Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Thursday 13th November 2008

Posted on 13 November 2008 by e-news

Key dates -summary

Saturday 22nd November – Low energy Solar Display Home Open Day
Sunday 23rd November – Low Energy Solar Display home open to the public
Friday 5th December – International Volunteers Day
Sunday 14th December – Volunteer Training session.
Wednesday 17th December – MASG Xmas Party for members and volunteers

MASG News and Events


Saturday 22nd November at 2 pm
19 Main Road, Campbells Creek. (near Moscript Street)

Please come and help to celebrate the opening of the low energy solar home.
Why not share transport to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to assist with parking. Further Information: Fran 0407 822 723 or MASG 5470 6978

The house will be open to the public on weekends from 23 November.

Low Energy Solar Display Home Opening Hours
The house will be open to members of the public from Sunday 23rd November, 11am until 3pm. After that, the house will be open between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays and from 11am until 3pm on Sundays until Sunday 22nd December and will reopen on Saturday 17th 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 mid December. Stay tuned for further details!

Job Well Done!
Three long serving members of the Board retired at the AGM. Lorna had been Secretary for two years and Tony was an active Board member and helped out in all sorts of ways. Neil, of course, was a driving force in starting the group and has chaired the organisation from day one. The total amount of committed work was way beyond what is normally expected of Board members in NGO’s.
Having hit the ground running as the new Chair, I have been really impressed with the work of the Board. Those of us who were elected at the AGM, now fully appreciate the enormous workload of the retiring and continuing Board members. As an organisation, we all need to acknowledge the sheer effort of the last few years in building MASG from a concept to an outstanding reality. MASG is widely respected for the work it does on climate change and none of this would have happened without the hard work of the founding team. Many thanks to you, Neil, Lorna and Tony. Enjoy your temporary retirement! Jim Norris.

Taking personal responsibility, using less and living well
MASG has commenced a project that will enable members to actively and voluntarily reduce their personal carbon footprint. The Carbon Rationing Action Groups (CRAGs) encourage friends and neighbours to meet 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 is coordinated by Deanna Neville, so please contact her if you are interested in becoming a CRAG Stepper, by phoning 5470 6978, M: 0428 751 090 or email:  

Schools signs on awesome….
On Wednesday the 22nd October 20 local schools and their teachers, parents and pupils spelt out an environmental message using their own bodies which were then photographed from the air. MASG with the Bendigo Sustainability Group chartered an aircraft for the 2 hour round trip. Experienced aerial photographer Bruce Hedge was inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm shown by the schools. “I take a lot of aerial shots and so have seen a lot of things from the air. But today was definitely a highlight. To see so many kids displaying such creativity and commitment was inspiring. The future augers well if we listen and work with this new generation” he added. MASG would like to thank our sponsors for this project the Bendigo Advertiser, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Coliban Water. For more details and to view some of the photos go to or see the Bendigo Advertiser story Climate change at ground level.

Wind Tour rescheduled
Our wind tour to Challicum Hills has had to be moved back a few weeks until mid November. If you are interested in visiting a wind farm and getting up close and personal with wind power, contact Dean on 54706978 or

International Volunteers Day. This year, all our volunteers are invited to attend a free screening of “Australia” on Friday 5th December at the Theatre Royal. Arrive at 9:30am for a 10am start. The film will be followed by a light lunch, also at the Theatre Royal. We really appreciate all the work done by our volunteers so make sure you book in for this movie by phoning 5470 6978 or emailing

Workshop and Training
Sas is a member of MASG and currently studying Certificate 4 in both Permaculture and ‘Training and Assessment’. As part of one of her assignments she is organizing a workshop/training session. She would like to facilitate a workshop that is both relevant to the needs of our community and to the requirements of her assignment. The workshop will be free, and it will be held on Sunday the 14th of December from about 2-5pm. Possible topics are as follows: Basic Home Seed Saving; Making Compost/Compost Tea//Weed Tea to re-vitalise your soil; No Dig Gardening and Making and Using a Chook Tractor. If interested in taking part in the workshop please email Sas at or call on 5472 2340.

Xmas Party on Wednesday 17th December at 5:30 PM in the MASG garden. Put this date in your diary now as we’re hoping to see you all there! Further details in coming weeks.

Events organised by other groups

First Electric Vehicle will be leaving the Shire for New Zealand tomorrow morning and is the first in a rollout of two hundred. MASG played a part in enabling this business to be set up in Castlemaine.

