Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Arrivals, passages and postponements

Posted on 13 October 2011 by e-news

MASG News October 13th 2011

Welcome Jarra, the new Community Wind worker at MASG

Jarra in the Hub garden

Hello, I’m Jarra, the new face at MASG.  I’m working on the MASG Community Wind Project 4 days a week now, so you’ll probably see me around quite a bit!   This is a new position created to boost the wind project and drive it forward.  What an exciting prospect!  Locally-owned energy that allows us to collectively make a clean energy future a reality. Imagine supplying half of all the houses in our shire with electricity, plus raising money for local projects and local shareholders!

Over the coming weeks and months we will be rolling out forums, workshops, stalls, info nights and asking all of you to come along to voice your visions (and concerns) so that together we can create a project that is going to ‘fit’ our community and bring us the benefits we want to see.  But we won’t know what this project looks like till you help us define it!

A bit about me…. although I’m new to Castlemaine, I have a lot of experience working with, advocating for and writing about community-owned renewable energy projects from all over the world – from cow-dung biogas in India to farmer-owned wind turbines in Minnesota, USA.  I’ve just moved from Armidale, NSW, where I helped establish New England Wind , a planned 6-8 turbine community-owned wind farm.   I did a bachelor of Development Studies at Newcastle University and honors in Local Responses to Climate Change.  It was my honors thesis that first brought me to this region, to interview the Hepburn Wind project.  I’m also a happy veggie gardener, potter, bike rider, bushwalker and dancer. 

I’m very excited to join this project and this community and look forward to meeting you all and making lots of new friends.

Welcome drinks for Jarra tonight, Friday in the Hub garden at 5pm. All welcome. BYO

And can you help Jarra and community wind with your design skills ?

We will need some help with design and layout for flyers, posters and info sheets about the community wind project, and we need it soon. If you can assist in the next week or so please give Jarra a call on 54706978 or email her

Sustainable Building Tradies Expo

Thursday 10th November from 3.30-6.30pm at Castlemaine Football & Netball Clubrooms, Camp Reserve, Castlemaine.
Are you making energy efficiency plans to make your homes more comfy over the sizzling summer, AND looking for ways to get your energy bills down Perhaps you’re looking for advice on sustainable building or making home alterations, or you want to find out about products for ventilation, shading, insulation and weatherproofing. If so, this event is for you!
The Castlemaine Football Netball Club are proud sponsors of the Comfy Homes Sustainable Building Tradie’s Expo, a local showcase of sustainable design, home building and renovating, so drop in and catch up with local businesses and tradies for info and advice about products and services you can find locally. Displays and presentations will include architects of sustainable design, plumbers, info on recycled and sustainable building materials, window treatments, electrical and plumbing services and more. This is a very family-friendly event, only $5 for adults, and dinner and refreshments available. By attending this event you will be supporting the Castlemaine Football Netball Club, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group and local tradies and businesses.

For further information contact Deanna at Mount Alexander Sustainability Group on 5470 6978 or email

Jottings from the Hub Plot

On Monday the 3rd of October a group of us did a ‘make over’ of Kat’s garden.  We made up two wicking beds for vegetable gardens, a no dig potato patch and a straw bale compost area.  As well we weeded and mowed the lawns.

Making a wicking garden bed at Kat's

Thanks to all the volunteers who worked so hard.  Mischa, Jan, Peter, Heather, Mo, Catherine, Dave, Wendy and Pam. Thanks to Neil for delivering the fruit boxes. And thanks to Kat and Jan for a wonderful lunch.
Hopefully Kat’s broken bone will heal soon and she’ll be able to get out into the veggie patch and enjoy spring planting.

The garden group at the Hub Plot meet each Monday morning to garden, exchange gardening ideas and to exchange produce and recipes.
Upcoming garden group activities, all welcome:

  • Saturday 22nd October, how to make a wicking bed:The practice and principles.Come to our workshop to find out about garden wicking beds.  They are designed to draw water up from a reservoir below, hence “wicking”, through the soil directly to the roots.  Come at 10.30 for a cuppa and for an 11 a.m. start
    $5 donation The Hub Plot garden
  • Monday the 21st of November field trip visit the Newstead Community Garden.
     We will be meeting at the Hub Plot at 9.30 a.m and car pooling for our trip to Newstead.  We will visit the garden and share morning tea with some of the Newstead Community Garden folk.

All ages are welcome at The Hub plot!

If you are interested in joining in please contact Heather on 0409 327791 or so that we know numbers for car pooling and morning tea.

Goldfields Solar Hub

Check out the two next Sunny sesssions in Castlemaine at the MASG meeting room on Saturday the 22nd at 2-4pm and Ray Bradfield room on Friday the 28th at 12-2pm. Come along with your electricity bills and find out all you need to know about solar power for your home, business or community building.

MASG Sustainable House tour postponed

We have unfortunately had to postpone the house tour due to a low number of registrations. We will be reviewing the pricing, structure of the day and marketing and plan to organise a date in the new year.
Thanks to all the volunteers and house owners for their help and support. It has been a pleasure working with you all and we look forward to having a big and successful tour soon.
Meanwhile for those wanting a house tour our friends in Bendigo the BSG have a Sustainable House Tour on Oct 23rd. For further information contact Verity Lougoon at the BSG: or call (03) 5443 5244

Carbon Price passed in lower house…yeehaa!!

