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Taking action on Climate Change

Save the Date!


Friday 16th October 4.50-5.50pm  
Uniting Church Hall

Thursday 19th November: 6pm - 7pm
Castlemaine Bowling Club
Berkeley St Castlemaine Victoria 3450

MASG Wash Against Waste Licensed Operator Training
Thursday 22nd October 10.30 - 12.30pm
Old Castlemaine Gaol

Thursday 19th November: 7pm - 9pm (Following AGM)
Topic: Community Finance, models, examples and Shire based projects.
Castlemaine Bowling Club
Berkeley St Castlemaine Victoria 3450

27th - 29th November
Castlemaine CBD - Stay tuned for date and time updates as we coordinate with the National Weekend of Action

Contact MASG for more information:
Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
ph: 03 5470 6978


Clean Energy and Sustainability Bulletin: 9 October


Victoria's Renewable Energy Plan, Castlemaine Consultation Report from MASG 

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources held a Castlemaine forum and invited submissions regarding its Renewable Energy Action Plan.

MASG attended and have submitted the following summarised recommendations:

Need for communities to sell to the grid without paying for network we don’t use. e.g. Virtual Net Metering or a variation

Target for 2020 of 20% would be achieved without any new initiatives. Not good enough.

MASG expressed the importance of a higher target for 2025 of at least 50% and 2030 of 90%.

A suggestion to use Victorian State Royalties to reflect emissions from fossil fuels and not just their energy output. This would balance out the current flawed system where the worse the fuel the cheaper, and could be phased in as an incentive for generators to transition to cleaner energy.

Support 'making room' for renewables in the market.

Make funds available for Community Groups research, and for communities to identify and plan community based projects, not only  delivery. The difficulty in keeping organisation in place to initiate these projects is created because funding generally targets project delivery only.

The Road Map is available online here:

MASG will provide further updates once public submissions have been considered and/or applied.

SAVE THE DATE! The People's Climate Weekend of Global Action Friday 27th November to Sunday 30th November

MASG are gearing up to host a Castlemaine based event to align with a weekend of national and global climate actions and events, in the lead up to the Paris Climate Summit on Monday 30th November.

Watch this space for further details, as we coordinate with the national campaign.

We'd love to hear from local people and groups that would like to support and participate in a local event:
'As world leaders meet in Paris for the United Nations climate summit, we, the people, will gather across Australia and march alongside people in hundreds of major cities around the world.' from Australian Conservation Foundation

p: 03 5470 6978
or email:

For more information about national events see:
Whats On

Ride to Work Day 14th October 2015

Ride on down to the Hub Plot on Wednesday 14 October to join the Hub Foundation, MASG and friends for a delicious breakfast and bike-themed fun on National Ride to Work Day. There will be music, unicyling and circus antics as well as prizes for the best-decorated bike, coolest bike apparel and funniest bike jokes. Bring your kids!

'Cycling just 5km each way to work instead of driving saves well over half a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions each year,' says Jo Kaptein, Project Officer at the Hub Foundation.

Given that each person in Australia generates around 17 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, that’s a significant contribution to reducing your carbon footprint.

Breakfast using locally sourced produce prepared by The Good Table Restaurant will be served between 7.30am and 9.30am. The awards presentation will start at 8am. The Hub Plot is on Templeton St, Castlemaine, just behind the Good Table Restaurant.

Tickets for breakfast are $10 adults and $5 for children, available from Castlemaine Central Wine Store, 36 Lyttleton Street and online at There will also be tickets at the gate until the food runs out. It is best to book as soon as possible.

Local Lives Global Matters, 16-18 October 2015: 

MASG Panel: Zero Net Emissions for 2025, What does that look like?

MASG will be hosting a panel on Friday 16th October 4.50-5.50pm at the Uniting Church Hall, discussing a 2025 Zero Net Emissions Target for the Shire. 

