Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Sustainability News 14 March 2008

Posted on 14 March 2008 by e-news

For more information, call 03 5470 6978.

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Major events:

more details appear in main newsletter below

28th March: MASG Movie and Social: The History of Oil
29 March: Earth Hour
12 – 13th April: “Growing the Harvest” Festival

MASG News and Events

John Landy joins the fight against climate change: The former Governor of Victoria and acclaimed distance runner, John Landy, has become the 600th member of MASG. He has a residence at Fryerstown and a long-established interest in sustainability, particularly in the area of protecting bio-diversity. He is very pleased to be part of such a vibrant local community group taking action on climate change. “We are all responsible for the current climate change crisis, and we can all play a part in dealing with it, in our homes, businesses, schools and sporting clubs”, he said.

“MASG is showing leadership on this most important issue and I am proud to join the group”. “It’s an extraordinary achievement to recruit 600 members in a relatively small community and I will be pleased to offer whatever support I can. The group has already chalked up quite a few successes and I look forward to seeing what can be achieved over the next few years. I’m particularly impressed by the plans for local food production and solar energy development” he added.

Thanks to our volunteers who put on a great show at the Taradale Springs Festival last Sunday. A strong festive atmosphere and great sense of fun contributed to over 20 members signing up; several hundred raffle tickets sold; generous donations offered in exchange for garden produce; and numerous inquiries about sustainable energy usage. Hundreds of plates & cups were washed, saving many disposables from a trip to landfill.

An invitation to Friends, Colleagues and Wellwishers of Carol McDonough, including children. Come along to MASG garden, Templeton Street [rear of 233 Barker], on Tuesday March 18th, 4.30-6pm. We will celebrate that Carol, nominated by MASCAN, has been inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her life-long work in human rights, environment and community. Bring your own glass, some drink and nibbles to share. Some folk might like to flow on to The Royal 5472 1196 for you-book-in-advance pizza, 6.15 to 7.15pm. More info: Solway Nutting 5474 3224.

Saving energy has never been easier: ask now for an energy assessment. MASG and Castlemaine 500 have joined forces to deliver another round of energy assessments in the Mt. Alexander Shire. Using locally-trained assessors, they have 20 household and 30 business assessments available. Contact Jane on 5470 6978 or

MASG Sustainability Raffle has 5 great prizes: 5000 litre tank courtesy of Kelly Plumbing (value $1395), organic food harvest basket (value $200), 5 bare rooted fruit trees of your choice courtesy of Bold Garden (value $125), Eco-Bokashi bench-top compost bucket courtesy Down to Earth Store (value $100) and 2 years’ subscription to Digger’s Garden Club plus Digger’s fruit and vegetable book (value $90).

Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. Available at Down to Earth Shop, and Goodfoods (both on Barker St., near MASG office) and Castlemaine Wholefoods (Mostyn St.). Are you able to sell tickets in your workplace, to family/ friends, or at markets before 12 April? Contact Lorna on 0419 108 847 for tickets or for more information

MASG Movie and Social: THE HISTORY OF OIL” by Robert Newman, stand-up comedian. Fri 28th March, 6.30pm for you-book-in-advance pizza [call 5472 1196′]; and 8pm for film, at Theatre Royal. The History of Oil is an alternative and humorous history tour as Robert Newman rewrites the last hundred years with oil at centre stage.

Based around his stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills, this doco contains everything from satirical impersonations of Tony Blair, to a bicycle-powered street lamp. Pertinent and sharp, Robert Newman takes us laughing into a future where the world’s oil supplies are finally exhausted. “The world consumes 2 barrels of oil for every barrel discovered. Is this something you should be worried about?”

MASG Solar Display Home – site works have begun (at 17 Main Road, Campbells Creek) with plumbing going in today, ready for concrete pour after easter. Watch that space!

GIVE AWAY from MASG office: printers, scanner, electric typewriter with correcting ribbon

Enter your produce for Growing the Harvest, 12-13th April: Do you think you might have the best produce in the town? Join in the following categories (all homemade): Jams; Chutney and Relish; Preserves; Vegetables, Fruit, Olives AND the strangest shaped vegetable or fruit. Link to entry form on our website, or available from MASG office. “Growing the Harvest” is organised by MASG, in partnership with the Uniting and Anglican Churches. Contact Heather 5472 3094, or Peter 5474 2403 or email

Bulbs (not light bulbs): now’s the time to think of spring plantings….and what says ‘spring’ more brightly than spring bulbs! You can support the Growing the Harvest Festival by supporting MASG’s bulb fundraiser. We can’t guarantee their nutritional value, but on a financial level, 50% of all bulb sales will be used to fund the Harvest Festival. Drop by the office for your bulb catalogue. On sale now….

Coming Events, not endorsed by MASG

Straw bale cobbing: this Sunday, March 16th, MASG members Bernard Tonkin and Louise Cook-Tonkin are rendering at their straw-bale home. You are welcome any time between 10 am and 4pm. No special skills required! Lunch and refreshments provided, just bring some old / work clothes. 16A Vanstan Rd, Castlemaine, turn right up Sawmill Rd. off the Midland Hwy to Harcourt and right again into Vanstan Rd. ph. 5472 4234.