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 info, call Julie Smith on 54212000 or email

Transition Town – BYO sustainable lunch for a discussion on the Greenhouse Action PLan (GAP) and the MAP2020 plan, both of which are pointers to a sustainable future for our Shire.  This lunch will be on Friday 21st November at the Uniting Church Hall, Castlemaine, 12.15 for 12.30pm, led by Mez Woodward [chair of MAP2020 committee] and Ian Lillington.

Walk Against Warming is on Saturday the 15th November in Ballarat. The Walk starts at the corner of  Wendouree Parade and Haddon St in Ballarat at 11:50am and ends at View Point, on the lake shore near Mill St. See the following website for further information:

Hepburn Wind Farm offer extended. Copies of the Hepburn Wind Share Offer document and the extension can be obtained by calling 03 9429 5629, or by direct download from

Womens’ Cycling Pod every 3rd Sunday of the month – first ride Sunday 16th November. Gather by 8am at the corner of Barker and Forest St, outside the Bus Depot. On road local rides, distance and destination will be decided by those present on the day. All fitness and interest levels welcome for a bit of social, cycling and scenery. Be prepared with water and helmet, bring money for a possible cuppa stop off. No leaders, just arrive and ride!
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 822 281

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

Victorian Community Climate Action Groups will come together on Saturday 22nd November to discuss and develop core campaign goals we want to contribute to the national grassroots climate campaign. If you have any questions about the Victorian planning day, or Australia’s Climate Action Summit in Canberra, please get in touch with Louise Morris

Environment Victoria: free community workshop on how you can influence the future of the Campaspe River, on Thursday 27th November at Bendigo trades hall, from 5pm until 7:30pm. RSVP by 25th November to Kate Stephens on 9341 8116

Household sustainability assessment training – The Federal Budget announced the $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 household sustainability assessment will be conducted by a recognized assessor, to determine what’s needed at 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. Qualified assessors will be paid between $200 and $300 per assessment. 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 $2,000 including course notes and catering. To apply, email a one page summary of your experience and background to along with your 3 preferred training course dates. Choice of: 11th – 14th December, 16th – 19th December, 6th – 9th January, 13th – 16th January, 20th – 23rd January, 28th – 31st January.

EconoSpace Framing: Building a small and green sustainable mini- shelter. Hands on learning, first time presented in Australia by Peter Cowman. Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December from 10am – 5pm. or phone 9005 5833

Interesting Information and Links

Solar Systems $10 million state of the art solar demonstration plant was recently opened in Bridgewater by our premier. This plant will be around 0.6MW and will be used to test and optimise the concentrator technology that will eventually be used to build the 154MW solar power project up near Mildura. This technology uses heliostats to focus the suns energy on very expensive and highly efficient solar panels embedded on towers. Construction on the commercial scale project will commence next year and will eventually provide electricity for approximately 45,000 homes.

The Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping is now available! The booklet also has general information on Fairtrade products, factory farming, organics, GM and a boycott call page which lists which companies have had an international boycott call and why. For more information go to:

New Weekend Bus Service: Maldon 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

With Victorian Council elections due soon, the example of Woking is one which our local representatives would do well to adapt to local conditions.

Living with Purpose: Atisha Buddhist Centre presents Living with Purpose on 20thNovember at Dudley House in View St Bendigo. For further information ring 5446 3336 or email:

Environment Victoria released a major piece of work this week, showing how Victoria’s emissions could be more than halved by 2020. The research, completed by the Nous group, is a Princetown wedges analysis and builds on previous work undertaken by the State government. The good news is its possible to achieve 54% cuts by 2020 (on 1990 levels- equivalent to 60% cuts on today’s levels), though it won’t be easy and needs action  across all sectors. The report and a fact sheet can be downloaded from . Of course if Victoria can do it most other states probably can too, which means we could be adopting an ambitious national target.

Green tip:

If you’re about to clean out the spouting as part of your fire prevention plan for the hot summer months ahead, don’t forget to put all the collected debris into your compost heap.

Quote of the Week

We object to the phrase ‘junk food.’ In the industry, the term we use is ‘high-margin non-nutritive food product.’ ”

Snack food industry spokesman
 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 go to the website,, or phone 5470 6978

Comments are closed.

« | »

Our sponsors & supporters