12. Youth Advisory Group
Mt Alexander shire is recruiting young people aged between 12 and 25 to join the Youth Advisory Group (YAG). The group plans and delivers local events and projects that directly benefit young people. They have delivered some fantastic projects including a youth awards festival, film competition, young makers’ markets and more. Members of YAG not only make a positive difference to the shire, but also receive training in areas such as public speaking, advocacy and event management. Apply before Friday 26 March.
13. Home library service in Castlemaine
Do you know someone who is struggling to get to the library? It may be due to age, illness, or adjusting to life after the pandemic – sometimes the trip to the library is too tricky. We can help! Our Home Library Service is up and running, and we have some lovely volunteers who are keen to visit those in need. Give us a call (5472 1458) to discuss what options are available, or mention this to someone who may be interested in some library support.
14. Bendigo Sustainable Living Festival
When: Saturday 27 March 2021, 10am-4pm
Where: Garden for the Future in White Hills
The festival will be dedicated to answering the question:“What can we do to contribute to a Sustainable Future for our City?” The Sustainable Living Festival aims to showcase the absolute best of sustainable living products, programs, goods, and active services in central Victoria. Attendees will have the chance to purchase, learn and explore many new and creative ways to live and then implement them into their everyday life at home and at work.
The layout of the festival and program of presentations will reflect the following themes:
· Repurpose Road – reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, compost.
· Power Promenade – solar, battery storage, renewables.
· Living Lane – sustainable construction materials, double glazing, tiny house info.
· Transport Terrace – electric cars and bicycles.
· Good Food Garden – local food systems, sustainable home gardens, regenerative agriculture.
· Conservation Corner – ethical approaches to tackling climate change and preserving our planet.
· Health and Wellbeing Wing – for mind, body, and soul.
· Resource Roundabout – an accessible repository for practical information.
For more information: https://www.bendigoregion.com.au/explore-bendigo/bendigo-sustainable-living-festival
After consultation with the community, ten recommendations have been developed and used to inform Hepburn’s Community Engagement Policy and future engagement practices. Key areas considered included Planning, Communication, Continuous Improvement/Reporting, Transparency and Consistent Engagement. Council have accepted all recommendations and have undertaken to implement them all. The policy is the first step in improving the way Council engages with the community. To view the policy go to Community Engagement Policy or Community Engagement Policy – Summary Engagement Report
Council will establish a regular email newsletter to keep residents updated on projects and key issues impacting the Shire, and will reinstate the ‘Listening Posts’ program in each ward.
17. River detectives- connecting young people to nature
North Central Catchment Management Authority is working with 31 schools from across the region to connect students with nature and learn about local waterways, by joining the River Detectives program in 2021. The program provides opportunities for schools to be involved with real environmental action projects in their local community.
Here are some of the schools involved: Castlemaine Steiner School and Kindergarten; Daylesford Dharma School; Marist College Bendigo; Bridgewater Primary School; Marong Primary School; St Francis of the Fields Primary School; East Loddon P-12 College; Lockwood South Primary School; and Bullarto Primary School.
18. Free Energy Assessments & solar bulk buy in Clunes & Trentham
Do you struggle with rising energy bills? Is your home overly cold in winter and quick to heat up in summer?
If you live on a low income, have lost your job, are unemployed, have a long-term medical condition or disability, or are caring for someone in these or similar circumstances, you may be eligible to take part in the Hepburn Z-NET Home Energy Assessments and Energy Savvy Upgrades Program.
The program helps to reduce household energy costs and make homes more comfortable for both owner-occupiers and people renting their homes. It includes a subsidised energy assessment of your house plus subsidised upgrades of your home and major fixed appliances, such as insulation, draught-proofing, heating and cooling, and shading.
The Energy Savvy Upgrades program is funded by the Victorian Government and is supported by Creswick Community Bank, Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind and is being delivered by local sustainability group, Transition Creswick. Register today for a free home energy assessment (valued at $330) and you could be eligible for an $880 subsidy from the Victorian Government for energy-efficient upgrades to your home. Participants must also be willing to commit a minimum co-contribution of $880.00 towards agreed energy efficiency upgrades.