Enjoy carbon neutral comedy festival by tuning into ABC radio 774AM, tues 18th from about 7pm. There’ll be a few comics on including MASG’s own Jodie J Hill.

Agenda 21 is the global blueprint for sustainability that was agreed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 (the Rio Earth Summit). Come and hear Kim Dunphy of the Cultural Development Network (CDN) speak about her organisation and how we can work here with these exciting globally-linked ideas. Of particular relevance to those with an interest in culture & sustainability. 19th March, Castlemaine Continuing Education, 30 Templeton St, Castlemaine. 5.30 – 7pm. Tara Gilbee, Arts Officer ph: 54711793.

Earth Hour is on 29 March at 8pm, MASG member, Grace, writes: “I just signed up to the new Earth Hour website for 2008. It looks like it’s going to be really big. So far, as well as Sydney, there’ll also be Chicago, Tel Aviv, Manila, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Brisbane, Toronto and Shepparton (!!) all turning off their lights for an hour in the name of fighting global warming. And I’m sure there’ll be more cities by March.” Sign up for Earth Hour with me!

Castlemaine Fringe supports Earth Hour with a special “lights-off” acoustic set at the Theatre Royal on Saturday 29th March from 7.45 pm. Live music performance followed by a selection of outstanding Australian and International short films. Fundraiser for the Fringe 2009 Festival. Further details contact Jim on 0409 708 627.

OzGREEN’s Youth LEAD program – Helping people move from overwhelm to action
An innovative eco-social leadership and action training program giving young people the skills, motivation and opportunities to lead the way to a sustainable future. For 15-25 yr olds (with some flexibility). Melbourne Youth LEAD 25-27 March 2008. Also a similar program for adults of all ages called Leading with the Heart. For more information please contact Wendy on 9341 8104, read the attached information &/or visit the website

ALL ABOUT BEES: A full day workshop on Saturday 5th April from 10am – 3pm.
Conducted by Jim Sansom. Cost $30 per person. Proceeds to Newham Hall Restoration Fund. For information or enrolment ring 5427 0408.
* Learn about what goes on in a beehive and bees’ roles in our world
* See honey being extracted from the comb
* See what a beehive looks like inside
* Taste different types of honey

Other News and Information

Melbourne Bike Removalists: Kat moved to her new place by bicycle. Here’s a video they put together from the footage. And bike move movie #2. (Both are only 2 minutes long and heartening!)

Bike movers were inspired by the Otesha Project– a sustainability education project involving presenters/performers travelling around Canada by bicycle. It’s all about being the change you want to see in the world. Fantastic!

The Rough Guide To Climate Change has arrived at Peppercorn Books, Maldon

Passive solar home – good feature in CSIRO magazine at page five .

Ashton Heynes,
aiming to be England’s first carbon neutral village has news that the University of Chester has measured a cut in electricity use by 20% in their first year! Well done Ashton Heynes.

2008 Transition Network conference in Cirencester, UK, 11 to 13-April. Not recommending you fly over just for this, but if you are going to the UK anyway, have a look The blurb says: “This two day event, running from Friday lunchtime on 11-April to Sunday lunchtime on 13-April, is intended to help you: connect with other transitioners and share experiences, find ways to deepen, broaden and accelerate the initiative in your community, learn, by experience, how to run Open Space meetings and World Cafe sessions, help shape the Transition Network as we embark on another year of intense growth. What you won’t get is a procession of pale stale males in ill-fitting suits with bad ties showing you an endless array of graphs and statistics, mumbling about creaming curves and trying to sell you dried food and ammunition.”

Once you are in the UK, Go Slowly: beautiful new book on slow travel, slow food and special places to stay in the UK. The book revolves around special places to stay, where you will meet farmers, literary people, wine-makers and craftsmen – all with rich stories to tell about ‘slowing down’. The gorgeous coffee table book celebrates fascinating people, fine architecture, history, landscape and real food. A counter-balance to our culture of haste. In the run-up to its launch, we’re regularly posting previews of the chapters at – you can also sign up to get a discounted copy. Here’s a sample entry from the book, as a taster:

Sustainable World Radio: Friday mornings at 9:00-10:00 am PST on KCSB 91.9 FM in Santa Barbara, California and streaming live. Also found on .

Caltex discusses Petrol price rises: The cover of the latest issue of Caltex’s The Star magazine features a board displaying unleaded petrol at 334.9 cents per litre, alongside the headline: ‘Petrol at what price?’ Caltex spokesman Richard Beattie said the figure was a “futuristic stat”, and it looked as though fuel prices would increase over the next decade. “If you have a look over the last 10 years, it’s (crude oil) gone up by 10 times from about $US10 a barrel to $US100 a barrel,” Mr Beattie said.

Black Balloons from Brumby Saloons: Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Ian McPhail, has called for a 6-star or better energy rating for all new and refurbished government offices and facilities. In his forward to the fourth annual Strategic Audit of the Government Agencies Environmental Management Systems, Dr McPhail congratulated the Government on its success in cutting office emissions, water and paper use and waste generation but said increased emissions from vehicles were disappointing: “In the context of climate change and worsening water scarcity, the community can reasonably expect stronger action in Government’s own operations while it demands behaviour changes from industry and the community.”
The Age

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