Sunday, 28 June 2009

Evening Meeting – 2 July 2009

This fortnight we have an evening meeting on Thursday, 2nd July, at the Melton Community Hall, meeting room 4, from 7-9pm.  The meeting will start dead on 7.00pm as we have a full programme, so please be a little early.  The hall will be open from 6.30pm onwards.  I have invited the team at ecoMaster to come along and present to us, and they have kindly accepted. 


Listed below is what they intend on covering in two presentations;

The most effective presentation would be about the Fed. Govt program which starts on 1st July.  Our group will be the first ever group in Australia to be presented with the Home Sustainability Assessments and the Green Loans program.

We will cover:

  • LYN:
    what is a home sustainability assessment and how does that work with a 'green loan'
  • what is the purpose of the green loans scheme

  • potential benefits

  • the 'mechanics' of the scheme 
    eligibility for the loans e.g. must you be a homeowner or is it open to the landlords of rental properties

  • restrictions on the amounts of loans

  • options in finance choices

  • are loans secured through mortgages of some sort

  • interest rates

  • What is the role of the Home Sustainability Assessor

  • what is the fee for assessing a home, how much and who pays for it
  • Are there benefits to having a Home Assessment done as opposed to a homeowner deciding themselves on what they want done and borrowing for that purpose
  • How long does it take to do an assessment
  • Who receives copies of the Assessment
  • The independence of the Assessor

This should be approximately 30mins followed by 15 min question time.

  • Will address the following matters in regard to technology and factors which influence the selection or choices:
  • draught proofing
  • fireplaces and chimneys
  • window glazing
  • floor,wall and roof insulation
  • water systems including size of rainwater tanks, types of tanks e.g. steel  v plastic, when grey water systems are viable
    sources of energy - e.g. when solar power is suitable
  • outdoor blinds
  • use of vegetation to reduce heat

This should be approximately 30mins followed by 15 min question time.

I do believe that it will be one informative night and I hope you can all attend, and please feel free to bring along any friends or family who are interested.

Kind regards,

Gavin Webber,


Melton Sustainable Living Group Inc.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Kev's Patch

If Barack Obama can have a veggie patch, why can't Kevin Rudd! It took a lot of campaigning by many concerned citizens who voiced their opinion at They made such an impact that Michelle Obama actually turned over the first sod in the garden herself. Many American families are following suit and have begun to plant 'Recession Gardens'. The First Lady even appeared on Oprah to tout the benefits of growing your own organic vegetables. Now that the President of the USA and family has an organic supply of yummy vegetables in the Whitehouse's yard, there should be no reason why our Kev can't rip up some of the lawn at the Lodge (the official residence of the Prime Minister of Australia), and put in a veggie patch just like the one that Peter Cundall made at the Royal Botanical Garden in Hobart. After all, the upkeep of the Lodge is paid for by Australian taxpayers dollars, so technically it belongs to all Australians. Just look at all that potential veggie patch space in the photo below!

In fact it was Peter, whilst visiting the Lodge as a finalist for 2009 Australian of the year, who actually suggested it to Kevin and Teresa over a cuppa. They were apparently interested, as our PM was raised on a farm in Queensland. Apparently Peter and his mate Mike Plane have been on the campaign trail for over a year, but they haven't had much luck.

Here is where we proud Australians and any International visitors come into the picture. Fellow concerned citizens and I have started a campaign and have created a dedicated website.  Have a visit to Kev’s Patch!  I believe it will be the start of something really big.
So this is what I ask of you, if you are game. Send the PM a little message at his official web site, just like Darren and I have. If you really want to, you can mention our blogs! Now that reminds me of a dream I once had.

Here is my letter to our Prime Minister. I hope you have a go as well. You can use mine as a basic template if you like. I don't mind at all.

Organic Veggie Garden at the Lodge - Kev's Patch

Dear Mr Prime Minister Rudd,

My friend Darren Collins and I are very impressed with the way that Barack Obama and his family planted an organic vegetable garden in the Whitehouse grounds, and were wondering if you would consider planting a similar garden at the Lodge.

We believe that by setting an example, other Australians would follow your example and begin to grow their own wholesome veggies, and therefore begin to learn how to provide for themselves in a small way. I have also read that Peter Cundall has offered to help you in this endeavour and has even persuaded some organic veggie gardeners to maintain it for you. I believe that this is an offer too good to refuse!

Please consider this proposal, as I believe it will give hope and offer inspiration to many ordinary Australians.



So what do you think? Do you think it is a worthwhile campaign. Let us both know via a comment. While you are writing your comment, have a look at this you tube video from the US campaign to fire you up!

This Lawn is Your Lawn
Gavin Webber

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Next Meeting - Rain Water Harvesting

This weekends meeting will be held on Saturday, 6th June from 1400-1600.  For prospective members or interested people, please drop me an email at the groups email address listed in the sidebar for the address details.

This workshops focus is on how to better utilise rainwater, and how to effectively capture it from your roof.  David Suttie will be giving us the grand tour and explaining how he went about constructing his system.

Should be a great afternoon, so come along and see a real working system in action.  Maybe it will even rain for us!

Kind Regards,

Gavin Webber, President.