him on the project’s progress to date and how the Federal Government could support the project.

Seniors week energy assessments a great success
MASG energy assessors were out and about last week during Seniors Week helping our seniors save money. Assessments were done in Castlemaine, Chewton and Baringhup with participants sharing their energy saving tips and learning more about how their houses could be made more comfortable whilst saving money and emissions. A big thanks to John, Sass, Basia and Mike who did the assessments and for those seniors who opened up their houses during the week.

Wash Against Waste Program – Assistant Coordinator needed. The MASG Wash Against Waste trailer is almost complete and is scheduled to be operational by Sunday 26th October during the Family Fun Day in the Botanical Gardens. We already have community bookings for November and to enable this to be done, MASG needs the help of a Volunteer Assistant Coordinator.
This is a hands-on, practical role as part of a small dedicated team.
If you are able to help with bookings and managing the trailer’s operations during November this year please contact Jill, Office Administrator at MASG on 5470 6978 as soon as possible. This is your chance to be part of this innovative project!

We all need a good dose of worms!
Announcing a joint fundraising venture between MASG and the Damascus College (Ballarat) Energy Breakthrough Team – the current world speed record holders for a solar powered vehicle. The vehicles will be here at the FOW Family event on October 26th. The students manufacture the bins and they come supplied with 2000 fresh and frisky worms just itching to get started! The ‘bin and worm’ package is $135 and most purchasers will be eligible for a $30 government rebate. For full details, or contact Peter Sansom at or phone 5474 2403

MASG is compiling a directory of suppliers of goods and services who support sustainable practices for building and renovating. The directory will be available at the Low Energy Display Home at Campbells Creek for six months from early November. Five hundred visitors are estimated to visit the house during this time as well as the many visitors who visit the MASG office and ask for this
Ring Fran on 54706978……… Mobile 0407 822 723……email or come into the office and collect a form. Closing date is Friday 7th November.
There will be articles about the house in the Midland Express and Earth garden magazine very soon.

This Wednesday, sees MASG and local schools sign on to cool climate change. MASG with the Bendigo Sustainability Group and the Hepburn Renewable Energy Association) in partnership with the Bendigo Bank, Coliban Water and the Bendigo Advertiser are getting local schools involved in raising awareness of climate change. Thousands of local students from 23 local schools in the Bendigo, Mount Alexander and Hepburn Shire area will making it clear this Wednesday October 22nd October that it’s time to cool climate change. They will be creating signs representing key messages they want to send to their communities relating to climate change within the theme: “Signs of Change: Creating a Better Future”. The signs will then be photographed from the air. Contact Dean for more information on 5470 6978 or email:

Community Wind Park information
MASG has produced the Spring 2008 first edition of our Community Wind Power newsletter which highlights some up and coming events. You can get a copy at the office or download from our website at the Community Wind Power page . The next event is below:

Wind Tour: Thursday October 30thFollowing on from our MASG wind farm tour in May we are planning another tour to the Challicum Hills Pacific Hydro farm.
Date Thursday October 30th, leaving Castlemaine at 9.30am and returning at 4pm. For bookings contact Dean on 5470 6978 or

MASG Transport Forum, Thursday 6th November, from 7-9pm at the Ray Bradfield Room. What is your contribution to a Transport Vision for this shire and beyond?
For further enquiries, ring Jill Gibson on 5472 3098 or email;

Focus on Community – A Social Sustainability Arts Project
The Hospital’s Grief Support Program is facilitating the creation of a multi-faith meditation garden for personal reflection and public ceremonies, on the Anglican Church Grounds, Castlemaine. It will be created with mosaic tiles using recycled materials, natural stones and a sustainable, self-sufficient garden. 100% of the asphalt ground preparation will be recycled and re-used within the project. Participants are invited to give visual expression to symbols of personal experiences that have shaped their lives through tiled paver-making workshops using imagery that explores loss, hope and personal change. Free weekly workshops at the Hospital will commence Monday 10th November. For details please call Robert Maio on 5471 1542

Events organised by other groups

Castlemaine Landcare Group
With nine months of 2008 gone, the rainfall in Happy Valley is over 160mm less than in October last year so bring your buckets for our working bee on Sunday 19th October, 10am until 2pm. We’ll be doing some maintenance work on the section of the Happy Valley track beyond the large waterhole so it’s best to park on Montgomery Street and walk down to the track. Further information: 0408 706630 5470 6630 or email: Steiner School and Kindergarten is having their Open Day on Wednesday 22nd October and their fete on Wednesday 8th November. For further information ring: 5470 6235

The film “Manufactured Landscapes” will be shown at the Savoia Hotel, Hepburn on Thursday 21st October at 7:30pm.