Apply here: https://bit.ly/2NfhOcG
Hepburn Home Energy Assessments and Energy Savvy Upgrades Program is the first program to be launched under the collective Z-NET Climate Resilience Fund which has been set up to enable local funders in the Hepburn Shire to work collaboratively on climate change solutions. Hepburn Shire located homeowners and renters are eligible to apply.
For more info:
ph. Tim 0490 436 264
Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy events
The Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy will be running an information session in Clunes next week on Wednesday 17 March, offering an overview of their work, the systems available and how you can participate. For those in the east of the Shire, on Thursday 15 April the bulk-buy will be in Trentham at the Neighbourhood Centre. Make sure to register for either the Clunes event here or the Trentham event here if you would like to attend.
Information meeting details:
- Clunes: 6 – 7.30pm, Wednesday 17 March, Esmond Gallery, 36 Fraser St Clunes
- Trentham: 6 – 7.30pm, Thursday 15 April, Trentham Neighbourhood Centre
19. Water Storages Update & Regional Catchment Strategy
Here’s the levels, at mid February 2021, for our regional water storages:
Cairn Curran Reservoir – 43%
Tullaroop Reservoir- 51%
Laanecoorie Reservoir- 54%
Newlyn Reservoir- 84%
Hepburns Lagoon- 73%
Campaspe Lake Eppalock – 39%
Upper Coliban Reservoir- 95%
Lauriston Reservoir- 87%
Malmsbury Reservoir- 37%
The Draft Regional Catchment Strategy is being released for public comment. This a high-level strategy for land, water and biodiversity management. The Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is seeking community involvement in the strategy incorporating local knowledge, issues, opportunities, & priorities.
North Central CMA is hosting a number of community drop-in sessions from 4pm-7pm so feedback can be provided in person:
15th March 2021 Kyneton Mechanics Institute
17th March 2021 Clunes Library (upstairs)
22nd March 2021 Bendigo Tennis Centre
23rd Mach 2021 St Arnaud Library
24th March 2021 Charlton Memorial Hall
30th March 2021 Serpentine Bowling Club
31st March 2021 Kerang Memorial Hall
For more information and to be included on the contact list, email email@example.com. If you cannot make it to a drop-in session, there will be
an online workshop. The Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) for 2021-27 will be published as a website, so you will be able to review the draft RCS online and comment directly via a feedback form.
20. A forum on wastewater
The Australian and New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics is holding a series of webinars this year. Here’s the next one on March 17th, focussed on the future of waste water.
21. Hands off the Clean Energy Finance Corporation- a local letter to the editor
It’s no secret that Australia is resource rich and has ditched its base manufacturing industry in favour of expanding the export of these resources. Scott Morrison likes to remind us that Australian emissions are decreasing but he conveniently forgets to include those from our considerable exported fossil fuels in the form of coal and gas. When these are added to the equation, Australia is one of the highest per capita carbon emitters in the world. Although Angus Taylor claims to be the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, it is a fact that, during the the Coalition’s time in government, carbon emissions have continued to rise. Now, when we desperately need to reduce these emissions, instead of supporting renewable power, Barnaby Joyce, former leader of the Nationals, wants to amend the legislation defining the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation) and allow its funding to include “high intensity, low emissions, coal-fired power”. The CEFC is by definition, a government-owned fund that was established to facilitate increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector. “Low emissions, coal-fired power” sounds as mythical as the piece of “clean coal” that was brandished in the Parliament, not so long ago by our PM. Scott Morrison, your hands look clean but you can’t hide the dirty idea behind this amendment. We need to object in no uncertain terms to our government’s rort of our taxpayer funds for this purpose.
Trevor Scott, Castlemaine
22. Mount Alexander Eco-Housing Group
There has been lots in the local papers and radio about the lack of affordable rental housing and homelessness in the Mt Alexander Shire. As a result, people are coming together at various forums. The group aims to expand collective multi-dwelling housing across all townships in the shire.
Starting a local eco-housing Register
Over the years, various individuals and groups presented exciting ideas, dreams and works-in-progress. We have not kept a register of these projects or kept track of their progress. Recently we summarised how tiny houses are approached by council. All members who have projects underway, or are ready to start a project and want others interested to contact/join them, are asked to write a descriptive paragraph or two on their project for us to distribute with photos and contact details to keep as a register and to share with the growing number of local housing groups at their events.
