Zero Net Emissions by 2025

News July 7th 2011

Posted on 7 July 2011 by e-news

Upcoming Dates: Community Wind Project Officer applications close July 29th , Vital signs workshop “Golden Rules” Thursday  July 14th 7pm – 9pm , Hub Plot Fruit Tree pruning workshop 11am Saturday July 23rd.

Exciting new Job at MASG: Community Wind Project Officer

 MASG is looking to employ a Project Officer to assist in developing a community wind farm in the Mount Alexander Shire area.  This 4 day per week position is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic and motivated person to make an important contribution to tackling climate change and to work in an innovative community which supports community based renewable energy.  Applications close 29th July.  Further details from Dean Bridgfoot on 0448 327 791 or see our community wind section of the website  or email .  

MASG members: Winners are grinners!

Greg is all smiles after winning his own Wattson

Meet our winner of the MASG membership renewal drive, Greg Ginger from Maldon. Greg has been a member of MASG for three years and recently took out a two-year membership renewal. And for his efforts Greg was awarded the renewal raffle prize of a Wattson personal energy monitor, that helps you see the electricity your home is using, making energy saving easier. This prize, valued at over $250, was made possible through Council’s sustainability grants program.
Congratulations also to the 150 people who have renewed their membership in June.   MASG membership is for the financial year, so renew your membership NOW

Comfy Homes website bonanza

Deanna and Jayson have been updating 22 information sheets on the Comfy Homes link on the MASG website for tips and services.  This extensive list highlights a range of products and services that can make your home more comfy and help lower your bills. Just a ‘click’ away, the information sheets

Find out all you need with these great info sheets on products and services

include roof-ventilation, heating, cooling, solar electricity and hot water, paint, window treatments, architects, building materials and much more. If you know of a good product that we could add or you operate a business that services sustainable living practices, please let us know. Contact Deanna at MASG on 5470 6978 or

Vital Signs Workshop series for community groups

Practical and invaluable training in communication and groups skills for anyone involved in a community group.  Run by skilled facilitators in the MASG area.   Vital Signs will support community workers and volunteers by increasing their communication and interpersonal skills and providing mentoring and support to assist them in their work within the community.

Vital Signs Workshop Series:

  • Golden Rules for Effective Groups – Thursday 14th July, 7.00-9.00pm The Forge, Barker St
  • Communication Skills series – This is a series of 4 sessions to learn, practice and develop good communication skills. Starts Saturday 23rd July, 10am-12.30pm, Anglican Church Hall, then every following Saturday.
  • Group skills – facilitation – Thursday 18th August, 7.00-9.00pm The Forge
  • Group skills – Consensus decision making – Thursday 25th August, 7.00-9.00pm The Forge

The first workshop in the Vital Signs series

Bookings:; 5470 6978.  Cost per workshop: $20; $10 for MASG members and concession.  Discounts for multiple workshops.

The Hub Plot Fruit Tree Pruning Demonstration

This great workshop will be starting at 11 a.m., Saturday 23rd of July at “ The Hub Plot” ,MASG’s food garden at the rear of 233 Barker St, Castlemaine.
 Entry by donation of $5 Enquiries: or 0409 327791

Sustainable houses: can you inspire others to follow your lead.

After last year’s sustainable house tour MASG is keen to showcase more of the great sustainability ideas that our members have to inspire and motivate the wider public.
We are looking for households that are willing to help out and be one of a group of houses open to the public in an organised sustainable house tour. We are looking for households with the following kinds of features:
• Water wise/greywater reuse
• Innovative/sustainable heating or cooling
• Sustainable/local/innovative building materials and design
• Sustainability retrofit- from old to being a low energy and practical house
• Renewable energy powered- especially solar off grid or micro- wind
• Smaller houses or units with innovative design and features
• Communal or lifecycle design
Register your house or for more information Carolyn on 54 70 6325 or e:

Regional News and Events

Drop off your old TV for recycling


The ugly price of digital progress

Sadly it seems heaps of people are upgrading and there are mountains of old TVs at the Castlemaine landfill,  Sustainability Victoria is assisting a TV recycling program at the Greater Bendigo Tip – Eaglehawk – Upper California Gully Road.  Before you make the trip have a look at the Eaglehawk recycling website as other unusual items can be recycled there as well.    Daily: 8am – 5pm

And for a great video on recycling

 check out this Quebecois Flashmob video on how to inspire people to do the right thing.

Melbourne – a feast of sustainability events in July:

1.  The Water Sensitive Cities Winter School is a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the key actions required to deliver water sensitive and liveable cities.  Australia’s leading researchers and thought leaders will deliver lectures and workshops on the latest solutions and concepts on technologies for stormwater treatment, urban design / modelling, climate change adaptation, behavioural change, and social and government engagement. Mon  11 July –  Fri 15 July.  Info from their wsws website  or  Melissa Cordy 03 9235 5335  

2.  ‘CLIMATE CHANGE: THE CRITICAL DECADE’ – Free international public lecture,  Tues 12 July  7– 8.30pm, by Professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Chair of the German Govt’s Advisory Council on Global

Are you enjoying the photos of these famous people in funny poses ?

