Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group News Digest, 4 Sept 2008

Posted on 4 September 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary
Thursday 4th Sept- Slow Transport Forum
Saturday 6th September MASG stalls at Wesley Hilland VGR picnic at Muckleford station
Sunday 7th Sept – MASG stall at Farmers’ Market
Sunday 7th Sept – FOW Introductory Ride
Wednesday 15th Oct. Ride to Work
Sat/Sun 25/26th Oct. Festival of the Wheel

Every day – time to renew your MASG membership. We need you!!

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MASG News and Events

Farmers Market is on this weekend!
A chance to see the marquee in use, and our stall volunteers in action. Raffle tickets for FOW will be on sale and the Trishaw will be making an outing. So make sure you stop by the stall. And thanks in advance to those volunteers who are giving up their time to help set up, organise and dismantle the stall and marquee.

Looking for Interesting Presents for Fathers Day?
The MASG office has copies of Greenhouse Solutions and Sustainable Energy by Mark Diesendorf, Climate Code Red by Philip Sutton and the DVD Renewing Hope for sale. Call in to the office and have a look. Check that you have remembered to renew your membership at the same time…

FOW Introductory Ride There will be a FOW introductory ride along the Maldon rail track this Sunday 7th September. There will be two groups, one going part of the way (covering around 10km) and the other all the way covering around 35km). Both groups will leave from the MASG office 233 Barker St at 9am, the first returning around 10-30am and the other around 12-30pm. This is one of the best rides in the area. So dust off the treadley in the back shed and let Neil know you’re coming: We expect to have another similar ride the following Sunday.

Spring has Sprung ……. Time to get Active
It is time to get working again on the Demonstration Garden at the MASG office – 233 Barker Street. Working Bee on Saturday September 13th from 9am to 12.30pm (or whatever time you can spend). Tasks will be to: repair and complete the watering system, complete the hot house, form garden beds and generally clean up. Please let Peter Sansom know if you can help (5474 2403 or so that we can plan a work program.

Seedy Saturday! If you would like to swap or share any surplus seeds or seedlings you have, or perhaps get some new varieties to try …… come to the garden at the rear of the MASG office – 233 Barker Street, between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Saturday September 13th – immediately after the Working Bee. More details next week.

Ride2Work – Wednesday 15th October – Victory Park
If you would like to help on the MASG Ride to Work Working Group, please contact Jill Gibson on 5472 3098 or

Festival of the Wheel (FOW) Homestays, 25th and 26th October A big thanks to those generous folk who have offered their spare beds and, in some cases their backyards as tent sites, to help us work around a looming accommodation problem for the FOW. We will now note on the website that Homestay is an option if the usual accommodation places are full up. FOW entrants will then contact us for details and we will put them in touch with our participating members. We’re aiming for 50 households and still have a way to go. If you are able to help, please send details to: phone 54706978.

Visit by EV
Environment Victoria acts as an umbrella group for environment groups (like MASG) as well as a campaigner in its own right. On Tuesday this week, we welcomed the group’s Exec Officer, Kelly O’Shannessy, and Chair Russell Fisher at the MASG office for a three hour discussion. The local group, Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests also attended. It was good to explore ways of working together more closely. Kelly and Russell were particularly interested in our aim of becoming a carbon neutral town. We’re a long way from that at present as we all know, but the potential is there. We’re certainly hoping to make substantial progress in the next few years and EV will be seeking to help us in various ways, including linking with other groups and assistance with media and funding applications.

The Grand MASG Raffle, 2008 Raffle tickets have just been printed and are available for pick-up or purchase at the office. The 1st prize is a bike and accessories valued at $700 from The Bike Vault, 2nd prize a dozen quality bottles of wine valued at $260 from Sheer Drop Wines and 3d prize a solar radio valued at $119 from the Down to Earth shop. Special thanks to the donors – we greatly appreciate their generosity. By the way, the person who sells the most tickets will earn a free ride around town in the MASG Trishaw!

