Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 31st October 2008

Posted on 24 October 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary

Sunday 2nd November Farmers Market
Thursday 6th November Transport Forum
Saturday 22nd November Low energy Solar Display Home Open Day

MASG News and Events

New Committee
The AGM was held last night and the new members of the Committee are Michael McCartney, Felicity Faris, Peter Sansom, Heather Barrett, Frank Forster, Ron Snep, Jim Norris, Simon Cordingley and Jac Semmler. Office bearers will be announced in next week’s e-news.

Wind Park Announcement Soon
As reported at the MASG AGM last night, our community wind park developer, Future Energy, has advised that the owners of the land we regard as suitable for a community owned wind park foresee no problems in going ahead. A signed agreement is expected soon. It’s an excellent site…and it’ll be an exciting project for MASG and its members. Watch this space!

And…the Festival is Over.
The Festival of the Wheel is over and the MASG volunteers can hang up their helmets for a well-deserved rest. All events went off very well: the rides and film on Saturday and the duathlons and Family Fun Day on the Sunday. The Don KRC Free Family Day in the Botanical Gardens was extremely successful. Around 600 people attended, the weather was near perfect after a shaky start to the day and the variety of bikes needed to be seen to be believed. The sight of the bike-bus transporting seven kids at a time around the gardens was a highlight, as was the juice wheel run by Tony and the crazy bike events in the straw bale arena. The music also worked very well, thanks to the Foundry Band and our very generous local musos. Event coordinators reported favourable comments from a wide variety of people, visitors, locals, young and old. Most people were apparently impressed with the level of organisation and the friendliness and cooperation of marshals and other volunteers. Kids were particularly impressed with the bike events at the Fun Day! Thanks again to those who played key roles as event coordinators or specialists in particular areas, especially Leigh Worn, Peter Legge, Helena Read, Rex Odgers, Frank Forster, Paddy Toasty, Toni Pellas and David Storm. And a very big thanks to the other volunteers who played a major part on the weekend. We hope to get a bottle of wine to you all eventually. To all participants, we invite your comments on the Festival. They will help us improve the event next year. Please send to
A big thanks to all who took part.

A Big Thanks to Raffle Donors, Sponsors and Volunteers
Local businesses get called on frequently to give to various causes. Several of these businesses generously supported the Festival of the Wheel: The Bike Vault for the $700 bike which was the first prize in the raffle; Sheer Drop Winery for the dozen bottles of red valued at $260; and the Down to Earth Store for a solar radio valued at $119.
We also had sponsors for the whole weekend: Don KRC (sponsor of the Family Day), Robinsons, Waller Realty, Tonks, CHIRP and Castlemaine Property Group. In addition, we have had a mountain of special assistance from Greengraphics, Bancroft Art, the Castlemaine Copy Centre, Taylors Petstock and the Anglican Church which housed our temporary office. And last but not least, several of our volunteers have given up a great deal of their normal work time and Tony the Juiceman generously donated all his takings on the day which was amazing – a big thanks to all.

Volunteers Needed – Festival of GardensThe MASG Demonstration Food Production Garden will be open to the public daily from 10am – 4pm during the Festival of Gardens next week. If you can spare an hour or two to help, please contact Peter Sansom on 5474 2403.

Wash Against Waste Program – Assistant Coordinator needed One last call for someone who will be able to help organise bookings during November when Rex will be away. Come on folks – it could change your life and it’s only for a month! Ph 54 70 6978

Low Energy Solar Display Home
The house is in the final stages of completion; two successful sessions of volunteer training have been held and now plans for the launch are well under way for the third week in November. There will be an Open Day for members of MASG on Saturday 22nd November and the house will be open to members of the public from Sunday 23rd November. After that, the house will be open between 10am and 3pm on weekends until the 2nd week of December and reopen mid January. If you want to book a private house tour contact Fran on 5470 6978 or email: Phil Hansen – who provided the concept plan for the landscaping – will be running a workshop in late November. Stay tuned for further details!

Local Solar Hot Water Suppliers Supporting MASG – MASG has experienced an increased level of interest from people wishing to install Solar Hot Water (SHW) systems recently, particularly since the introduction of the new state government rebates. To foster this increased level of interest, we have decided to play a more active role in increasing the uptake of SHW amongst our membership and the wider community. We have approached a number of local SHW organizations with an offer to allow them to promote their products and services directly to our members via the MASG website. So far, 4 organisations have taken up this offer and provided us with information on their SHW products and services. This information can be accessed through the renewable energy/solar hot water section of the MASG website. These organizations have agreed to donate $100 to MASG for every system they sell as a result of this arrangement. If you or your family or friends are interested in purchasing any of the SHW packages listed, please send an email to and we will refer your request to the relevant supplier.

