This month’May 2019 event header 2s Green Drinks presents an opportunity to come and meet our candidates for the Federal seat of Ballarat. While there are many  topical issues  in the lead up to the 18th May Federal Election, being Green Drinks we will confine our questions to topics of environmental sustainability such as beliefs and policies on:

• Transport
• Local Food Production
• Fossil Fuel Mining and Exports
• Renewable Energy Targets
• Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets
• Protection of Habitat and Biodiversity
• Climate Change Adaptation Measures

When: Thursday 2nd May (drinks and meals from 6.00pm, candidates introduced at 7.30pm)
Where: The Main Bar, 28 Main Road Bakery Hill (Ballarat)

Join us anytime from 6.00pm for drinks and food. Our candidates will be introduced at 7.30pm
The following candidates have been registered with the Australian Electoral Commission for the Division of Ballarat:
• Timothy Vo (Liberal Party)
• Catherine King (Australian Labor Party)
• Karen McAloon (Greens)
• Nick Shady (Independent)
• Bryn Hills (Animal Justice Party)
• Alex Graham (Independent)
• Peter Cozyn (United Australia Party)

 

The Courier Comment - Mary Debrett
Rosa Varga Miller pic Lachan BenceENERGY: Rosa Varga-Miller speaks to the crowd at the Ballarat student climate strike. Pictures: Lachlan Bence

On March 15 this year more than 1.5 million children, young people and their supporters protested for urgent action on climate change. 

That it has taken 16-year-old student Greta Thunberg to ignite that sense of urgency so many feel, into popular action, is primarily testament to her clarity of vision and direct approach.

To those politicians who say children should be in class and not trying to tell political leaders what to do, Greta replied: "Good, we want you to talk to scientists.'

A once lone protester, whose solitary stance outside the Swedish house of parliament struck a global chord, Greta is now inspiring millions to follow her example. 

She has cut through the mainstream news media's muddled messaging on climate change, something that few have achieved — petite and earnest, refreshingly lacking affectations, she's a teenager who tells it like it is. 

In the last few months she has addressed: the UN Climate Summit, COP24 in Poland; the Davos global gathering of wealth and power; Berlin's film world glitterati; and won the Prix Liberté worth 25,000 Euros — which she passed on to four climate action groups — as well as being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

But why, when we have a host of talented science journalists and communicators — many working within the mainstream media — has it taken so long for climate change to get this kind of attention?

It seems the younger generation in taking their lead from Greta, are following what common sense tells them. 

They have grown up with climate change, with meteorological records being broken year after year with increasingly extreme temperatures, floods, bushfires and cyclones. 

The doubt fostered by deniers finds little purchase among this generation, which knows that climate change is here and happening now. 

While older generations have turned away from accepting the worst, presumably hoping it won't happen in their life time, youth are seeing their future disappear before their very eyes.

Their collective survival instinct has been triggered. While older generations have turned away from accepting the worst, presumably hoping it won't happen in their life time, youth are seeing their future disappear before their very eyes.

Acceptance of the science of anthropogenic climate change has finally become commonplace. 

But achieving carbon neutrality within 11 years, the deadline identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in order to contain global warming to 1.5ºC, will be very challenging.

While most media coverage of the topic tends to focus on state and federal government, there is arguably more happening on the ground at the local level. Many local communities have been moving on renewable energy for some time.

In May 2017, the Municipal Association of Victoria — the peak body for 79 local governments in Victoria — passed a climate emergency motion, with 77 per cent support. 

In November 2018, the City of Ballarat endorsed this statement of climate emergency, and by March this year, 423 councils around the world representing 36 million citizens had followed suit. 

At Ballarat council's April meeting last Wednesday, councillors voted unanimously to endorse the carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewables action plan by 2025. The plan was developed by council, staff in consultation with several community groups, notably the Regional Sustainability Alliance of Ballarat and the Ballarat Climate Action Network, and drew on considerable local expertise.

Other ground-breaking projects are under way in this region. North-east of Ballarat, the Hepburn Shire, with the help of its community-owned windfarm, plans to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy by 2030 — Australia's first zero-net emissions community, while nearby, Daylesford is already Australia's first zero-net energy town.

