Skip to content

Annual General Meeting

October 9, 2010

The 2nd Newstead 2021 AGM was conducted at the Welshman’s Reef Winery and Vineyard on Thursday 7th October. There was a terrific turnout with adults and children enjoying a dazzling array of pizza’s direct from the oven. Salads travelled fom the Community Garden and it was wonderful to share the rewards of our gardeners have provided with an enthusiastic crowd.

I have attached a copy of our Annual Report including a summary financial statement below. Minutes from the meeting will be posted shortly.

Annual Report 2009/10 – Geoff Park (President N2021)

Newstead 2021 comprises citizens formed after a summit held in May 2008. The summit was organised by our local community and included a wide range of participants including farmers, self-employed business people, professionals and school children. Inspired by the then newly-elected Federal Government’s 2020 Summit, we wanted to sound out ideas – social, environmental and economic – to strengthen our community. As a result of that Summit, N2021 was formed and we have since developed a community garden, established a locally available free wi-fi service, installed new play equipment in our community playground, set up a town website and are establishing a community project to reduce our energy use and switch to renewable energy. Our first AGM was held on the 24th May 2009. We became officially incorporated on 16th June 2009. Tonight, the 7th October sees our second AGM! This report provides a snapshot of activities and achievements’ over the past 12 months or so …

Read more…

Magic happens – Newstead to go 100% renewable?

June 3, 2010

The Newstead 2021 blog has been a bit quiet of late … just waiting for something magical to happen. At our May 2008 summit there was major interest in doing something around renewable energy options for our community. A number of meetings were held, discussions were wide ranging and exciting possibilities were canvassed. Since then our community has been pretty busy and the “energy thing” has been simmering away. Well, serendipity is a wonderful thing.

Last week we were approached by Leah Sertori from Central Victorian Solar City. “The Central Victoria Solar City (CVSC) project is part of the Australian Government’s $94 million Solar Cities program that offers incentives to local residents and businesses to participate in a trial range of energy efficiency, local energy generation and demand management products and services. The project aims to discover innovative local energy solutions for you, your community and the planet.”

Here is a summary of the notes provided by Leah following the meeting.

On Friday evening Leah Sertori from Central Victoria Solar City met with a number of local community members. The group included Genevieve Barlow, Geoff Park, Don Culvenor, Ron Snep, Melissa Proposch and Liz Bell. Newstead is well known for its capability in leading and implementing initiatives that benefit the broader community. Over the past year Newstead 2021 has successfully developed and implemented a number of initiatives: Community Playground, a free wireless network and the recently launched Community Garden. Newstead is a very tight knit, resourceful community. 
The Offer
Leah met with the group to run them through the opportunities to engage in the solar city project as well as an overview of what the project hopes to achieve. Leah offered to provide the group with some support from the CVSC office if they were interested in engaging their whole town in reducing their energy use and engaging in renewable energy creation. We discussed a community based challenge, for residents of Newstead to reduce their energy consumption by up to 20% and to shift to 100% solar renewable energy in the next twelve months to two years.  At this stage, the idea is very fluid and open. It will be further shaped by the residents of Newstead.

We identified the following benefits of a potential project:
•  Converting an entire town (around 150 residences) to renewable energy is a great story 
•  Highly visible project 
•  Will attract interest from visitors to Newstead 
•  Will engage the entire community in a project that benefits everyone
•  Opportunity for Newstead to generate income from excess energy created by PV 
•  Opportunity for residents to complete some training to become qualified energy auditors, generating employment outcomes
•  CVSC can take that model to other small towns in Central Victoria, its scalable 
•  We can share the lessons learned and the towns experience through a media campaign

There was a huge amount of interest from the group in the potential for Newstead to build a small solar park, if they secured pledge amounts to cover the financing of the project. There was generally a great atmosphere at the meeting and enormous excitement around what could be achieved. 

Next steps include:
•  Leah to find out how much electricity Newstead currently uses daily, monthly, annually from Powercor.
•  Genevieve, Geoff and the Newstead Gang to hold another meeting to scope the potential for the project.
•  CVSC to facilitate a community planning session with up to 25 residents and business owners/operators to develop a project.
•  Newstead and CVSC to develop a project proposal which provides the scope of the project, its intended outcomes, deliverables and timeframes. 
•  Leah to engage John Harvey from Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance in the discussion and Sally Morris, Manager of Economic Development from the Mount Alexander Shire.