Change and the Chief Government Advisor on Climate.  Despite a worldwide political consensus to limit global average temperature rise to less than 2 degrees celsius, the collective effect of current national measures will lead to average warming of up to 4 degrees by the end of this century. The German Advisory Council on Global Change proposes an approach that could see such effort allocated fairly among all nations.  Info –  8344 6004, Bookings online via Melbourne University.

3.  Professor Ross Garnaut – ‘ADAPTATION AND ITS LIMITS’  Free public event – Wed  13 July 7pm – 8.30pm  Keynote address as part of the ‘FOUR DEGREES OR MORE? AUSTRALIA IN A HOT WORLD’ conference.  People in future will have no choice but to seek to adapt to the climate into which they are born. The address will consider factors which will determine the limits to adaptation, and the likely economic and social impacts of climate change with varying degrees of success with mitigation.  Bookings as above via Melbourne University.

These events are part of a three day conference cover the Science, the Impacts and the Possibilities for Australia in a warmer environment.  Full conference program see the Four Degrees Conference website   or Kate Schulz, 9320 8690.

4.  Also during the same week – Beyond Zero Emissions, an independent, not-for-profit research group, presents their roadmap for taking Australia to 100% renewable energy. Their fully-costed plan, published in partnership with the University of Melbourne Energy Institute, specifies ONLY proven, commercially-available baseload renewable technologies that are currently powering other economies throughout the world.  Tue 12 July  7pm – 10pm  Contact them via their Facebook site.  

5.  MANUFACTURING RESOURCE EFFICIENCY – a forum for Small and Medium Businesses.  Discover how using your resources efficiently can lead to long term success for Australian manufacturers. VECCI and Enterprise Connect would like to invite you to join business efficiency expert Alan Pears and a great line-up of Australian manufacturers who have successfully implemented resource efficiency practices to drive their business success.  Tues 12 July  9am – 4pm.  Info:   03 8662 5196

National and International Carbon News

Big business backs climate price

A group of more than 50 businesses representing finance, energy, technology and retail have signed a letter supporting a carbon price.  The group, which includes GE, AGL, Ikea and Pacific Hydro, believe the carbon price is critical if Australia is to reduce emissions and ensure the nation remains globally competitive.  David Waldren from construction company Grocon, which was one of the letter’s signatories, says a carbon price is a cost-effective measure that will give business more certainty and deliver jobs in a low-carbon future. 

“Rudd govt’s silence led to poor climate change support”: Hugh Mackay

A nice photo of Hugh

Social researcher Hugh Mackay says the dramatic fall in public support for action on climate change was caused by what he calls a silence in the first six months of the Rudd government.  But Hugh Mackay predicts that attitudes will change if the Government manages to bring in a carbon tax. He spoke to Eleanor Hall of the ABC world today.

CBD to plug into cars of the future

In a Victorian first, charging stations for electric cars are likely to be installed at 12 on-street parking spaces in Melbourne’s city centre. Read more in the AGE plug in electric cars story.

Cougar faces fines over chemicals in water bores

Environmental charges have been laid against an underground coal gasification company over its failed project in Queensland’s South Burnett region. More revealing news about fraccking and its effects from the ABC Cougar fines story here.

Farmland buying spree ends in a coal mine

From prime agricultural land to coal pit

A CHINESE government-controlled mining giant has spent $213 million buying up 43 farms so it can explore for coal outside the NSW township of Gunnedah. 
 The mining boom has triggered an overnight property boom for the rural community 500km northwest of Sydney.  A NSW title search reveals that Shenhua Watermark Coal carried out a two-year spending spree in 2009 and 2010, making some of the sellers instant millionaires.  Some of the properties changed hands for 10 times more than their previous sale price. Why did this happen? Because Shenhua is after the coal, and local Gunnedah people are not happy. Read more in the Australian Chinese Mine Giant Story.

Solar Could Save Money, Power Half of New York City’s Peak Demand

The City University of New York (CUNY) released a solar map of New York City last week, allowing building owners in the city to determine the amount of solar power their roof could host.  The cumulative impact is enormous, with city rooftops capable of providing half the city’s peak power, and 14% of its annual electricity consumption.
The report recommends that the city should immediately maximize solar power development to save millions in electricity costs.   Whether immediately (NYC) or in the near future (NY state), it’s clear that rooftop solar PV is the route to greater energy self-reliance and electricity cost savings.
Full story of a solar NYC here.

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