President's October Report

MDOn 5th October, the BREAZE-organised Building Better Homes for the Future Forum was held for the building sector at the Mercure Hotel, Golden Point. Addressing the audience of approximately 60 – builders, architects and developers – keynote speaker, architect Paul Haar, outlined many of the possibilities of environmentally sustainable design (ESD), referencing the eco community of Mullum Creek at Donvale of which he was founding architect. He was followed by Bradley Hall, Director of Chatham Homes, who outlined some of the regulatory obstacles besetting developers keen to apply ESD with reference to a recent 8 star (NatHERS energy efficiency rating) build undertaken locally by his company. Third speaker Joseph van Dyk, Director of Hygge Property, expanded on this theme referencing his company's recent mid-scale developments in Ballarat and Daylesford, where ESD principles have guided design. Final speaker, City of Ballarat's Natalie Robertson, Director of Development and Growth, acknowledged the current bureaucratic hurdles and outlined the work that the City of Ballarat regarding the Elevating ESD Targets Planning Policy Amendment as a partner in the CASBE (Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment) bid by 24 Victorian Councils seeking an amendment to the Victorian planning scheme to elevate sustainability requirements for new buildings.

The Forum – a collaboration between BREAZE, the Committee for Ballarat and the City of Ballarat – was the product of months of work by a group of BREAZE volunteers coordinated by Board member, Sally Missing. Speaking on the night, Sally noted that despite the expense of her own home energy retro-fit she and her partner were still left with a south facing home - and that ESD planning for new builds is essential if we are to cut housing GHG emissions.  

With the right choices we can build houses that are more comfortable - warmer in winter, cooler in summer and cheaper to run. This is also way better for the environment.The construction industry is responsible for 40% of global emissions.  Australians have the biggest houses in the world and Victorian houses  have the highest carbon intensity in Australia. The average Victorian home has a carbon footprint of 8.8 tonnes per annum compared to the Australian average of 7.0 tonnes per annum. Good design is key to more energy efficient homes – and this is where we believe local developers, builders and planners can help in driving the low energy homes we need to achieve a net zero emissions future.

 Sally Missing, Forum Coordinator

One of the key problems for builders and developers embracing ESD is the price premium at point of sale, with home buyers often more focused on immediate cost savings rather than the long term cost-benefits of a sustainable energy efficient home and the energy savings it brings. Back in 1999 the ACT legislated to make it mandatory to include a home's energy rating in the Section 22 distributed by Estate Agents to prospective buyers at point of sale – a move that saw the value of energy efficient homes increase as public awareness grew. Now finally, this will shortly become mandatory across the nation. 

Zero Emissions Ballarat Plan

It is our understanding that the Final Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB) 2030 Plan will be presented to Councillors for adoption later this month. BREAZE hopes to see Council initiatives to assist residents with making the clean energy transition, such as solar and heat pump bulk buys, energy audits, and especially assistance to low income households with energy efficient retro-fits. We will publish a link to the Final Plan once it becomes available.

MEMBER ACTIVITIES

Smart Living Ballarat

The next upcoming talk on Wednesday 19 October at 12:30-1:30 pm, which will be online, will be on the topic of environmentally sustainable design. Watch the SLB Facebook page for updates. Smart Living Ballarat is a series of free monthly workshops, supported by the City of Ballarat. Join host Ellen Burns on the 3rd Wednesday of every month to learn new skills for living smarter!

This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event.To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation here: https://us06web.zoom.us/.../tZAuduuvqzspHtzlYoy594mHrmYfZ...

Want to Volunteer?

In November and December Smart Living Ballarat will shift into face-to-face mode with some practical workshops:

  • 16 NovemberKombucha & Ferments- presenter tbc
  • 21 DecemberMake your own cleaning & beauty products - personal gifts- presenter tbc

Host, Ellen Burns would like volunteers to help with set up etc at the SLB in-person sessions on 16 November and 21 December. If this is something you would like to volunteer for, please get in touch - email //sally@breaze.org.au/">

Register here via SLB Facebook  If you miss it, you can still catch it on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page

Ballarat Green Drinks

On 20 October, upstairs in the Marble Lounge at Lake View Hotel, Bob Hartmann, President of Friends of the Canadian Corridor will talk about the work of this phenomenally successful local land-care group. It is the 10th anniversary of FoCC so please come along and celebrate the group's fantastic achievements - Woowookarung, the Wildflower Trail and the Bunny Trail and more.  Bob's talk will begin at 7:00pm but we suggest you arrive at 6:30pm or earlier to grab a drink and bite to eat and join us for dinner. Bob will talk for about 30 minutes leaving another 30 minutes for Q&A, finishing at 8pm.

The next talks scheduled for Ballarat Green Drinks in 2022 are: 

  • Thursday 17 November- Matthew Turner (Domain Architecture) Our Homes for our Future: Functional, Affordable, Desirable! Shifting mindsets in what we want as a home.

BOARD ACTIVITIES

Climate March - 22 October 1pm

BREAZE Vice President, Campbell Mercer will be one of the speakers at this month's Climate March on Saturday 22 October. People planning to attend, and we urge BREAZE members and friends to please consider it, should assemble at Civic Hall at 1 pm. The March will proceed via Lydiard Street 

to the Town Hall where it is anticipated performers will join with the speakers in informing, inspiring and entertaining the protestors. If you want tan end to the fossil fuel industry, and to end logging of native forests, and to see Australia's emissions reductions accelerated, please come along and add your voice - we need more noise for climate action.

Candidates Climate Forum - 13 November 2-4pm

BREAZE Inc. will be holding a Candidates Climate Forum on 13 November from 2-4 pm at the Ballarat Technical School to give local voters a chance to question candidates standing for Eureka, Wendouree and Rippon in the up-coming Victorian State Election on 26 November. Please mark it in your calendar. We aim to put climate action on the agenda for this election. 

Board Meetings

If you like what we do and think you might like to join in some of our projects, whether for advocacy or practical action or have perhaps have 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

Mary

Dr Mary Debrett
President, October 2022