Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Friday 7th November 2008

Posted on 7 November 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary
Thursday 6th November Transport Forum
Saturday 22nd November Low energy Solar Display Home Open Day

MASG News and Events

New Committee
Our new committee was selected at the AGM and met last Monday to select the office bearers who are as follows:
Chair: Jim Norris
Deputy Chair: Michael McCartney
Secretary: Simon Cordingley
Treasurer: Heather Barrett
Other Committee members are: (name withheld), Frank Forster, Peter Sansom, Jac Semmler and Ron Snep.
New Chair, Jim said: “What a fantastic job has been done in building MASG from the ground up. All the Committee look forward to building on that base to achieve the main aim of the organisation, which is dealing with climate change”.

MASG is commencing a project that will enable members to actively and voluntarily reduce their personal carbon footprint. The Carbon Rationing Action Groups (CRAGs) encourage friends or neighbours to gather and calculate their carbon emissions – usually covering electricity and gas, as well as car use and flights. CRAG members then set individual reduction targets (steps) and meet monthly, sharing tips, stories and progress reports. Some groups even fix fines for exceeding cap, to be paid to an eco or social support charity. It’s the single best instrument to encourage every man, woman, and child to make a low-carbon choice every day. The project will be coordinated by Deanna Neville, so please contact her if you are interested in becoming a Stepper, and taking the steps living a low carbon life. For further information ring 5470 6978 or 0428 751 090 or email:

Christmas gift idea – MASG fundraiserWe have copies of the latest Diggers Club book Growing Your Own Heirloom Vegetables – bringing CO2 down to earth for sale at $34.95. For each book sold, MASG receives over $15. Books can be purchased at our Demonstration Garden (rear of MASG office) between 10am and 4pm until Sunday 9th November (come along and have a look at the garden too) or by contacting Peter Sansom on 5474 2403

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!

MASG Solar PV Program – The installers will be arriving in Castlemaine today to commence installation of the remaining 52 1kW solar systems. They will be here for around 3 weeks this time and will be running a one day workshop somewhere within this period to train people on the use and maintenance of their systems. We also hope to hold a big party to celebrate the successful completion of this project at some stage in the near future!

Maldon Folk Festival patrons offset travel and 54 businesses run on 100% GreenPower! Maldon Folk Festival is on a steady course to becoming Carbon Neutral with the majority of local businesses contributing $703 for the purchase of 10 megawatt hours Government accredited 100% green power from Origin Energy.
Visitors ‘offset’ the emissions that would be created by thirteen return trips from Melbourne to Perth or 89,000 kilometres through contributions to Bendigo Bank’s ‘My car plants trees’ program.

Events organised by other groups

Mt Alexander No Interest Loans Program (NILS)No Interest Loans are a small loans program based on the Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service model. Access to the program will be available to low income people, who have lived in the Mount Alexander Shire for over 6 months, in early 2009. Loans are for essential household items, medical equipment, computers and products to improve the sustainability of your home (e.g heating, insulation water tank). The Mount Alexander NILS committee of management is looking for volunteer interviewers to assist applicants complete loan applications. Training and ongoing support for this role is provided by St Luke’s NILS workers. For information call Julie Smith on 54212000 or email

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

Sheltermaker Dreaming
Peter Cowman, director of the Living Architecture Centre, will be making a presentation on Saturday 22nd November at 2pm in the Castlemaine Community Centre. Cost: $2.00 For further information ring: 9005 5833

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

Household sustainability assessment training – The 2008/2009 Federal Budget announced the provision of $300 million for Green Loans to assist families to install solar, water and energy efficient products. Before a Green Loan will be available to a household, a detailed household sustainability assessment will be conducted by a recognized expert (assessor) to determine the most appropriate actions to improve the environmental performance of that property. Are you interested in undertaking the 4 day training course and becoming one of the 100 green assessors required for Victoria providing assessments to house holders in your area? A background in building or sustainability is required. As a qualified assessor you will be paid between $200 and $300 per assessment. It is expected that the assessment will take at least one hour in the home, with some work before and after each assessment. The exact time commitment per assessment has not yet been finalised. Around 360,000 assessments will be conducted across Australia over the next 3 years. Training will be at the ecoMaster Training Centre 200 Hamilton Road New Gisborne (10 min walk from Gisborne Station).Cost of the course is estimated to be $2,000 including course notes and catering. To lodge your expression of interest, email a one page summary of your experience and background to along with your 3 preferred training course dates: 11th – 14th December, 16th – 19th December, 6th – 9th January, 13th – 16th January, 20th – 23rd January, 28th – 31st January.

Interesting Information and Links

Green industries could create ‘almost a million jobs’
ABC News, Oct 30, 2008
The ACTU says almost 1 million jobs could be created in the next 20 years if the Federal Government promotes green industries.

Australia’s low pollution future – the Treasury’s modeling of the economics of climate change:

Climate reduction petition
See this website

Telling the Truth – Sunday 9th November 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 1st December 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.

New Weekend Bus ServiceMaldon and Castlemaine four times on Saturday and three times on Sunday.
The route includes a Wesley Hill market and Chewton service on Saturdays. Other local services also expanded. Full timetables can be obtained from the Town Hall or downloaded from the Mt Alexander Shire Council website.

Carbon Storage Solution
ABC News, 27 October 2008
How measurable carbon can be stored in pastures and crops

The little nation that could go green – and is see this website.
By Nancy Durham, CBC News

Green jobs paper see this website.

With Victorian council elections only a month off, the example of Woking is one which our local representatives would do well to adapt to local conditions.

Green tip from gardening gurus Mischael and Linda, who help out in the MASG garden. As frosts can occur in Central Victoria up until Christmas, make sure you protect your frost tender vegetables by mulching with pea straw if possible, otherwise wheat straw. To check whether there will actually be a frost, take a torch outside at 10pm, “huff” on it and then, if you can see your breath on the torch, it means there will be a frost!

Quote of the Week

Crisis as opportunity. It was ever thus.

Michael Cooney, policy director of think tank Per Capita

MASG’s E News is currently compiled by Jill Bryan. 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 ring 5470 6978

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