MASG will present its vision for possible pathways to achieving a goal of zero net emissions by 2025, through introducing the use of the Blue Economy and identifying the following target areas:

• Identify totality of potential energy resources in shire
• Encourage energy efficiency
• Waste Reduction
• Respond and innovate

This target can only be achieved together and across industries, sectors and organisations, and MASG will be inviting ideas and input from the floor.

To register for your attendance to sessions:

See the full program here:

Places for Change: Bendigo Thursday 15th October

An interactive evening to get creative and re-think our public spaces. From old churches to parks, laneways and car parks, get involved and transform our city for a night or forever! 

Thursday 15 October: 7pm - 9pm

Registration 6.30 - 7pm

The Old Church on the Hill
cnr Harkness and Russell St,
Quarry Hill, Bendigo

'*With guest speaker Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew Newcastle, presenter of ABC1 documentary Bespoke and author of Creating Cities.


Register here 


From Karen Corr and the Make a Change team.

Save your organisation money by sending a representative to MASG's Wash Against Waste Trailer Licensed operator training: Thursday 22nd October.

Thursday 22 October
10.30pm to 12.30pm
The Back of the Old Castlemaine Gaol 

If you're planning on holding an outdoor event like a school fete or festival then the Wash Against Waste Trailer is a great way to serve food and drinks to your visitors without the throw away plates and cups.  

The trailer is a wash up genius, stocked with reusable plates and cutlery, washed up on site using the trailer's technology and your voluntary helpers!

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group, are hosting a workshop on for interested community members to learn how to operate the trailer and hence not have to pay for this component of the hire fee when it comes to hiring the trailer for your community event. 

$5 for the workshop (to cover your coffee & cake!)

Please book at MASG on T: 5470 6978 

or email 

List your event or initiative here!

If you have an event or project that you 
would like to see listed here, or for more information about feature articles contact:
Mandy Field Communications Officer


Action Stations!


Proposals for New Castlemaine CBD Plan & Planting

Castlemaine has a large number of talented horticultural designers among its residents, some working regularly in Melbourne and some in Bendigo and beyond.  Even among those who were unable to attend the first planning meeting to develop a new CBD planting strategy on Thursday night (17th), many sent in their ideas, most notable being Jane Marriott of Campbells Creek who brought along the Draft Street Tree Policy which the Council commissioned her to write in 2000.

The meeting quickly came to the conclusion that without an adopted Council strategy for the development of the CBD, including everything from trees to street furniture, planting ideas would come and go without the needed continuity required to plan ahead for global warming. 

Around the state, shade policies have already been developed, for example, in Melbourne where the 22% tree canopy is planned to increase to 40%.  Some suburban and regional councils have initiated community adopt-a-tree programs to lessen costs and vandalism. 

It was pointed out that Castlemaine tree cover has been reduced over time to barren streetscapes on its major entrances of Barker and Forest Streets, where wide footpaths without verandahs may once have had regular tree cover.  But as they are, the streets can be unusable by pedestrians in the summer.  Studies were mentioned that have universally found that tree plantings increase retail trade and boost the general economic well-being in urban areas.

The group is asking the community to assist by lobbying individual Councillors directly and to sign a new petition (available at Soldier & Scholar Bookshop) urging Council to consider developing a CBD Streetscape Development and Planting Strategy as a matter of urgency.  Individuals and business groups are asked to give their support for a strategy and to consider their own visions of how they want Castlemaine to be in the future.

For more information about ways you can help contact:


Thanks to Yes2Renewables and Friends of the Earth Australia, for keeping us Mobilised and informed about the unconventional gas debate in Victoria.

There are a few suggestions of ways to act - and this is the time to stand together for the health of our regions.


'Please take action today and make sure all political parties get the message that the community wants a permanent ban on onshore unconventional gas and fracking.

The state government will announce its position in December, after it has seen the final report from the Inquiry into unconventional gas. We really need to apply pressure in the next few months. 

