President's Report March 2021

MDThere’s no guidebook for decarbonising the economy but as we all know it’s something we must embrace and accelerate. So it’s good to see the number of State Government renewable energy initiatives launched in recent weeks, many with the double function of addressing the COVID downturn. 

The Renewable Energy Zones Directions Paper seeks community and other stakeholder feedback on issues related to the 6 designated REZs of which Western Victoria is one. The paper outlines a proposed new agency, VicGrid, along with investment in poles and wires, and grid stability upgrading, to better integrate distributed renewable energy sources and facilitate development of REZs. Additionally there's a recently announced Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, running simultaneously with an EngageVictoria survey  – and a Small Business Energy Saver Program subsidising energy efficiency upgrades.

HAVE YOUR SAY - A Zero Emissions Target for the Ballarat Community

Meanwhile, City of Ballarat staff are currently preparing a Report for councillors, proposing a community zero emissions target for the whole community. This would be setting a target date for zero community emissions.  This ZERO COMMUNITY target is being proposed over and above the City of Ballarat’s Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan,  which is for emissions from Council operations – passed in 2019 with a 2025 target date,. 

Ballarat Zero 2030

BREAZE believes that Ballarat can be a model Zero Community for the region, one that  has already made great strides in driving renewables and is much better than many others to lead in decarbonising the economy. Key Ballarat industries, McCains and Mars, have already shown leadership in committing to renewable energy. A Zero Emissions Community Target led by the City of Ballarat would be accompanied by a Plan, outlining how different sectors could reduce their emissions. Readers may be interested in checking out Ballarat’s GHG emissions via the local government Snapshot Tool – developed by Ironbark Sustainability and Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) – which gives a sector by sector breakdown of emissions.

Zero emissions by 2030 for the Ballarat region is a long-held BREAZE goal, and the BREAZE Board is keen to see a similarly ambitious target date set by Council, when it considers the upcoming Report at its 24 March meeting. Council meetings are now being held in person but public participation is limited to email/online.

Ballarat residents who want an ambitious target should let council know. You can do this in several ways: 
    • Write to your Ward Councillor, prior to the 24 March Council meeting date, telling them what you would like to see as the target date and why you think this is important. For councillors’ emails visit https://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/city/about-us/councillors
    • Make a Public Representation to Council.Submissions (no more than 200 words) must be emailed to by no later than 4.30pm on the day of Council meeting; and will be read out by the Chief Executive Officer or nominated delegate at the meeting prior to the matter being considered by Council.
    • Ask a Question of Council–75 words or less. Questions must be submitted via email to by no later than 4:30pm on the day of the Ordinary meeting.For further information on questions see: https://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/news/changes-council-meeting-question-time-procedures
 
BREAZE Talks to Brett McDonald on Ballarat Today – Radio 3BA

The next BREAZE talk on 3BA is on Friday 26 March tat 10:15 AM. We hope that members will tune in to hear Board member Tony Goodfellow, talk to Brett about why Australia needs bipartisanship on climate change. Tony is the coordinator for Ballarat Green Drinks and also Victorian Community Organiser for the Australian Wind Alliance.

To all BREAZE friends and members, please consider supporting the work of BREAZE Social Solar with a donation to One Dollar for One Watt   All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

The BREAZE Inc Board currently has several vacancies. We are particularly interested in people with experience in:
  • Project management 
  • Media/communications
  • Marketing
  • Information technology
  • Event management
  • Fund raising
  • Writing grant applications

Please also note that BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in joining the Board or in just attending the April Board meeting, now held via Zoom, should email me – 

All the best

Mary                                                            

Mary Debrett
President, March 2021