On Sunday, April 14, following the lead set by students in March, many Ballarat citizens will join in the Walk Against Warming around Lake Wendouree to show support for action on climate change — at the personal, community, state and federal government level. This is a nonpartisan issue.

It is now a matter critical to human well-being and to the well-being of our community, as confirmed by Ballarat Council's endorsement of the MAV statement of Climate Emergency.

As Ballarat student protest organiser Rosa, channelling Greta, said at the March protest in Deakin Place: "I don't want you to hope, I want you to panic. The house is on fire."

Mary Debrett is a member of the BREAZE board. 

Wind Energy at Green Drinks in April

Come and hear Tony Goodfellow the Community Organiser (Victoria) for the Australian Wind Alliance talk about the state of wind energy in our region, the role of renewable energy and the energy transition underway. He will talk about challenges and ways to get involved including co-investment and co-ownership and the role of the Australia Wind Alliance.

Read more: Ballarat Green Drinks

We Need Your HelpBREAZE is in for a very busy 2019. We have planned to delivery some great events and programs to ensure members and the general Ballarat and Region can engage with our quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent runaway climate change. We are fortunate to have some talented and committed volunteers willing to deliver the following events:

  • Let's Walk Against Warming - Sunday 14 April 1 pm till 3.30 pm at Lake Wendouree
  • World Environment Day - Children's Writing Competition (Awards to be Presented 5th June)
  • Sustainable House Day - Sunday 15 November 10 am till 4 pm 

We already have dedicated volunteers assisting with our existing programs:

  • Smart Living Ballarat Monthly Lunchtime Workshops
  • Green Drinks Monthly Evening Discussions
  • Social Renewables Donation Appeal 
  • Community Power Hub (49 projects over 2 years)
  • membership management
  • social media (Facebook, website and e-Newsletters)
  • BREAZE Board (monthly meetings and sub groups)

We need you to help with these additional events by volunteering as little as a few hours to assist on the day of these events, or to help with the planning and preparation leading up the events. 

Specifically we need:

Walk Against Warming (April) Children's Writing Comp  Sustainable House Day  (September)

 Information Table Volunteers to help with making badges, banners and event information. 

Volunteers to Promote to Schools  Volunteers to Assist with homeowners nominate their properties
 Event marshals to accompany participants on walk and ensure we can meet risk response plan requirements.  Entry Judges   Home owners to open their homes
 Stage Management Volunteers to assist with stage setup, sound mixing and managing performers and speakers itinerary.  Volunteers to seek sponsors for prizes   Volunteers to assist home owners with tours of houses on the day

 

For Further information if you can help please contact the following BREAZE Board Members:

Let's Walk Against Warming - Ian  0467 220 442

Children's Writing Competition - Mary   

Sustainable House Day - Jeremy 0429 801 486 

 

FEBRUARY 12 2019Courier masthead mainRochelle Kirkham

 

Funding for renewable energy projects is helping social enterprises take control of their electricity supply and reduce costs.

2019 02 12COMMUNITY POWER McAllum Disability Services celebrates the announcement of funding to install solar panels and reduce energy costs
COMMUNITY POWER: McAllum Disability Services celebrates the announcement of funding to install solar panels and reduce energy costs.

Labor Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison announced a $49,500 grant to install a 40 kW solar PV system at McCallum Disability Services on Tuesday.

In addition, Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emmissions will receive almost $8000 a 10 kW solar array on the roof of Uniting Ballarat’s Restore Op-Shop.

Coghills Creek Progress Association will benefit from more than $6000 funding to install a 6 kW solar PV system on the roof of the local hall.

Read more: McCallum Disability Services secures funds for massive solar PV system

April 12 2019Courier masthead mainRochelle Kirkham

Members of the Ballarat community will make their voice heard loud and clear on Sunday at the Ballarat Walk Against Warming. It will be a united call for political leaders to take action on the climate change emergency in the lead up to the federal election. 

Climate emergency Picture Kate HealyUNITED CALL: Members of the Ballarat Climate Action Network are encouraging Ballarat residents to join their walk in a show of solidarity to political leaders that this May needs to be the climate election. Picture: Kate Healy

Read more: Walk Against Warming will call for strong federal action on climate change