Of course, the Coalition has only adopted this position because of the determined community campaign that has been opposing gas drilling for the last four years. This is a great outcome, a testament to the fact that campaigning works, and gets us so much closer to gaining a permanent ban on onshore gas drilling.

Thanks for all your help in getting us this far.'

Cam Walker
Friends of the Earth Australia

With 2 by elections coming up in western VIC, plus the need to launch an intense lobby effort on the ALP, we could sure use some additional financial help. You can support the campaign here.


1/Email the Coalition:

The Hon Matthew Guy, Leader of the Liberal Party, Leader of the Opposition

The Hon Peter Walsh, Member for Murray Plains and Leader of The Nationals

Dear Mr Guy and Mr Walsh,

I welcome your announcement that the Coalition will extend the current moratorium on unconventional gas drilling until 2020. I urge you to go further.

The community wants an outright and permanent ban on gas fracking. Already 67 regional communities have declared themselves gasfield free, with more to come. This industry will not gain social license to operate, and the sooner our state is closed off to this destructive industry the better.

Yours sincerely,

On twitter:

Communities welcome Coalition taking stronger position on unconventional gas but still want total ban @MatthewGuyMP @PeterWalshMP

Please also tweet to: @LiberalVictoria@TheNationalsVic

Or facebook:

2/ Tell the ALP you want a permanent ban.

Please sign and share our petition.

Email the Premier

The Hon Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

Dear Premier

I appreciate the fact that your government has established an Inquiry into Unconventional Gas (UCG).

With the final report due in December, and the Coalition announcing its support for a five year ban, there is a huge opportunity for the ALP to show it is listening to community concerns about this industry.

Unconventional gas drilling will threaten food production, ground water and farmland. It will be a dirty fuel with high greenhouse impacts. It will not provide our state with cheap energy. And it will not be supported by the community. Already 67 communities have declared themselves gasfield free.

In considering your position on UCG, I urge you to heed community opinion and support a permanent ban on all onshore gas drilling. Victoria has banned uranium exploration and mining. That was the right choice for our state. Now, the right choice will be to ban the UCG industry before it gets established.

Yours sincerely

Tweet to the Premier

VIC Coalition supports 5 year ban on gas drilling. Time for ALP to support a permanent ban @DanielAndrewsMP @LilyDAmbrosioMP 

3/ write to the papers

Short, sharp letters are good

Some ideas:

    •    Reference the Coalition announcement (eg check this story from The Weekly Times).

    •    Explain that you want the main parties to enact a permanent ban on all onshore unconventional gas drilling.
UCG will threaten our farms, ground water and food production. It will lock us into continued reliance on polluting fossil fuels. It will be largely reliant on a 'fly in fly out' workforce. It will industrialise our landscapes and negatively impact on existing industries like tourism. A 5 year ban fails people living in exploration areas. The mental stress and uncertainty that is affecting communities in license areas will continue. They want certainty. They want to get on with their lives. A permanent ban will allow this to happen.

    •    Shale and Tight Gas are likely to be the most commercially viable forms of UCG in Victoria. You may want to pull some figures from this document, which outlines specific problems with these gases.

Herald Sun

The Age

Become a MASG Supporter


MASG is a volunteer driven organisation with part time staff that support the ongoing project operations that MASG undertakes, to research, advocate and implement large scale community renewable energy solutions, and sustainability initiatives.
MASG is committed to representing community interests in communicating these aims across local government, industry and services.

Though we need your support to continue this work. Click this link to be taken to the membership page on the website.
Or go to:


Support MASG with a donation
Make a tax deductable donation to help MASG continue its shire wide projects including the 'Zero Net Emissions by 2025' campaign.

Click here to make a donation or go to

You can also email Mahesh at
or Ph: 03 54
70 6978.
If you haven't already subscribed to MASG's fortnightly enews with clean energy actions, upd, offers and events click here.

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