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Taking action on Climate Change

Calendar 2016

Sustainability Drinks: Zero Net Emissions 2025, How do we get there?
Thursday 2 June
6.00 - 8.00pm
Castlemaine Bowling Club
27 Berkeley St

Federal Election 2016: Meet the Candidates
Tuesday 14 June
7.30 - 9.30pm
Castlemaine Town Hall
25 Lyttleton St

Sustainable House Education Day: Winter Edition
Sunday 17 July
10.00am - 3.00pm
Newstead and Surrounds

For more info contact:
Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG)
03 5470 6978



May 2016 enews from MASG

The Mount Alexander Sustainability Group would like to take the opportunity to thank outgoing Coordinator Mahesh Kandasamy for all her efforts over the past 12 months. Mahesh has passed the coordinator baton on, and is focusing on her Masters Research Project exploring Money, Economics and Sustainable Living.

We also welcome Jay Smith, who will be taking over as Wasteless Project Officer, replacing Helen Kaptein who has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to refresh and revive the beloved Wash Against Waste Service.

Exciting times ahead and much activity in the office, with planning for upcoming Sustainability Drinks, 'Meet the Candidates' Q&A Pre-Election Event and the next Sustainable House Day (Winter Edition).  

Sustainability Drinks Thursday 2 June 6pm: Zero Net Emissions, How do we get there?

A Zero Net Emissions target sounds great. But how do we get there?  Come and hear from Taryn Lane (Embark), Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth) and Dean Bridgfoot (, about the steps we need to take to work as a community to achieve a zero net emissions target.

What: Sustainability Drinks, Zero Net Emissions: How do we get there?
When: Thursday 2 June, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Castlemaine Bowls Club, 27 Berkeley St Castlemaine

The Bowls Club will have dinner, tea and coffee available at $10 per head, and the bar will be open with the cheapest bar prices in Castlemaine!

Please RSVP is you intend to share meal, to allow for catering.

RSVP: or Ph: 5470 6978

Head to the MASG website for more info here.


SAVE THE DATE! Tuesday 14 June 2016.
Federal Election, Meet the Candidates: Q&A

MASG are hosting a 'Meet the 2016 Federal Election Candidates' on the 14th June 2016, a the Castlemaine Town Hall.

Candidates for Bendigo Electorate:
Lisa Chesters – Australian Labor Party
Megan Purcell – Liberal Party of Australia
Rosemary Glaisher – Australian Greens
Bridget McKenzie – National Party of Australia (TBC).

When: Tuesday 14th June 1016, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Where: Castlemaine Town Hall, 25 Lyttleton St
Entry: Gold Coin Donation.

MASG will be convening questions.  Please submit your questions by downloading the form here and send through as an email, post or drop into the office by 3rd June 2016.

We cannot guarantee that all questions will be asked due to time constraints, but will be attempting to summarise and collate popular responses or reoccurring themes.

For more information or to request an 'Ask a question form', please email: or call the MASG office 5470 6978.

Visit the MASG website event page here for updates, agenda, and 'Ask a question details'.


Sustainable House Education Day, Winter Edition: Sunday 17 July, Call for houses for inclusion.

Do you have a house, or know of a house, that would make the perfect edition to MASG's Sustainable House Education Day? 

For this special Winter Edition of the popular Sustainable House Education Day, we are calling for houses in the Newstead, Muckleford, Walmer, Yapeen areas.

We are looking for houses that showcase energy efficient design, heating options, effective use of natural light, winter gardens, to name a few areas of focus.

Get in touch with us if you have such a property and would be interested in having it included.

(N.B. Locations not strictly limited to the above, but priority will be given to houses in these areas).

What previous homeowners have said about their experience:
'We are very proud of the design of our house and its energy efficiency features, and it was great to share it with others.  A lot of time and research went into the sustainable features of the house, and the tour can show others some good design ideas for energy efficiency.'  Gerry Egan, Participant SHED Summer Edition.  (Gerry's House pictured above).

Contact: Kate Orr via email or call the MASG office on 03 5470 6978


Waste to Energy: Towards Zero Net Emissions

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) spoke to the Castlemaine Mail last month about the completed Waste to Energy Pre-feasibility Study, one of several projects that will be engaging local businesses, industry, groups and organisations in working towards a goal of Zero Net Emissions by 2025.  See the full article below:

'MASG projects are targeting renewable energy, waste reduction and energy efficiency, priority areas in transitioning to Zero Net Emissions.
Estimates propose that for Castlemaine to achieve a zero net emissions goal we would need ~20MW of local renewable energy generation sourced from a combination of bioenergy, bio-fuels, wind, and solar.

This process can begin with the energy resources that exist now - converting available waste streams to energy.

MASG’s recently completed Waste to Energy pre-feasibility study, investigated bio energy opportunities at the co located Castlemaine Land Fill Station and Waste Water Treatment Facility, with the aim of creating a pathway for local businesses and industries to replicate.

The study confirmed that Waste to Energy projects can be an economic opportunity for local business, reduce costs for industry, and provide usable renewable energy.