Contact Sally Rose with your contributions towards a register of existing eco-housing communities and projects at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sally Rose will then collate and distribute.
More information about the group can be found at : https://www.facebook.com/mountalexanderecohousinggp/
Here’s a couple of articles relating to housing shortage:
23. bHive Villages – Bendigo and Beyond
bHive is building a pathway for local places to build local regenerative economies that have people, planet and place at their centre. The people are speaking. It’s time to own our own local platform. It’s time to own and control our own data. It’s time to reconnect with our local communities. It’s time to replace the obscene wealth of global platform owners with local community wealth building.
Get Villages Happening in Your Town
If you’re from a Local Government or community organisation and you want Villages rolled out in your town with all the marketing, engagement and cooperative incubation bells and whistles, get in touch. We’d love to talk. We could bring an epidemic of Belonging to your town.
bHive searching for 5 Local Government Partners: bHive is on the lookout for five Local Government partners to fast track the uptake of Villages. As numbers of subscribers on Villages increases, the bHive model is to put funds back into the local place to help your community set up their own local bHive Cooperative, just like we have in Bendigo. Local government will be supporting local community wealth building, local community connection, local cooperative enterprise and a pathway to a local circular economy. Get in touch and we’ll tell you how.
Crowdfunding Campaign: Stay Tuned for a bHive crowdfunding campaign that will enable the bHive Team to share the bHive model with places around Australia.
24. Making the community energy target a reality
Hepburn Wind in conjunction with Friends of the Earth and the Coalition of Community Energy and 20 other groups around Victoria have been campaigning for a Community Energy Target since 2017. These groups are encouraging people to sign the petition for a community energy target. Community energy is a driving force behind renewable energy uptake across the world, yet there’s a crucial gap stalling progress in Victoria.
Now that the Victorian Parliament has completed the Inquiry into Tackling Climate Change in Victorian Communities, it’s time for action and the introduction of a Community Energy Target. Victoria needs to establish a target and a financial mechanism to unlock a pipeline of mid-scale community energy projects across the state. The petition asks the Andrews government to:
- Set a Community Energy Target of 100MW by 2025 as part of Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET).
- Respond to and implement the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Tackle Climate Change in Victorian Communities in the 2021-22 budget.
It’s time to make a Community Energy Target a reality! Here’s the link to the petition: https://www.melbournefoe.org.au/communityenergytarget
25. Beyond Climate Grief book launch- includes Castlemaine stories
26. The Wombat Post- community news publication
The Wombat Post, which commenced in 2020, is a community news publication for the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region. It is published on line every Friday afternoon. You can subscribe and receive the link in your inbox each week.
The purpose of the Wombat Post is to
- inform the community of news and events that contribute to community building community and community well-being,
- promote a positive image of the local community,
- contribute to the historical record, and
- provide a medium for advertising services and trades offered to the community.
For more information and to submit an article :https://thewombatpost.com.au/
Here’s an article from this week’s Wombat Post about Hepburn Distillery winning a gold medal in the Vodka category at the World Spirit Awards in London.
The Distillery is run by Basil Eliades and his family just up the road in Lyonville. The Distillery makes vodka, whiskey and gin. It began only recently 2020 when Mr Eliades, an artist and writer, pursued his long-time interest in distilling spirits.
Mr Eliades said, “We sent three bottles to the UK (for judging) some months ago and basically forgot about it,”
“Then I found out the judging had happened and got an email saying saying we had won gold. I was genuinely running around the house. We were pretty rapt. “We have been trying hard to make something special and really top grade and got some really positive comments from anyone who tried it. To be ranked on the world stage is amazing.”
Mr Eliades said he learned about distilling in Sweden when he was about 15 but only really focused on making spirits in the last few years. The Eliades use naturally grown, local materials free from chemicals. They run their stills on solar power. The packaging and labels are made from recycled paper and they compost their organic waste onsite. They offset their carbon footprint with tree planting partnered Fifteen Trees.
27. Libraries for the future- your views
Help us understand what a great library service looks like, and contribute to our plans for the future!
