President's December Report


As the year draws to a close, the disappointments of the Glasgow CoP and Australia's climate policy failures are being displaced for some by hopes that strengthened commitment from the financial and business sector may yet accelerate decarbonisation and contain runaway climate change. Battles over targets and the cost of climate action, that ignore climate science, reflect how little some have learned from the Covid pandemic. And you can be forgiven if you missed the big environmental news of this week, that new disturbing faults have been discovered in the Antarctic, adjacent to the vast Thwaites glacier, with predictions that its destabilisation of the ice shelf will likely see glacier breakaway in under 5 years, accelerating the ice melt and rising sea levels. While the immediate sea level rise is predicted to be around 2 feet, ultimately the break will accelerate the melting of West Antarctica with rises of 3 metres + predicted in the next 20-30 years. The melting of  the West Antarctic ice shelf is one of the 9 tipping points identified as signalling significant irreversible change. This was headline news in the UK and US – but apparently not deemed newsworthy by Australia's news media. 

Looking forward - Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB)

This year the City of Ballarat's endorsement of the community-wide aspirational zero emissions target of 2030 was a watershed moment – and a long held target for BREAZE. Now all we need to do is make sure we get everyone on board in implementing the Plan, which Ironbark Sustainability is currently developing for Council. BREAZE will let you know via our e-newsletter when the Draft Plan is open for community feedback – sometime in the first half of 2022. Please be ready to volunteer to help in driving the campaign. Ballarat can be a model for other regional cities. As past experience has proven, if we work together we can make a difference. Check out Ballarat's emissions profile on Ironbark's Snapshot tool.

Grampians Community Power Hub (G-CPH)


Having signed the contract with Sustainability Victoria to lead the G-CPH back in July, the end of lockdown meant we could finally launch the Hub on 12 November, which we did at Halls Gap with Minister d'Ambrosio officiating. The project at Halls Gap, solar and battery for the buildings of the volunteers who maintain the Botanical Gardens , will mean they can now have the benefits of power, without the poles and wires that usually accompany it. 

Volunteer Convenor of the Halls Gap Botanical Gardens, Margo Siestma presented Minister d'Ambrosio with a book on Gariwerd plant species to mark the occasion. 

Smart Living Ballarat

The talk on December 15 was Your Guide to Woowookarung with Friends of the Canadian Corridor. If you missed it you can still watch it on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook site -  Smart Living Ballarat will be back in 2022 with a new talks schedule.  

Departing  Board Members

Longstanding BREAZE Board member, Paul Duggan stepped down from the board this year. Paul has made a huge contribution to BREAZE over the years. He will be continuing as a BREAZE volunteer via his membership of Grampians Community Power Hub's Project Control Group. BREAZE Facebook followers will have seen some of Paul's posts from his recent road trip into the Wimmera, part of the Grampians Community Power Hub community engagement process, raising regional awareness of the benefits of renewable energy to the community.

Another long standing member, Peter Reid, has also stepped down from the Board. Peter, an engineer by profession and a highly efficient project manager, has driven the BREAZE Social Solar Program for many years, and was also key member of the Ballarat Community Power Hub Pilot - program that ran from 2017-2020. We are delighted that Peter will be retaining involvement in BREAZE activities as an advisor/mentor  to the Grampians Community Power Hub and as a member of the BREAZE Public Fund Committee. 

Board Meetings

If you have a passion for climate action and ideas about how you can help BREAZE achieve its mission, please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in attending should email me – 

All the best


Dr Mary Debrett
President, December 2021