Volunteer Profile
Sharee Mangan is a new volunteer in the MASG office. Having a background in finance, she is a valuable source of help with Administration. An interest in sustainability issues has led to her studying Conservation and Land management, and Sharee hopes to find a job in this area at a later stage.

Low Energy solar home a hit! We now have around 30 volunteers involved with the display home and still need more! This is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills to become a sustainable house guide. Email Fran on if interested. There will be further training sessions very soon.

Letter from our Low Solar Demonstration house Project officer Dear MASG members. I am putting together a local trade directory for the Low Energy Solar House. I need to find local (and nearby) trades people who 1) understand sustainability and 2) are good to work with or come highly recommended because of their skills, expertise and reliability. I am looking for plumbers, electricians, plasterers, solar hot water distributors/fitters, people/ places to buy source local and or sustainable materials, wood sources, paints/low energy equipment, designers, interior designers, advice givers (only professional of course), places to source solar hot water services, local nurseries with indigenous plants, etc. etc. I would like as much info as possible including: Name, business name, phone and or email contacts, snail mail, location etc. You can email me at: This would be a great help and support!
Warmest regards in a changing spring climate from Fran

The best investment you could make in 2008.We encourage our members to consider supporting the Hepburn Community Wind Park. The prospectus is available now at or you can obtain a hardcopy by emailing: Applications close on 31st October. If they are successful in raising their $10M it will greatly help our chances of success when we reach that stage, hopefully in the next 18 months. The prospectus also contains a great deal of interesting and easily-digestible information on windpower here and overseas. It’s a great project.

Events organised by other groups

Free events at Continuing Education Note that these events are sponsored by Mt Alexander Shire Council
Responsible Landscaping Responsible use of materials and plant choices for Future Central Victorian Gardens and landscapes. Saturday 6th September 10-1pm. The Alchemy of Composting: Takes participants through a practical session turning waste material into broccoli and potatoes. Saturday 13th September 10-1pm. For information on further courses, ring Continuing Education on: 5472 3299

Sustainability Youth Forum will be held on Saturday 6th September at RMIT Storey Hall, corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne. For further info email: or ring 0403 591 045

Sustainable House Day: Now in its seventh year, the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society will be holding Sustainable House Day across the nation on 13th and 14th September 2008. Carefully selected homes are open for visitors in major cities and some regional areas, including Elphinstone. Check the following website for house locations:

Stillness in Action
Meditation, Community and the Earth, Seymour, 22nd – 28th September 2008
Further enquiries: Tathra: 0416 743 605 or email: Website:

Picnic at Muckleford Steam and Wheels, Muckleford Railway Station on Saturday 6th September 2008, Father’s Day Weekend, 10am to 5pm. Working steam and diesel trains, rides available
Local wines, food, produce and crafts, Live Music Program. Children’s Entertainment. Children admitted free. Enquiries:, George Young 54752442

Climate Emergency Network General Meeting
Saturday 13th September 1.15 to 5pm
Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC Further information:

Box Iron Bark Ecology course, Nagambie 13-17th October 2008. Brings together leading researchers and experts to share up to date knowledge and thinking about this landscape in change. For further information email:

Interesting Information and Links

Armenian Tree Project:

Technologists Picnic is being held on Friday 5th September at Sovereign Hill and the main topic will be Membrane Technology and the Urban Harvesting of water. We may have a report on this for you next week.

Green tipsCooking: try to keep the oven door completely closed until food is cooked. We know it’s tempting to check on food when it is cooking, but every time the door is opened, the oven temperature drops by 14-20 degrees.

Quote of the week:

The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon [or around 1,000km per litre].

– Bill Strickland, in The Quotable Cyclist – Great Moments of Bicycling Wisdom, Inspiration and Humour, 2001

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, please go to the website,, or phone 5470 6978

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