Zero Net Emissions by 2025

March 11th Newsletter 2011

Posted on 11 March 2011 by e-news

MASG News and Events

Solar PV bulk buy as part of Goldfields Solar Hubs Now open

MASG in partnership with Bendigo Sustainability Group and Sustainability Victoria is working to have 1000 households supplied with solar PV power as part of the Goldfieilds Solar hub project. Systems start from $2650 for a quality 1.5kW system. Hurry before the rebates are cut back in July. Register online or ring MASG on 54706978
Late news: over 150 people have already registered since the launch on Tuesday.

Employment chances with the Solar Hub

MASG and the Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG) are seeking 4 part time paid roles as part of this exciting project.
Project Coordinator: 2 days/week for 12 months responsible for the overall management of the project, including meeting targets on time and within budget, and liaison with various partners and stakeholders.  Communications Officer: 2 days/week for 12 months will be responsible for participant engagement, communications and organising events.  Both roles will be based in the BSG office in Bendigo.
2 x Technical Support Officers:  2 hours/week on a paid session basis to run ‘sunny sessions’ engagement workshops and provide detailed technical support.  The initial contract period will be for 2 months, with the possibility of extension.  One of these will be based in Bendigo, the other Castlemaine.
For more information contact Karin Harding at the BSG on 0422 605 156 or e-mail Applications close Wednesday 16th March 2011.

Members – Our renewal campaign has been going well

Thanks to Ian, Deb and Melinda who have been ringing round to remind folk to rejoin.
We are also pleased to welcome the following 15 new members; Max & Margaret B, Sally B; Phil M; John F; Marie S; Gavan T; Caitlin M; Arabella D; Marilyn W; Virginia (Ginny) B; Simon & Susana MCK; Nancy McC & Graham H.

Next MASG Members’ gathering

 25th March  5 to  6pm @ The Hub Garde and on the last Friday of the month,accessed of Templeton St, rear of 233 Barker, Castlemaine.  Hear about the latest MASG projects- including the Goldfields Solar Hub, share information, snacks, news, tips and hints on your own projects as part of this informal catch-up with others.

Are you a marketing guru?

MASG is looking for some in-kind marketing advice on promoting our projects and activities. We would like to set up a discussion group about some of the more immediate ways we can value-add to our current work and also look at our future strategic planning. Please contact Deanna at MASG on 5470 6978 or

Comfy Homes

Drop into the MASG office to find out how to make alterations to your home to make it cooler in the warm weather and warmer as the weather cools down. We have information on products and services and samples of materials such as window treatments and draught-stopping. We can help you find ways to get your energy bills down and get a more comfy home. Contact Deanna at MASG on 5470 6978 or

Free home energy assessments

Ross from Central Victoria Solar City will help you work out where your needs are in reducing the energy use of your home. The energy assessments are free and they have some good packages and incentives. Call Ross to make a time for your assessment on 0467 519 003.

Committee meetings = Coordinating Group (CoG)

The CoG is the smooth machine of MASG.    Working groups and members are most welcome to the next committee or CoG meeting on March 24th @ 7pm  at The Forge (opposite She Shells Sea Food in Barker St) 7pm. The Accountability Group is to meet afterwards.

MASG submission on medium scale solar power is well received

Last year MASG made a submission to the Victorian Government panel investigating the barriers and benefits to medium scale solar in Victoria. Click here  see our submission .
The final panel report has been released and it’s very clear that the voice of the community sector has been heard by the panel.  There are specific mentions of community-owned shared projects throughout the panel report.

Grant opportunities workshop – feedback

 We have had 8 ideas put forward even before the workshop and a few on the day. From here ideas with champions can progress the idea looking at MASG documents like the funding approval pathway, pro-forma and funding priority matrix and decide which funding would suit if required. We will work to help develop the ideas up further and hope to see some up and running soon. Download the ideas for projects march 11 2011

Pro- future, pro- action Rally this Saturday

Our vision of a cleaner, safer Australia which tackles climate change is under attack from a scare campaign, led by Tony Abbott.

Abbott is calling for a “people’s revolt” against action on climate change. He’s banded together with climate deniers and scaremongers to organise anti-climate action rallies, and the first one is this Saturday outside Julia Gillard’s office in Melbourne.
A national coalition of groups wishing to see action on climate change is organising a Pro-future, pro-action rally across. MASG supports this rally and hopes that members will attend.
Where: Treasury Place
When: This Saturday 12 March at 11am at Treasury Place (just off Spring Street, City – different location to the Abbott rally)
RSVP here 

Editor: MASG understands that as it stands the carbon price policy is inadequate for a transition to renewable energy, however the debate has now turned into one where the very idea of acting on climate change is at stake and we would encourage as many of our members as possible to attend this rally and show your support for real action on climate change.

News & Events from our region

Growing Abundance is being swamped with excess fruit

Volunteers have collected over a tonne [1,000kg] of fruit , just the abundance they are looking for!  The project is run from Castlemaine Community House and collects surplus fruit – then shares it with those in need, either fresh or bottled.  This week the main need is for fruit pickers, and anyone able to help in any way should contact Sas 5472 4842.

