Zero Net Emissions by 2025

All eyes on the candidates

Posted on 3 October 2012 by e-news

Welcome to the e-news! Please send your contributions for the next e-news to by 11am on Wednesday, 17 October.


Get lucky! Be on our volunteers list

Volunteering is fun, and you meet people. They sometimes drive you nuts,  sometimes they might become your life partner. Not that we’ve had too many weddings among our MASG volunteers, but we live in hope.

We are often seeking volunteers to help out with all kinds of events, and we don’t want to rely on the same people all the time! The pool gets stale. Come and talk to us at the MASG office, and we’ve got a neat Volunteer Application Form for you to fill out. Tell your friends! Or email us at if you can help out. You might get lucky.


Council Elections and the “Nominees’ Report Card”

MASG sent all the candidates for the forthcoming Council elections a questionnaire to ask them a range of environmental issues, including waste, transport, solar/renewables/wind and biodiversity.

Unfortunately we had to give them all a tight deadline, so not all candidates responded, from lack of time, or otherwise.

Read the candidates’ statements  and our full story on our questions and their responses.


Come to the Local Government Forum tonight

Don’t forget the Local Government Forum tonight at 7pm in the Anglican Church Hall, Agitation Hill. Hosted by the Castlemaine Ministers Community, all the candidates who attend will have three minutes to speak, and then the floor will be open to questions.

No doubt there will be questions on the Old Gaol, on poker machines and you will be free to ask questions on any environmental or other issue. Even God.


MASG members support Solardarity

 Why were Eleven big colourful letters spelling “Port Augusta” marched down Mostyn St Castlemaine last Sunday?  The banner “Let’s Build Big Solar” gives a clue. About 30 MASG members and supporters were marching in ‘solar’darity with the Port Augusta community which wants to build Australia’s first large scale solar thermal power station.

Over 100 people walked 335km from Port Augusta over 10 days arriving in Adelaide last Sunday to highlight the issue. Eighteen solidarity walks were staged in  towns and capital cities around Australia including here in Castlemaine. For more information go to last fortnight’s e-news.


The Hub Plot Jottings

The garden is looking great at the moment. Please feel free to drop in and have a look at what we are up to anytime. We are at the garden from 9am on Mondays if you’d like to join in or ask any questions. Also at 11am each Monday we have a  cuppa and produce exchange. Thanks to Tricia who dropped in and brought a cake for us last Monday.

Here are a few of the things we’ve been up to:

  • On Monday we had a group of cyclists from Ballarat drop in to meet and talk about what we are doing at the garden.
  • Nurturing our seedlings in the solar hothouse.
  • We are starting to fill up our new wicking bed and will soon be planting in it.
  • On Tuesday a group of us gathered a trailer load of horse manure for composting.
  • Weaving a tiny fence from willow to stop the mess the blackbirds have been making.
  • Harvesting of rocket, celery, lettuce and Chinese greens … and collecting eggs!

Upcoming events:

  • We are hosting an ‘Eat Local’ afternoon tea as a fundraiser for Oxfam.  You’re most welcome to drop in from 3pm at the Hub Plot on Sunday, 14 October.  Please bring a plate of local food to share and $5 donation to Oxfam.  Further details from Heather on 0409 327792 or
  • On Monday, 8 October we start the first of our ‘sustainable gardening’ sessions being run for the U3A.  For further details contact Peter on
  • Monday, 15 October the Hub Plot gardeners are heading off for a field trip and picnic to Bress Winery’s organic and biodynamic kitchen garden. If you are interested in joining us please contact Catherine on
  • Forthcoming workshop: ‘The principles and practice of making a wicking bed garden’. We’ll show you how to make a successful wicking bed to help solve water problems in your garden. Saturday, 10 November, 10am, $20.  To register phone Heather on 0409 327792 or email Peter on


Give us back the $5.5 billion

The campaign against coal power station compensation under the carbon price has grown out of the government abandoning their commitment to contracts-for-closure. If the government can’t afford to close power stations, they shouldn’t be paying to keep them open.

Public pressure – your voice – on this issue could open the door for something else instead, for example another large fossil fuel subsidy to be withdrawn.

If ever there was a chance to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies it’s now. Please sign the petition:

Environmental refugees: What chance?

Renowned lawyer and human rights advocate Julian Burnside AO, QC will speak at La Trobe University as part of the Climate, Sustainability and Society lecture series on Thursday 11 October.

Where: La Trobe University Melbourne Campus, Martin Building Lecture Theatre

Live video conferencing available at the Bendigo McKay Lecture Theatre. It is likely that some Pacific Island nations will become uninhabitable. Environmental refugees may become the greatest challenge facing Australia in refugee policy during the next generation, even the greatest of all challenges. What will we do to prepare ourselves to meet the challenge? What is the right response to the challenge?


Click to enlarge

Support Waubra

Waubra Community Festival – jpg saved in folder 3 October.

Waubra is working to break the shackles that come from being a hub for wind farm debate, and wants to be known foremost as a community with great people and produce. It is holding a festival on Saturday, 6 October, 10am-4pm.

Energy producer Acciona has contributed to a Waubra Wind Farm Community Fund, and the festival promises a range of activities for children, as well as the “Waubra Gift” running race, a horticultural display and guided tours out to the wind turbines.

A bus will be available for travel between Ballarat and Waubra on the day.


The Reef is under threat

A new study from marine scientists has found that the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral in the past 27 years.

The causes of the coral decline are cyclones, coral bleaching and the crown-of-thorns starfish.

For the full story:


Concert for the Kimberley

Concert for the Kimberley is a free, open-air concert featuring performances by two of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary musicians – John Butler Trio and Clare Bowditch – in Melbourne’s Federation Square this Friday 5 October, from 6pm.?With a message from Missy Higgins and an address from former Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, this is shaping up to be a night in Melbourne to remember, so spread the word!

The concert will also be broadcast live around the world at

Entry is free (but donations to the Kimberley campaign are welcomed!)


India approves $4 billion electric vehicle stimulus

The Indian Government has approved a $4.13 billion plan to stimulate the production of electric and hybrid vehicles over the next eight years. The country is setting for itself the target of 6 million vehicles by the year 2020.

Read the full story

Last word

Helicopter dropping water on a gorse fire outside Pontoon, Co Mayo on 2 May 2011. Hundreds of fires burned in Northern Ireleand over a few days. Unseasonably dry weather, strong winds, and a plague of arsonists contributed to a situation that was unprecedented for that part of the world. Eamonn Farrell/Photocall

“In the short term, the only expectation can be that the Celtic Tiger era of bad planning will mean we live with an emissions and lifestyle hangover which will cost the country, and its people, dearly. Rather than sustainable development, we’ve experienced only sustained development. And now it’s time to pay the price.”

Paul Cunningham, Ireland’s Burning

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