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Thank you to all that supported the Castlemaine Climate Rally and Picnic, Sunday 29 Nov 

We would like to thank you for your support of last Sunday’s Climate Rally and Picnic in Victory Park.

It would not have happened without the energy you all contributed.  This was a zero waste, zero budget and entirely community driven event.  The following individuals and organisations generously supported with their time, expertise and resources:

The Hub Foundation, The Environment Shop, Julie Holden & Chewton Primary School, Jeanette McMahon & Winters Flat Primary School, Mount Alexander Shire Council, 350.org Castlemaine, Lions, Rotary, Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria, People’s Climate Australia, Mount Alexander LETS, Connecting Country, Christine Hooper, Mark Carter, Jo Kaptein, Heather and Neil Barrett, Jim Austin, Rex Watts, MASG COM, Staff, and Volunteers, Uncle Rick Nelson and Alvin, DJ Poco Loco, Musos: Meg and Ethan Corson, Lilly Betts, and The Seducaphones, Artists: Eliza, Mark and Molly on activities, Ben and Jacinta, Mary, Alex and Andrea for preparing the delicious food, Speakers: Christine Henderson, Maree Edwards, Rosemary Glaisher, Susie Burke, Cam Walker, George Ryan, and our MC Dean Bridgfoot, Deane Belfield for the film compile, Ian Jones for bringing down his Nissan Leaf, Leonnie Van Eyk and Lisa Mills for their great pics, and a huge thanks to all the volunteers and young people who helped make it such a smooth and inspiring day.

We made a call to gather together and occupy Victory Park, in a way that allowed for families and children to participate and be represented in this powerful global movement.

There is a lot of interest in potential annual event, perhaps tied in with a Climate Rally, that brings together local groups, individuals, organisations, that are working hard to support a sustainable and safe future in our Shire.  

It was a great way to capture an engaged audience, and encourage more participation in local initiatives.  MASG visited local schools, brainstorming and designing activities, and there are many exciting ideas that schools are excited to continue working with. 

Coverage of rallies in the media throughout the weekend:


Do send in your pics or any links that we can include in the next e-news update:

We look forward to the next opportunity to come together.

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group Staff and Committee of Management
See more images from the day here

Melbourne Climate Rally Massive

The 2.50pm train was packed with Mount Alexander Shire Residents traveling to Melbourne for the Rally that is going down as the biggest in Australia's history, with 60,000 people gathering in the CBD and marching down Swanston St.

The People's Climate Melbourne campaign was an incredibly inspiring effort with all of the big, medium and small environment, indigenous and social justice groups working together in what was a event to be remembered in the Climate Action movement in this country.

More coverage of the worlds events over the weekend here:
Day 1 COP21 Paris Climate Summit

Photo Credit: 350.org Australia

Pope Francis and Ban Ki-moon were among the people to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes to an installation in Paris to represent people who could not march because of orders imposed by authorities after the 13 November attacks.

Australia ducks out of 40 country campaign to end Fossil Fuel Subsidies

'The country leaders were invited to Paris to try to remove roadblocks and inspire others to act. Most – including the leaders of the US, China, Mexico,  host France and other EU countries, developing nations, and even Russia – did exactly that.

But the day started badly for Australia with the revelation that it had snubbed, apparently at the last minute, and under pressure from the conservative rump of the Coalition government, an invitation to join a 40-country campaign to remove fossil fuel subsidies.

Australia was conspicuously absent when many of the world’s major economies, held a special event to underline their support for a carbon price. Australia, of course, was the first country in the world to remove a carbon price when Tony Abbott was in power.

Australia announced it was adding $1 billion into climate financing fund over five years, but again appeared to be pulling much of this money from the foreign aid budget.

It also pledged an extra $100 million for clean technology research, at the same time as refusing to remove legislation that would dismantle the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corp and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, from which it has stripped twice as much research funding.

All this came as Turnbull declared that Australia “was not daunted” by the challenge of capping global warming below 2C, in a speech that included his decision to do a “Kevin Rudd” and overturn his predecessor’s opposition to the Kyoto Protocol and announce the ratification of the 2nd period of the soon-to-be defunct treaty.

That decision will give his government, and some business, access to some cheap international permits. Yet Turnbull’s continued position on fossil fuel subsidies, his support for coal, its torpedoing of a carbon pricing mechanism, and his meek support for other measures, reveal a continuing disconnect between talk and action.'

Read more here: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/paris-cop21-turnbull-ducks-and-weaves-as-world-leaders-lead-13034

BHP Mining disaster costs 13 lives and $7Billion in damages.

'The dam burst earlier this month unleashed 60 million cubic meters of mud and mine waste that devastated a village, killed at least 13 people and polluted a major river valley.

Teixeira said the suit will be filed on Monday. The proceeds will be put in a fund and used for environmental cleanup in the Rio Doce valley over 10 years, Attorney General Luís Inácio Adams said.

Samarco has already been fined 250 million reais by Brazil's environmental agency, Ibama, for the disaster, which covered the flood plain in mud for 80 kilometres as well as polluting the river. Fish died and drinking water supplies for a quarter of a million people had to be closed off.'

Read more here:

ABC Reports: 'Authorities have threatened a $7.2 billion legal suit over the mine disaster in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, BHP Billiton says.

In its latest update on the dam burst and massive flood at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil, BHP Billiton said Brazilian authorities planned to sue it, joint owners Vale and the mine's operator Samarco.

Brazil is pushing for the companies to set up a $7.2 billion fund for environmental recovery and compensation.

BHP said it had not yet received formal notice of the planned legal action.

Last week, BHP and Vale said they would set up a non-profit fund to help authorities clean up the area and affected rivers.

According to the world's biggest miner, 13 people died and six people were missing after two waste dams burst and flooded surrounding communities earlier this month.

It said emergency services in Brazil continued to search for the missing people and operations at the Samarco mine remain suspended.

Conflicting reports over toxicity of waste material

Samarco joined BHP Billiton in disputing a United Nations' report, which found the waste material that flooded surrounding communities and the Rio Doce river system was toxic.

That was despite Vale saying last week that toxic materials including arsenic were found in the Rio Doce river system after the dams burst on November 5.

Vania Somavilla, Vale's head of sustainability, said a report by the Institute for Water Management in Minas Gerais, found levels of arsenic above legal limits just days after the disaster.

BHP said Samarco had reported that sediment tests carried out by Brazil's geological service (CPRM) from November 14-18 found the concentration of metals in the river system did not significantly differ from tests carried out by the service in 2010.

"Samarco reports that analysis by SGS Geosol, a company specialising in environmental geochemistry, has confirmed that the tailings are composed of materials that are not hazardous to human health, based on the hazard classification of the material under Brazilian standards," the BHP statement said.

It added that a large number of fish died because of a lack of oxygen on account of the high volume of sand and clay tailings material in the waste water.

It said the tailings plume had reached the Atlantic Ocean, around 500 kilometres away, and was dispersing.

"BHP Billiton confirms its commitment to supporting Samarco to rebuild the community and restore the environment affected by the breach of the dams," BHP said.

Samarco is helping Brazilian authorities to relocate people who lost their homes in the disaster.

Relocation will not be completed until February next year.

The disaster has taken a hit on the BHP Billiton share price, with the company's shares falling 3.6 per cent on the ASX to $18.09, down $0.68.'

Read more here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-30/brazil-to-sue-bhp-billiton,-vale,-samarco-for-billions/6987436


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 


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