Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Fortnightly News Digest, Friday 20th March 2009

Posted on 20 March 2009 by e-news

Key Dates – Summary
* Saturday 21st March Regional Victorian Climate Action Summit in Daylesford
* Friday 27th March – visit to Federal Member Steve Gibbons office
* Saturday 28th March – Earth Hour
* Friday 3rd April – closing date for bulk buying solar PV program
* Sunday 5th April – MASG WAW trailer and Information Stall at the KR Family Fun day at the Botanic Gardens – last day of the Festival.

MASG News and Events

MASG Running Bulk Buying Solar PV Program!
Following our successful first solar PV program in 2008 and the general interest the program has created in our community, MASG will now run another program to take advantage of the Federal Government rebate before it runs out on the 30th June 2009.

The new program is open to all shire residents so sign up yourself, and tell your family and friends about the new program.
Investing in a solar PV system will reduce household emissions,and reduce household electricity bills, particularly when the new state feed in tariff is introduced in the 2009/10 financial year.
Why not spend the government stimulus package handouts on a new solar PV system that will employ local trades people and assist MASG to continue our work on climate change.
The solar PV packages on offer will be 1kW, grid interactive systems, with an option to purchase a 2kW inverter, similar to last time.
Sydney Energy COOP with whom MASG built a strong relationship with during the trial program and installations, will be the supplier.
Electrical work will be done by local electrician and solar installer, Steve Breheny.

Bendigo Bank are also supporting the program again and are offering short term green personal loans to participants to finance the purchase of the systems until the rebate is received.
Make sure you don’t miss out on this offer – closing date Friday 3rd April
For further details or to register your interest contact Jayson on 5470 6978 or

Big numbers going to the Daylesford Climate Summit
We have had over 80 RSVP’s but we want more….now is the time to put pressure on our decision makers to take REAL action and we want your creativity and energy at the Saturday March 21st climate action summit co-hosted by MASG at the Daylesford Town Hall. 9.30am-4pm. People are coming from across the state to get informed, motivated and networked, so be there too.
Come and hear updates on the latest science, politics and campaigns and most importantly start planning and networking with people from across the state as we expand our impact and get noisy and public. Ring MASG on 5470 6978 to register or at the summit website.

Steve Gibbons Switch onto Renewables office visit Friday 27th March.
People from Maldon/Bendigo and Castlemaine will be visiting our Federal member’s office to ask him to amend the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) and Switch onto Renewables.
Students from Maldon will be presenting Steve with a letter requesting real emission cuts and asking that he table it in parliament and MASG will be presenting Steve with a letter with our recommended changes to the flawed emissions scheme and asking that he get back to us as to whether they will be included in the legislation.
We are going up on the 9.27am train for a 10.30am visit and want lots of people ( at least 40) to build the pressure for real action on climate change and to make a peaceful, respectful but strong statement for the media and passing public. Please dress conservatively to help us convey the image that we are “ordinary” folk and not “radicals….”
Flyers for the day are available at the office if you want to help publicise the event and get more people involved.
Ring MASG on 54706978 or email Dean for more information or to register as we want an idea of how many are coming.

Banners and flyers
Please come to the MASG office on Tuesday the 24th at 8pm to plan for the visit to Steve’s office and make some banners and flyers to hand out to the public.

MASG Raffle
The recent reports on climate change science and the policy announcements from the Federal Government make it clear that 2009 is going to be a significant and a very active year for climate change action groups such as MASG. In order to continue to work effectively on these issues at the local and regional levels, MASG needs additional resources … and for that we need your help.

Our major MASG raffle for 2009 is being conducted over the next month, to coincide with the Castlemaine State Festival. A wonderful set of prizes have been obtained with the generous support of local businesses and tourism operators. In particular, our major prize will provide a real treat for the lucky winner, comprising luxury accommodation, meals, movie tickets, steam train tickets, CDs, gardening supplies and wine.

Other prizes include a water filter, dinner voucher, steam train tickets, a chiropractic pillow, and a variety of vouchers from local retailers. Raffle tickets are on sale now at a cost of $2 each or 3 for $5. The raffle will be drawn on Monday 20 April.

