Zero Net Emissions by 2025

Weekly News Digest, Thursday 3rd July 2008

Posted on 4 July 2008 by e-news

For more information call 5470 6978

MASG News and Events

The City comes to MASG: On Wednesday 2nd July, Heather and Dean hosted 2 delegates from different parts of Melbourne who want to work with their communities to take action against climate change. David and Annette Robinson from the City of Port Phillip and Jane, Emily and Ben Purtle from the Yarra Ranges dropped into MASG to see what we have done, to learn how they could do it even better in the big smoke and to see what we might all do together. This followed on from a message from Gordon Fraser-Quick from SOUTH LISMORE, NSW who said “Just a brief message to say how awesome you all are. I’m working to try and set up a similar type of group here on the North Coast of NSW and you have provided massive inspiration.” Go MASG !!

Position vacant:. The MASG Executive Officer position is currently being advertised.

Remember, all memberships were due to be renewed by the 1st of July. You can pay by cash, cheque or credit card and if by chance you have lost your form, just come into the office and collect another one.

MASG Solar Display Home: As you have probably noticed, the Display Home is coming closer to completion. Can you find a name for the masg solar display home? In the next few weeks we will design the display material that will be set up around the house. The project needs a name: get inspired and send your submissions to; you could win 6 compact fluorescent light globes! Keep these factors in kind: the major partners with MASG are local builder, Trevor Butcher, Director of Maine Design and Construction, and Castlemaine-based designers, Lifehouse Design. The house is constructed using conventional methods, properly oriented and insulated, and includes grey water, rainwater and solar hot water systems and appropriate water re-use and landscaping. The house was recently described by an independent designer as “Clean, fresh and contemporary.”

Solar house trainees needed: once the house is open to the public [planned for September 08], we will need a team of volunteers to be part of a roster to greet people and explain the house to visitors. This would include some weekend work. There will be orientation sessions for volunteers in August. A commitment of a few hours per month for a few months would be ideal. You would learn much about solar house design and meet interesting people. For more info, call Ian: 5470 6891.

Kelly Watson from Sustainability Victoria’s Sustainability Fund Secretariat visited MASG on Tuesday the 2nd July to help us with the contract for our upcoming Sustainability Fund project. She took the time to visit the Demo House with MASG committee member Felicity Faris and was very impressed with the design and the potential of this project.

MASG Solar PV on ABC radio news: Dean was discussing the MASG bulk Solar PV project f on the ABC regional radio news on Tuesday 2nd July. There are many people following the progress of this great project with interest.

Transport working group: a reminder that the next meeting is tonight, 3rd July, 5.45pm at MASG office. We are organising a Slow Transport Forum for three hours on Thursday evening, 21st Aug.

Local Food Production: Working Bee at our Demonstration Garden, rear of 233 Barker Street on Saturday July 12th between 8.30am and 12noon. Jobs include – installation and connection of water pump (members with skills in this area are MOST welcome), construction of Hot House, general weeding and tidying up. Please contact Peter Sansom if you can come, or would like further information – 5474 2403 or Final details next week.

Is your money Green???? Did you know that most banks have no trouble whatsoever in investing your money in Armaments, or environmentally damaging companies as long as they are making a good profit? There is something you can do about it and it is important! MASG is running an Ethical Investment Seminar to be held in the Ray Bradfield Room on Tuesday 29th July at 7.30pm.  The night will be a forum to learn more about Ethical Investment. The keynote speaker for the night will be Peter Thompson from the Ethical Investment fund – UCA funds management (a Uniting Church organization) who will outline what the fund does and then answer any questions about the fund and ethical investment in general.
RSVP or enquiries to Gordon Bannon – 5470 6007. For further information about Uniting Church funds check this link

Climate Emergency Rally: Saturday 5th July from 1-4pm, City Square. MASG members attended and helped send a wake-up call to State and Federal governments re our use of and reliance on fossil fuels. Further information

Festival of the Wheel (FOW) Insurance: A big thanks to those members who contacted us after hearing that insurance was shaping up to be a tricky item for this October weekend event. One person made a substantial donation to help cover the cost and several others had good advice on alternative arrangements for insurance, like working with another community group in town. Terrific. By the way  the FOW Working Group is making good progress but we still need a Catering Coordinator (to guide a team of people to do lunch packs, BBQs, drinks etc in different locations) and an organiser for the Family Day in the Botanical Gardens on Sunday 26th Oct. Contact Neil on 54 723094 if you can help in any way with this exciting event.