MASG welcomes the carbon price passage in the lower house as an important step to a cleaner, healthier local economy and environment.

Jillian Broadbent, will she deliver for renewable energy as head of the CEFC?

The passing of the carbon price bills – as well as the announcement of a head for the new renewable energy fund, Ms Jillian Broadbent – is good news and will help with the rollout of more renewable energy. With the passing of this legislation Australia will be in a much stronger position to power our economy from our abundant natural resources of sun, wind, geothermal and wave.

Meanwhile Tony Abbott doesn’t like rabbits…. a short report on the Party for climate action rally last week in Bendigo

Well there’s one thing for certain after Tony Abbott’s visit to Bendigo – we are now pretty clear where he stands on climate change and renewable energy. Under an Abbot led government our region would have no real support for creating renewable energy jobs and opportunities as  in response to a question asked on climate change he alluded that it was as an environmental problem on a par with feral rabbits !

Tony will go to any lengths to track down the bunnies if he is PM

At the last minute two spaces were made for  Karen Corr from the Bendigo Sustainability Group and Dean from MASG  to attend the invitation only “community” forum for Tony Abbott held in Bendigo last Thursday the 6th of October. We attended on behalf of MASG and the Bendigo Sustainability Group and the over 100 local residents out the front of the forum demonstrating their support for action on climate change.

Read more about what happened and why Tony has rabbits in his sights in the Castlemaine Independent .

Work in the HUB!

The most vibrant space in Castlemaine! MASG has an office available to rent.Contact Kerry:  5470 6978

Other News from around the Area

Growing Abundance: food for thought movie series

We Feed the World (2005, 96 mins) Sunday 16 October, 4.30pm, Continuing Education

We Feed The World traces the origins of the food we eat. We see tonnes of unsold bread driven to the dump. Around 350,000 hectares of agricultural land, above all in Latin America, are used to grow soybeans to feed Austria’s livestock while one quarter of the local population starves. We Feed The World is about food and globalisation – scarcity amid plenty.

Eco-Building On A Shoestring Sunday October 16th 2011

Presented by eco-builder, architect and teacher, Peter Cowman at 592 Muckleford-Yapeen Road, Yapeen, Castlemaine   11am – 1pm $25  or tel: 03 5468 1041

The Kimberly Benefit Gig

Sunday Oct 23rd 2pm to 10pm @ the Vine Hotel, Bendigo. Featuring Sol Nation and many other bands $15. Money raised goes towards the campaign against the LNG complex in the Kimberly. For more details see the Facebook page or via their Landcare website link. 

Planning for Fire – a Council Community Questionnaire

Mount Alexander Shire Council is working with the Country Fire Authority, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria Police and other community groups and members to develop a new three-year Municipal Fire Management Plan.
To ensure that this work is informed by views of the community the council is  using  a questionnaire. The questionnaire is available online here  or from Castlemaine Town Hall or by contacting Joanna Hambling on 5471 1880. Responses to the survey are required by Friday 28 October.

2011 Community Power Conference: Australian Communities Taking Charge Of Their Energy Use.

Bendigo 14th & 15th November :The conference, hosted by LaTrobe University’s Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, Central Victoria Solar City and the City of Greater Bendigo, will discuss strategies for developing community-based energy projects:
For a full outline of the speakers and program visit the website. or contact  Pat Ibbotson –

Other News from across the world or beyond !

Electric car hire scheme hits Paris

AN electric car hire scheme has been launched in Paris, in what could become the start of a quiet revolution in the French capital. Fueled by the phenomenal success of bike-sharing in the city, the two-month trial could be put into permanent practice from December if the reaction from Parisians is positive.The small four-seater cars, which can travel 250km on a single charge, will be available to 100 drivers to share around the city and its suburbs during the test period.Read more about electric powered crossiant carrying cars in the Australian.

World’s largest shark sanctuary created

The Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean is to ban shark fishing and trade in shark products throughout its waters, creating a sanctuary roughly eight times the size of the UK. The Marshall Islands archipelago is home to just 68,000 people, with tourism, such as diving, being an important part of the economy. Senator Tony deBrum said of the new shark protection bill: “In passing this bill, there is no greater statement we can make about the importance of sharks to our culture, environment and economy. Ours may be a small island nation, but our waters are now the biggest place sharks are protected.” Read more about the shark santuary here.

And our miners aren’t all that popular…

Farmers, miners competing for water

The head of Australia’s key farming lobby group the National Farmers Federation says competition with the mining sector over water is the biggest issue facing Australian agriculture.

“We’ve got to have a clear understanding about the impact of coal seam gas, for instance, is having on water, on aquifers, short-term or long-term.” NFF president Jock Laurie

Toxic gas billowing from Qld mine

Residents are not being warned about the dangers of of toxic gas coming from one of Qld’s open-cut coal mines as toxic fumes have moved beyond safe exclusions zones at least 33 times at 16 Queensland coalmines the Age recently reported.

Danish Government Aims To Cut Emissions By 40 Percent By 2020

Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt committed to taking action on climate change and renewable energy

Denmark’s new government adopted a package of policies to reduce Denmark’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels and boost renewable energy to cover half of Denmark’s electricity needs. The plan will see
– Wind power to cover 50% of the electricity consumption by 2020
– 100% renewables in the power and heat sectors by 2035
– Climate change act  with yearly evaluations of the progress made
– Continued support from the new government to a 30% EU GHG reduction target by 2020

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