This is a very exciting opportunity for our town and community. Not just because it offers an opportunity to be part of direct practical action to address climate change but importantly it provides us with the scope to plot our own path … with support and expertise from CVSC. Stay tuned for an invitation to participate in what happens next.

Visit from MAS Planning Unit

March 18, 2010

Newstead community representatives Helen Watters, Don Culvenor and Geoff Park were pleased to host a visit from the Mount Alexander Shire Planning Unit today. The purpose of the visit was to look at current initiatives – for example the RTC, HMAS Bell, community garden and Recreation Reserve, but also at sites where development was proposed according to the Newstead Framework Plan (part of the 2004 Urban Living Strategy). The visit provided an excellent opportunity for us to better understand the MAS planning approach and to share information and ideas about current and future projects. It is always pleasing to see our Local Government officers taking the time to understand issues and needs of the smaller towns across the Shire.

The visit concluded with refreshments at Dig Cafe.

Rocket Science #13 – Paul Sinclair on the future for our rivers

March 16, 2010

Sunday 28th March at DIG Cafe – Rocket Science #13 “What future for our rivers – is it possible to reconcile competing demands for a scarce resource….in a drying climate?”  with Dr. Paul Sinclair, Healthy Ecosystems Program Manager with the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Paul is well known for his marvelous book “The Murray: A river and its people”, published in 2001. He grew up at Kerang, on the Loddon River, a tributary of the Murray. His first memory of the river is a flood in the early 1970s when he was 12. The book explores the reasons why the river has become degraded, and what these changes have meant to Australians. According to Martin Flanagan, Paul Sinclair “is a new sort of Australian public intellectual. His view of the environment goes way beyond the polarity of greenies versus rednecks”.

For more information visit the Rocket Science blog at

Let’s make a movie

March 13, 2010

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is keen to make three short films (5-10mins long) in Newstead. This is part of a shire wide project. Maldon and Castlemaine will do the same. The films will be part of ACMI’s collection.

Get along to Dig on Sunday March 21 at 10am to:

a) hear more about it,

b) find out how to be involved in either suggesting film ideas, staging a local premiere, attending workshops on film-making , co-ordinating filming etc.

For more information contact Geneveive

Meeting agenda for 14th March

March 9, 2010

Click here for a copy of the agenda for this Sunday’s N2021 meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.

HMAS Bell launched in style

February 19, 2010

What a great event to celebrate – the launch of Newstead’s own pirate ship, the HMAS Bell. On Friday the 19th February a huge crowd of young and not so young pirates, turned out to celebrate in style. An initiative of Newstead 2021, the idea of a wooden pirate ship playground was conceived by the young folks of our community at the May 2008 Summit. With support from the Shire of Mount Alexander and the Federal Government “stimulus” fund the ship became a reality….but not without a lot of hard work from members of our wonderful community. In particular Karly Smith, Dean McLaren, Steve Proposch and Cr. Michael Redden deserve special thanks for their vision and persistence. Named in honour of Sam Bell, the new playground will delight people for many years to come.

Cap'n Dean kept the young pirates in check

The Pinata was a huge hit!

A significant sighting...the elusive Newstead Toucan and its keeper!

Read more…

Map 2020 Steering Committee and Local Area Planning

February 18, 2010

On Thursday the 25th February at the Maldon Community Centre at 7.30pm – 9.00pm, The Map2020 Steering Committee will be joined by a local community and government representatives:

  • To discuss and learn about Local Area Planning models  and frameworks from within our own community and beyond
  • To explore practical examples of what others in surrounding communities have achieved  in their areas through Local Area Planning
  • To be able to ask questions and listen to how Local Area planning can support the Map2020 process and how Map2020 can support local communities in achieving their goals. 
    • To Learning what MAP 2020 is doing – (For instance, did you know that more  than two thirds of the actions in the MAP2020 Action Plan for 07-09   across the 8 theme areas have been actioned by individuals and   organisations in the Shire?)
    • Learn  about the priorities MAP 2020 will be focusing on between now and May 2010, when a new two year Implementation Strategy for MAP 2020 will be prepared

RSVP  by Wednesday 24th   February to Fran Woodruff or call on 54711744

Minutes from 7th February 2010 meeting

February 11, 2010

Newstead 2021 held its first meeting for 2010 on Sunday 7th February. It was a terrific meeting with lots of good discussion around plans for the year ahead. Download a copy of the minutes here.

Meeting agenda for 7th February

February 4, 2010

Click here for a copy of the agenda for this Sunday’s N2021 meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.