Goldfields Libraries is currently working together with member councils to develop a plan for library services across our region for the next ten years and beyond. We want to hear community opinions to ensure we deliver a service that meets your needs and interests and makes our community proud.
Libraries have changed in recent years and there are so many more possibilities for how to make these beautiful, free, welcoming community spaces more relevant than ever for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Because community needs, hopes and expectations of public libraries have changed, it is important that we hear from our communities about the buildings and services which will be most meaningful and relevant to you as we design and deliver library services into the future.
We have a number of ideas about what makes a great library service, but we want to stretch our thinking by hearing what you value, hope for and would like to see from your local library in years to come. And whether you use your local library or not, we’d love to hear what (if anything) would make you use it (more).
If you’d like to get involved in shaping our library services moving forward, there are a number of ways you can do so.
Community Survey: Have your say via our Community Survey online via the link https://www.ncgrl.vic.gov.au/librariesforthefuture , or pick up a copy at your local library.
Short on time? No problems, pick up a copy of our Libraries for the Future flyer at your local library and complete our super short version attached. Even if you’re not currently a library user, we’d love to hear from you!
28. My Home Network- report on community meeting in Castlemaine
Developing ways to get land donated or sold to local housing justice initiatives was one of the proposals emerging from the My Home Network community meeting held on March 3rd.
“My Home” network formed in late 2019 and includes housing sector, community and government organisations, lived experience of housing crisis, housing initiatives and passionate community members who are working together to address this complex yet resolvable housing issue.
Various working groups were developed as a result of the community meeting. These include:
- 10 year Housing Strategy feeding into Vict Government Housing Reform but also developing local strategy;
- Tenants Rights group looking at ensuring recent amendments in Tenanacy Act are known by tenants and real estate; transparency and accountability in their implementation. Maybe develop a not for profit real estate;
- Group engaging with Real estate/banks/developers to think outside the box, different financial models etc;
- Looking at supporting elders in our community to rent out rooms without it impacting on their means tested Centrelink pension;
- Communications working group-website, getting info out
- Advocacy/activism working group
For more information or to contribute, email Carolyn Neilsen- email@example.com
29. Food for Thought
29.1 DAVID HOLMGREN ON A QUIET BOYCOTT
29.2 Cities@Tufts Lectures
A new podcast and event series exploring the impact of urban planning on our communities and the opportunities to design for greater equity and justice. Cities@Tufts Lectures,
To increase the accessibility of these lectures, whenever possible we’ll share the written transcript, video, and audio (as a podcast). Topics include:
- Organizing for Food Sovereignty
- From Spatializing Culture to Social Justice and Public Space
- Exploring Invisible Women Syndrome
- The Introduction of Street Trees in Boston and New York
- Design principles for the urban commons
- and The Past, Present, and Future State of Cities.
Additional details (and registration links) for all of the upcoming sessions are available here.
29.3 Castlemaine Culcha Calendar and Ben’s blog
29.4 Beyond Conspiracy: Framing Meaningful Activism
Tyson Yunkaporta, Alnoor Ladha and Helena Norberg-Hodge navigate the big picture of global economic mega-structures and civilizational transformation. Between them, they share a wealth of diverse experiences, radical analysis and bold future-visioning, as well as a healthy dose of banter and laughter. Their far-reaching conversation analyses conspiracy theory, the global financial system and capitalist ideology, while outlining the power of localization and sacred activism to build a radically different future.
29.5 Writing Beyond the Environment: Emergence Nature Writing Course 2.0
“Nature writing” is its own genre in the literary world, but increasingly, writers and readers are pushing past the boundaries of what has traditionally constituted writing about the “environment.” Writing about how we encounter the ecologies around us—and how we interpret and ascribe meaning to those encounters—brings us fully into the realms of philosophy, history, activism, memoir, economics, spirituality…and beyond.
Starting Wednesday April 7th, this six-part course seeks to expand our understanding of nature writing as both a genre and a practice. We will welcome four guest writers—including award winning authors Scott Russell Sanders and Bathsheba Demuth—who will help us to push the bounds of nature writing as a literary category and to expand our own writing practice as we consider the interconnected web of ecology that holds, sustains, and profoundly intersects each of our lives