The Castlemaine Historical Society Inc. is holding a Book and Music Sale on Saturday 1 November 2008 at its premises, the Former Courthouse in Goldsmith Crescent. This is a terrific opportunity to pick up second hand copies of favourite books, CDs, DVDs, video tapes, LPs, etc, to add to your collection.
If you have items to donate, they can be dropped off at the Former Courthouse on Tuesdays, or phone Ray Pattle on 5473-4273 to arrange for collection.

Wilderness Bike Ride, Bairnsdale to Orbost in a day, 1st – 3rd November. For further information see the following website.

Sustainable Living Expo will be held at Longerenong on the Saturday 1st November, 10am – 4pm, cost $7.00. For further information, phone 03 5362 2222 or email: As well, there is a Farming for the Future forum on the day before, Friday 31st October with Professor Tim Flannery as speaker.

Seasonal Cycle at Hepburn Permaculture Gardens, Monday 3rd November until Sunday 9th November. Cost $400.0o. For further information ring 5348 3636 or email

Forum, What does the Emissions Trading Scheme need to include to achieve real action on Climate Change? Thursday 6th November at 6:30pm, State Library of Victoria, Village Theatrette. Ross Garnaut has released his final report on Australia’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme, outlining how he thinks Australia should tackle the growing climate crisis. But does his model provide for real action on climate change and a just transition to a low carbon economy? This forum will look at what an ETS needs to achieve real action on climate change.
Speakers include:
* Prof David Karoly, Lead scientist IPCC
* Julius Roe, National President AMWU
* Damien Lawson, Friends of the Earth, Australia
Entry by gold coin donation. Organised by Friends of the Earth with the support of the City of Yarra. < Centre for Sustainability Leadership is running a course on 8th November in Ballarat. Click here for further information

Bike/Triathlon/MTB Swap Meet on Saturday 15th November 2008 in Laverton, VIC. For further information ring David on 0403 132 965 or email:
Walk Against Warming is on Saturday the 15th November. If you would like to volunteer for this event please email:
Soap Making Workshop – Sunday 23rd November in Castlemaine
Learn how easy it is to make your own all vegetable/natural soap which is grey water friendly, kind to the environment, you and your family.
Contact Jill Gibson for more details 5472 3098

Interesting Information and Links

Solar Feed in Tariff goes to Parliament
And our solar industry goes into hibernation….The silly, complicated and flawed feed in tariff proposed by the State Government should go before parliament soon. It excludes schools and businesses, bigger solar installations and ignores the lessons from overseas countries that have had feed in tariffs for years. For a summary of the flaws of this legislation see the Sunday Age article “ Solar Hopes up in Smoke” at

Carbon Offsets….make sure you are not being ripped off
Carbon offsets are sold as a way for consumers and businesses to reduce their environmental impact. A year ago there were about 20 Australian companies offering carbon offsets; now there’s close to 60. But the market is mostly unregulated and parts of it have been likened to the ‘wild west’. CHOICE magazine, the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology, Sydney, and the Total Environment Centre (TEC) have formed Carbon Offset Watch to tell you where you can find offsets that are likely to result in real greenhouse gas emission reductions. See this link.

No doubt about longest drought on record:
Quote: “the current dry was at the extreme end of what the climate models had predicted. The most dramatic effects have been felt by Melbourne. Melbourne recorded its driest September on record.”

Important thinking on food security from UK

Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean? An interesting documentary which looks at the disappearance of environmental activist Brenda Hean who rallied to save Lake Pedder back in the early 1970’s is showing at the Theatre Royal. Her plane went missing whilst en route to lobby the PM in Canberra and no trace of it has ever been found. Ring 5472 1196 for further information.

Greed is the culprit: Lord Michael Hastings, global head of citizenship at KPMG, visiting Melbourne this week, started with a blunt message : “greed is the culprit” and ends on climate change: “despite the current financial pressures, there should be no ‘go slow’ on proposed carbon management and emissions trading schemes. Climate change pressures are not in the time boundaries of a short-term financial crisis,” he said.

Green tip:

If using pots in your garden, try and use terra cotta rather than plastic as they are made from baked clay rather than poly vinyl chloride which is both a non renewable resource and non biodegradable. If the terra cotta pots do break you can use the chips as ground cover on an indoor plant.

MASG’s E News is currently compiled by Jill Bryan and edited by Neil Barrett. If you would like to advertise an event or comment on any items, please send Closing time for copy Wednesday 3pm.
If you would like further information, or phone 5470 6978

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