GAP Delay: As MASG’s response to the Council’s greenhouse action plan (GAP) is running a bit late, the summary promised for this week’s E News will instead be in next week. Our apologies.

MASG members will be at the Farmers Market on Sunday 6th July. Why not stop by and see the display and, if you’re taking any visitors there, they might like to become members of MASG also.

Carbon Heroes: wonderful pictures from the banners here:
Is sequestration and carbon trading of interest to you? If so, MASG member, Leon, is interested in forming a discussion group. You can contact him on: 0418 149 458

Events organized by other organizations

Make your own music at Instramental, 12 Templeton St., Castlemaine: Saturday 5th July 2pm, North American Drum making with Michael Coles; Thursday 10 th July 3pm, Bodhran for beginners to intermediate with Saul Roche; Friday 11 July 2pm, percussion with Carl Pannuzzo. Bookings: 5470 5913

Gardening can save us! Christchurch Anglican Church 4th July at 6pm. This is a talk about the vital role of gardening in our lives and its importance for our own future and the future of the planet! For further information contact the Rev Gordon Bannon on 5470 6007

Have you seen an odd bike recently? There are many more unusual human powered vehicles appearing around town. Do you fancy a go on a tandem, or want to try out a tag-along for your toddler? Bring yourself [with or without unusual and useful bikes] to Victory Park on Sunday 6 July at 10.30 to 11.30 and have a test ride. [The farmers’ market is also on at this time.] More info from Jo on 0458 547 241

MASG members may be interested in helping sustain our landscape. The Castlemaine Landcare Group will be sowing native grasslands on Sunday 6th July in Happy Valley through – a first for Castlemaine! This will be the culmination of the Enviro Fund Project. Further information: Robin at , 0408 706 630 or 5470 6630. They also have a new website

Heat Wave Hot Pot forum: an opportunity to learn about the social impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups in our community. This will take place at the Capital Theatre in Bendigo, from 9am – 2:30pm on Thursday 10th July. Attendance is free along with hot soup for lunch but places are limited so if interested, RSVP to Robert on 5434 6458 or email:

The Great Guildford ReGift ReTurns – a great recycling example! A fundraiser for Guildford CFA at Guildford Hall, Friday 11th July beginning at 7pm sharp (doors open at 6:30). Tickets are $5 each – children under 16 free – and can be purchased from the Guildford Store.  Light supper, mulled wine and a visit from Santa included.

Footprints to Sustainability: free training in July and August on offer from Mount Alexander Shire Council in partnership with Continuing Education. Sessions include running carbon neutral events, becoming a ‘low-carbon’ business, botanical drawing, responsible landscaping, composting, permaculture, etc. Flyers will appear at usual outlets around the shire or call Continuing Education on 5472 3299.

Studio One: for young people (age 14-24) who are disengaging from mainstream education and who may benefit from the opportunity to learn skills in music and film, in a new environment. Sponsored by Vic Health. Have a go at song writing, recording and documentary and story telling film making. Include a climate change theme? From 17th July – 18th September. Info: Gabrielle Brauer, 5472 3299 or

Interesting Information and Links

Garnaut’s climate strategy ‘already obsolete’: Two days before Ross Garnaut releases his draft report on climate change, a leading Australian researcher says it will almost certainly be obsolete. Andrew Macintosh, from the ANU’s Centre for Climate Law and Policy, said the two climate change scenarios being modelled by the Garnaut Review and the Federal Treasury have been rendered out of date by advances in climate science.

Climate Code Red power point presentation. This 30- minute presentation is a powerful update on Al Gore’s documentary and is worth watching. It is available on the Climate Emergency Network site,

Guerilla Solar – the installation of an unauthorized solar electricity system that is connected to the electric grid. See

Home Power, the magazine of the home renewable energy community, has printed the Guerilla Solar Manifesto.

A good site with information about how to talk to your children about climate change:

Green tips:

Draught proofing
Use a lighted candle around doors and windows to find draughty spots in your home. Fix draught stoppers on doors (particularly external doors), draughtproof your windows with insulation strips, and close off unused pet doors and open fireplaces.

Quote of the week:

“How many things I have no need of!”


MASG is partially funded by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund, which supports innovative projects that foster sustainable resource use and have economic and social benefits for Victorians. The Sustainability Fund is administered by the Victorian Treasurer and the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and managed on behalf of the Government by Sustainability Victoria.

Comments are closed.

« | »

Our sponsors & supporters