In addition to buying tickets in the raffle, we are really encouraging our members to help us sell as many tickets as possible. Tickets are printed in books of 20 and can be collected from the MASG office. Please collect a book in the next week or so and actively sell tickets at work, at school, in the sports club, in your street, to your family members … as widely as possible. The importance of the cause (not to mention the quality of the prizes on offer) should make the selling easy.

And please support our generous donors of raffle prizes including:
Midland Hotel, Theatre Royal, Albion Hotel, Wesley Hill Bakehouse, Victorian Goldfields Railway, Taylor Chiropractic, Bold Garden Nursery, Listening Earth, Down to Earth, She Sells Seafood, Blackjack Winery and Stoneman’s Bookroom.
Frank Forster, Committee Member M: 0414 410 411

MASG at the Castlemaine State Festival
MASG’s Trishaw rides again!
The MASG trishaw will be in operation during the State Festival. A team of riders will be ferrying people around at a reasonable fee from the Saturday 28th to, we hope, Sunday 5th April. There will be several rides available, from a simple `round the block’ to a more interesting short tourist ride around Castlemaine. The rank for the trishaw will be in front of the market building, although if you see it empty you will be able to flag it down from the footpath. If you are able help with the driving, please contact Neil on 5472 3094. The prerequisites are a car driver’s licence, good bike fitness and a sense of humour! All trishaw income goes to MASG.

Sustainable Piano
MASG’s sustainable piano, all 250KG of it, will also be ringing out its dulcet tones – with the aid of a roster of pianists and other instrumentalists – in Mostyn St during the festival. The piano was a big hit at the last festival when over $1000 was raised for the MASG Festival carbon offsets. This time we are raising money for MASG projects, so we’re hoping for lots of happy faces in the street as well as bucketfuls of little gold coins to count.

The Wash Against Waste trailer will be in use at the KR Family Fun Day in the Botanic gardens on Sunday 5th April.
A symbolic return to the scene – with our own brand new trailer – where the MASG WAW project started 2 years ago!
To do the job we need help, so if you have an hour or two to spare, that would be very welcome. Email

The MASG Information stall will also be down in the gardens and really need some more people to join our stalls team. This is a great way to publicise the work of MASG, encourage people to join our group, talk about solar PV panels as well as enjoy the fun of the final day of the 2009 Castlemaine Festival. Interested? Email or leave your name and contact details with Jill at the MASG office on 5470 6978.

MASG Bike hire: Masg will be hiring out bikes during the festival and we need some help in matching people to bikes between 10 and 12 noon every day of the festival.
Could you spare 2 hours on any one day to help with this? If so, email

Bulk Buying for Clear Comfort (Double Glazing)
MASG has organised with the Castlemaine Down to Earth Store to offer you the opportunity to purchase ClearComfort DIY window insulation as part of a bulk purchase order. Last minute orders are being taken for the bulk purchase of Clear Comfort. The price has been confirmed at $135 per kit (25% off retail price). This is a once off order and there is no limit on the amount of people that can be involved but be quick to take advantage of discounted price. Contact Karen at The Down to Earth Store for more information, email or phone 5472 5032 to register your interest.

Bike Club
Expressions of interest are invited for a bike club membership offering monthly maintenance opportunities and give-aways. Please contact Deanna at MASG with your level of interest or availability to volunteer your maintenance skills.

Low Energy Solar Display HomeHave you been down to the house yet? It’s only open a few more weeks – Saturdays and Sundays, 11-3pm during March. During April, the house will only be open on 4th and 5th April, followed by 18th and 19th April. On the last day (Sunday 19th ) there will be a BBQ at the house for all those who have been involved in the project. Stay tuned for further details!

Local Green Builders, Products & ServicesMASG is supporting the creation of an online local reference to green-friendly and environmentally sound builders, landscapers, service providers and products available in the local area. Although not endorsed by MASG, we hope to at least be able to direct our members to a localized starting point. If you are a ‘green’ provider or have any recommendations please forward them to .