What is Waste to Energy?

Waste-to-energy is an important type of bioenergy, creating energy from a waste source.

Produces a clean (low or no carbon) and renewable energy source
Assists waste reduction
Reduces emissions
Provides economic benefits: Where waste is treated as a resource, across a range of industries.

Local Opportunities

Bio-digester and gas from landfill options have been recommended to proceed to full feasibility study stage.

1. Bio-digester:

Extracting energy from our sewage, landfill waste and landfill emissions, up to 2.5MW of continuous (combined heat and electricity) generation could be provided. Approximately 10x the weekly energy used at the landfill and Waste Water Treatment Plant.

2. Landfill gas

In the near future, landfill gas extraction infrastructure will need to be installed. Initial estimates indicate that a 100kW generator could operate continually, with heat and or electricity used at the landfill site, or piped to a neighbouring site.

Next Steps

MASG is now preparing a feasibility study, to examine the cost effectiveness of developing a local facility.  

Three initial local facilities are engaged in the process: Castlemaine Landfill, Waste Water Treatment Plant (Coliban Water) and Don Smallgoods.  

The proposed model investigates the community as owner-investors, where economic benefits stay local.'

Get Involved

For information regarding MASG’s Waste to Energy and Community Renewables Projects head to: or email


Sustainability Victoria's Resource Assessment Grants for Businesses now open

Sustainability Victoria is offering grants to eligible business to cover 50% of the cost to engage a consultant to conduct a resource assessment of their operations. Grants of $10,000 for a materials or combined materials and energy assessment are available.

The resource assessment grants initiative provides funding for eligible businesses to review their activities and to identify and implement energy and materials efficiency improvements.

A $3000 implementation support bonus is available for businesses that can show evidence of implementing one or more recommendations from their assessment.

Potential benefits

Since 2012, more than 100 Victorian business resource assessments show average potential savings of 20% for energy, and 20 - 30% for materials identifying a range of measures to significantly reduce energy and materials. Findings include:

  • Average potential savings of over $130,000 from recommended materials efficiency initiatives, and over $95,000 from energy efficiency measures.
  • An average payback period of less than two years for materials efficiency recommendations, and three to four years for energy efficiency recommendations.

To find out about some of the outcomes and opportunities identified to significantly improve energy and materials efficiency view our case studies.

A detailed resource assessment can provide scoping work that helps inform decisions to invest in energy or materials efficiency, with activities including options analyses, business case development, feasibility studies or scoping work.

Refer to the following documents and FAQs for detailed information on resource assessments and how to apply for a grant.

If you have further queries regarding this program contact  and quote “Resource Assessment Grants 2015/16” or phone 1300 363 744 and ask to speak to a grants support representative.

Closing dates

For materials assessments and for combined material and energy assessments: 4.00 pm on Friday 5 August 2016.

MASG are offering support to Mount Alexander Shire Businesses in their applications process. Contact

Add your voice to the call for a Climate Charter in Victoria

'Right now, our laws are blind to climate change. Worse still, the federal government have no genuine plan to respond to climate change and the fossil fuel lobby are actively frustrating attempts to combat climate change.

State laws can make a real difference. Victoria has been reviewing their Climate Change Act.  Environmental Justice Australia created an innovate Climate Charter and submitted it to this review. Like the Human Rights Charter, a Climate Charter would require all government  decisions to take climate change into account.

It would provide a way around the Federal government’s reluctance to act and a new model that could be adopted in other states around Australia, and other jurisdictions around the world. It would give Victoria the chance to show real leadership on climate change action.

An Independent Review Panel has now recommended that Victoria adopt a Climate Charter, but there’s still one crucial step left. The Victorian Government needs to decide to include a Climate Charter in Victoria’s climate legislation.

The Government will decide whether to include a Charter in the Climate Change Act in the next few weeks, so we need to show support for this important step in addressing climate change during the month of April.

Please, add your voice. Click here to tell Daniel Andrews to adopt a Climate Charter.'

Felicity Millner
Environmental Justice Australia


Wash Against Waste Trailer: Ready to reduce waste at your next event

(Artists Impression of the new branding for the trailer)

'Wash against waste is saving the environment a total of 383 kgCO2e/day by replacing disposable cutlery and crockery (on the basis of 50% plastic and 50% paper products) with SS or melamine cutlery and crockery. That is equal to traveling a distance of ~1,277 km in an average car, and about the same distance traveling from Canberra to Brisbane.'

For more information about hiring the Trailer, or hiring washable crockery without the trailer, click the link here.
Or contact Jay by email or phone the MASG office on 03 5470 6978.


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



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 deductible donation before the end of the financial year to help MASG continue the 'Zero Net Emissions by 2025' campaign and Shire wide projects.

Click here to make a donation or go to

Or email
or Ph: 03 5470 6978.

The Mount Alexander Sustainability Group would like to thank its sponsors, project and funding partners:


Copyright © 2015 Mount Alexander Sustainability Group, All rights reserved.