Fruit preserving at a hands-on workshop

Learn bottling and preserving, so you can eat local produce during the winter months.  Saturday 12th March 12 noon-4pm, Thursday 17 March 11am-3pm, Monday 21 March 12.30-4pm, all in Castlemaine Town Hall Kitchen, and final one 26 March 12 noon-4pm, Ray Bradfield Rooms, Victory Park.  $30 / $20 concession, more info from  Castlemaine Community House on 54724842 or

Fungi Workshops

A popular series by local ecologist, Alison Pouliot, is running again this autumn.  Whether you’re interested in identifying, photographing, learning about which ones you can safely consume, or just enjoying an autumn forest stroll to discover the world of fungi, you might like to attend a workshop.  Workshops will run from Daylesford, Trentham, Creswick, Castlemaine, Woodend and Wedderburn.   For details visit the website or contact Alison at

Hepburn Wind nearing completion

For the many MA shire residents who are members of Hepburn Wind the news that the towers, turbines and blades are all arriving soon in Daylesford is very exciting news.  For more information on this ground breaking project and excellent photos of the construction of the towers (made in Portland) see the photos here.

A State festival first…accompany the Cellist…..on your bike

Kristin Rule “The Unconventional Cellist” plays on Saturday 9th of April 7:30pm @ Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.  Kristen and her cello travel by bicycle she is encouraging concert attendees to ride their bicycles with her from Victory Park to the performance in the Botanical Gardens in a show of solidarity for this beautiful planet Earth. 
The performance will include a world premier of moving images. The theme of this work will focus on environmental and humanitarian issues facing the world today
Tickets are priced reasonably at $10/$5.

News from elsewhere

Jobs in our region if we act on climate

The Climate Institute and independent MP Tony Windsor launched a clean energy jobs website showing the NET job creation that would happen with a move to renewable energy in each region of Australia.  In the Central highlands (our area)  of Victoria over 1200 new jobs would be created in the wind sector alone, and over 1300 jobs overall if PV and solar Hot water was included. 

Rap against Waste

 Northern Territory rap star has pulled off some rhymes to protest against a nuclear waste dump to be built on her country.   Award-winning hip hop artist Kylie Sambo took her song “Muckaty” down south last week to have her voice heard.  Ms Sambo said she was fighting for a “brighter future” for the children living at the remote station, north of Tennant Creek.   “We don’t want the waste dump on our land because we care for it as much as it cares for us,” she said.  Watch the youTube here

Community wind coming to NSW – Armidale

NSW is poised to join the clean energy revolution by bringing the community wind model to the state. With a growing population, high quality wind resource and a 90% coal power reliance, supporters see wind energy as an obvious part of the solution. Find out more on this emerging initiative here.  The team there is interested in opinions from those both local and further afield.  Please help the effort by completing this online survey

List of new coal mines and exploration leases in Victoria

Large areas of Victoria’s prime agricultural land is being offered for exploration and brown coal mining. For a list of the areas including prime agricultural dairy farm land in Gippsland and grazing properties around Portland, Colac, Bacchus Marsh, Drouin, Hamilton and even the area around Bells Beach in Torquay. Download the list   of sites.

Flammable Gas bubbles up in Sydney Water supply following crack in coal mine

METHANE is bubbling up through one of the key rivers in Sydney’s drinking water catchment, after a coalmine cracked the rock underneath it reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The flammable gas is emerging in the Waratah Rivulet, east of Campbelltown, above a longwall mine operated by a subsidiary of Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest coal company.
”Look, this is a completely natural occurrence in the vicinity of coalmines.”  said a Peabody Mining spokesperson.
Editors note: I’m glad that such natural occurrences aren’t happening in our water supply, and I note that they don’t occur around Solar installations or Wind farms !.

First carbon-neutral apartments coming

Claimed as Australia’s first carbon-neutral apartments, these Melbourne dwellings are expected to fetch about $1 million in the The Herald Sun .

Wooden high-rise to bring cheers to old brewery site

The Grollo family plans to build Australia’s first high-rise building from timber, at the old Carlton & United Breweries site in Swanston Street.

Japan vending machines to charge electric cars

Ten Japanese companies said they plan to install electric vehicle chargers at the sites of beverage vending machines across Japan in a cost-cutting tie-up.

Stepping on the gas in Qld

Gas miners and farmers are on a collision course in our food bowl as the rush for gas starts to smell.

Beijing plans five-year push on energy conservation

WITH oil prices at their highest level in more than two years because of unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, the Chinese government plans to announce strict five-year goals for energy conservation in the next two weeks, China energy specialists said.

Petrol price just barrels along

underlying supply shortages (aka Peak Oil) and unrest in Libya are reported in the AGE.

Monash upgrade ‘a waste’

The freeway’s extra city-bound lane is a ‘huge waste of money’ because as many commuters could be accommodated by a much safer and cheaper upgrade to the adjacent Main Yarra bicycle trail.

Climate Summit 2011: “From the ground up”

9-11th April, Melbourne University, Carlton – see the website for the 3rd National grassroots conference this year in Melbourne.  Background info also at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

Research links extreme rain and storms to global warming

Extreme rainstorms and snowfalls have grown substantially stronger, two studies suggest, with scientists finding the telltale fingerprints of man-made global warming on downpours that often cause deadly flooding.  Two studies in Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature link heavy rains to increases in greenhouse gases more than ever before. 

Climate change may be worse than feared: Ross Garnaut

The Australian reports that  Sea Level rises caused by global warming may be worse than predicted and the world may have to find deeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions than currently targeted to manage the risks of climate change.

German solar employing over 130,000 people

Solar farms and wind farms producing jobs and clean energy

Germany added 7 gigawatts of capacity in 2010 to bring the total to nearly 17GW, equal to 17 large power plants. In 2010 German incentives for renewables — about half of which was for solar power — totalled about $17.9 billion and these incentives are gradually being reduced as the price of solar is dropping due to the feed in tariff support.


“There is increasing discussion in the legitimate scientific literature of the possibility that large damage will occur at smaller increases in global temperatures”  March 10th 2011 Professor Garnaut

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