MASG will be at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday 2nd November. Stop by and have a chat with the volunteers who will be working there. If you would like to become a member of this team, ring 5470 6978.

Keeping Local Transport on the Agenda Ray Bradfield Room, Thursday 6th November from 7pm – 9pm.
MASG Transport Working Group follow up gathering from the very successful Slow Transport Forum, community members are invited to discuss some achievable priorities for the Transport Working Group that cover the range of issues (cycling, pedestrian issues, public transport, other modes) as discussed back in September. This gathering is intended to offer a smaller group the chance to discuss how to get things done, and what role a MASG Transport Group should have in this process and the option to become part of the Group to work on specific transport issues. It will also gauge the interest in the various areas of the broad transport agenda. Enquiries ph Jill Gibson 5472 3098

Focus on Community – A Social Sustainability Arts Project
As a result of Deanna Neville’s Focus on Community project which was auspiced by MASG, the hospital’s Grief Support Program is facilitating the creation of a multi-faith meditation garden for personal reflection and public ceremonies, on the Anglican Church Grounds, Castlemaine. For details please call Robert Maio on 5471 1542

Events organised by other groups

The Castlemaine Historical Society Inc. is holding a Book and Music Sale on Saturday 1st November 2008 at its premises, the Former Courthouse in Goldsmith Crescent. This is a terrific opportunity to pick up second hand copies of favourite books, CDs, DVDs, video tapes, LPs, etc, to add to your collection.
If you have items to donate, they can be dropped off at the Former Courthouse on Tuesdays, or phone Ray Pattle on 5473-4273 to arrange for collection.

Centre for Sustainability Leadership is running a course on 8th November in Ballarat. Further information can be found here.

Bike/Triathlon/MTB Swap Meet on Saturday 15th November 2008 in Laverton, VIC. For further information ring David on 0403 132 965 or email:

Walk Against Warming is on Saturday the 15th November. If you would like to volunteer for this event please email:

Trentham Sustainability Group will be holding Sustainability Day in the town square on Saturday 22nd November from 9am to 1pm. For more information email or call 0433 822281

Soap Making Workshop – Sunday 23rd November in Castlemaine
Learn how easy it is to make your own all-vegetable/natural soap which is grey water friendly, kind to the environment, you and your family.
Contact Jill Gibson for more details 5472 3098

Interesting Information and Links

The Age newspaper reports that “PRESSURE is mounting on the Federal Government to recast its emissions trading blueprint after an analysis found it could give the aluminium and black coal mining industries more than $1 billion compensation each in the first year alone. Resources giants Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata would each qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars in free emissions permits, according to an analysis commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation.” Story. Detailed analysis here.

Last chance to ask for the recipe for those Ride to Work Burgers! Sue Turner has kindly given us the recipe so that you can make them at home and enjoy a very sustainable meal! If you would like the recipe just email:

Interesting computer game for children – although takes a while to download.

Telling the Truth Sunday 9th Nov at 6pm – FREE screening of new climate change documentary at Theatre Royal. During November of 2006, Al Gore traveled to Australia to train everyday Australians to present the slide show made famous in the movie An Inconvenient Truth. This was the beginning of The Climate Project – Australia. In the first 17 months of the Project the 250 diverse individuals who make up The Climate Project –Australia, have made 125,000 presentations throughout the country. Each person who volunteered to give their time to become a climate change presenter has their own unique story. This is a film which documents seven of these individuals and their stories. ACF is aiming to screen the documentary 1000 times by December 1 2008, when the signatory countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change sit down in Poznan, Poland to begin discussions around what the next Kyoto Protocol will look like.

Green tip

Ask your energy retailer to sign you up for Greenpower today. It is a very good way to radically reduce your greenhouse emissions. Electricity use in the average household results in around six tonnes of CO2 being emitted per year. If you take up 100% Greenpower you can avoid all that as the energy retailer must purchase the equivalent amount of renewable energy from renewable suppliers, especially wind farms. Just be careful to make sure you check your bills down the track to make sure you’re getting the percentage of Greenpower you said you wanted. And the cost? It’s not much more than a cup of coffee per week. And it’s the biggest bang you can get for your buck if you want to reduce your emissions.

Quote of the Week

“As you read this note this morning, you will realize that the sun has come up and a new day has dawned. As hard as yesterday was, today is a new day, a day to cherish and enjoy. …Like all problems or issues in life, you have to remember that you have absolute control over how you choose to react to them and ultimately deal with them…don’t let [the ignorant] control your spirit. See you at breakfast”

From a note written by cricketer Justin Langer to Adam Gilchrist when Gilchrist was going through a personal crisis and abuse by cricket fans on tour in South Africa. Quoted in The Age Good Weekend, Oct 25th

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, phone 5470 6978

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