Crag update
Did you know that MASG has a subscription to Choice Magazine and a donation of the last 2 years’ issues? Members are welcome to drop in and look up products of interest, such as Green washing powders (Apr 07), Green beers (Sep 08), the eco kettle (Feb 09) and Electricity Company energy deals (Mar 09), plus more. MASG also has subscriptions to ReNew Magazine and G Magazine. All are available online, or drop in for a look.

Carbon Hero Banners
The banners have been seen around town and at local festivals. If your business, school or organisation wishes to borrow some, or all, of the banners to display please contact us to arrange collection and return. There are 10 banners, and they are 2m high X 65cm wide. They are canvas and hang from hanging rope on a picture rail or hook. Please contact us

MASG considering new services to members!Over recent months, MASG has experienced an increased demand from our community for advice and information relating to energy efficiency in the household. We feel it is time to start working more directly with members who require assistance to make informed decisions about how to reduce energy use and emissions. To do this, MASG is hoping to establish itself as an energy efficiency provider and expand the range of services it currently offers to members. The initial services under consideration include;
* home energy assessments (HEA),
* home energy sustainability pathways (HESP),
* access to energy efficiency products and
* installation teams.

* A HEA will include an audit of current power usage and a discussion of some of the initiatives that can be undertaken to make reductions. This service will take approximately 3 hours including report writing time and the indicative cost is $100.

* A HESP will involve setting achievable short and long term emission reduction goals and include a HEA, electricity bill analysis and a comprehensive level of advice and recommendations. HESPs will vary in their complexity and hence cost but we anticipate they will take an average of 6 hours including report writing time to complete, with an indicative cost of $200.

Discount packages will be put together for groups of householders wishing to work with each other to reduce their power usage and emissions.

As members of this organization, it would be much appreciated if you could take about 10mins to provide us with some valuable feedback to help MASG determine if the proposed services match your needs and the indicative prices are appropriate. A link to the survey can be found here:
If you have any queries or suggestions in relation to this initiative please contact Jayson at MASG. or 5470 6978

MASG members, Peter and Annie have about 120 linear meters of used weatherboards (denailed) – free with removal in the next week.
Contact Peter Barber & Annie, Ph: 5472 3736

Events organised by other groups

Earth Hour 2009 is 8.30 p.m on Saturday 28th March.
Its time to ‘switch off” for while, and enjoy the ambience of candles, while reducing your ‘carbon footprint”. Why not go the whole hog and switch everything off? TV, radio, computers etc. (Probably wise to keep the fridge on though!)
Tell your friends and family, visit the website, make an event of it!

Advertise your sustainability event/activities during the Castlemaine State Festival 2009.
TowardsCarbonNeutral will be a feature on this year’s Festival website. There will be lots of information about the Festival’s TowardsCarbonNeutral action plan and methodology, and also a section showcasing the many other activities and events happening around the town and the Shire that advance sustainability and sustainable living practices. Please spread the word among your networks.
To be included, email Jacinta asap with any or all of the following: a title; up to 50 word blurb; location/contact details; a picture; a link.
Email Jacinta: M: 0412759942 PH: 5474 3026

Cyclists and supporters of cycling
Meeting postponed until after the Festival. Watch this space for further updates….

Fernleigh Farms Equinox Harvest Festival
Sunday 22nd March, 11-5pm. Further information. or ring 5348 5566

Free Indigenous Seed Collection workshop: Friday 27th March from 10-4pm at Sawpit Rd Creswick. Register by 24th March – ph: 5345 2200 or email:

Live EconoSpaceMaking Workshop presented by Peter Cowman, director of the Living Architecture Centre, the internet school of architecture who is currently in Australia. Learn how to design and build a low-impact, low-cost, sustainable cabin
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March from 10am to 5pm.
Details or phone 9005 5833

Melbourne Comedy Festival’s :Outrageous Good Fortune of the Family Sapiens and its Encounters with the Thylantine.
When and Where: Thursday 9th April, 7.30pm start, Northcote Uniting Church
Flying Blue Elephant Theatre Troupe presents a musical satire about climate change: a riotous mix of tragic-comedy, pathos and downright mayhem. or PH: 5470 6978

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