How can we invest our money in a way that benefits the environment? Join us and Market Forces to learn how to invest your money ethically by moving your funds to institutions that do not invest in the fossil fuel industry.

An affiliate of Friends of the Earth Australia and launched in 2013, Market Forces believes that the banks, superannuation funds and governments that have custody of our money should use it to protect not damage our environment.

Their work exposes the institutions that are financing environmentally destructive projects and help Australians hold these institutions accountable. We work with the community to prevent investment in projects that would harm the environment and drive global warming.

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.

This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Zoom:


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This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

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Businesses in the region are invited to join Mount Alexander Sustainability Group and other groups at Business Mount Alexander's The Business of Climate Change event this Monday evening (28 June) at The Goods Shed, Castlemaine. Find out about funding, finance and subsidies to help your business cut emissions, save on power bills and reduce waste. Hear from local businesses who have made the switch and how it's helped them save money and grow their business.



G7 Summit – not what it might have been

With Joe Biden and Boris Johnson both now making bold statements on the need for climate action, there were high hopes for this latest G7 meeting in Cornwall. But while the Group made some very encouraging announcements – including affirming the goal of constraining global warming to 1.5º C and agreeing to protect/restore 30 percent of the natural world by 2030 – the world’s 7 richest nations collectively failed to guarantee the necessary funds to drive the action required. It’s a big problem for the upcoming CoP26 in Glasgow in November, undermining trust between rich and developing nations, as Fiona Harvey reported in The Guardian (14/6/21):

Poor countries argue that the rich world did most to create the climate crisis, but the most vulnerable nations also face rising debt burdens from Covid-19, and have no money to invest in clean energy, low-carbon infrastructure or ways to adapt to extreme weather. 

One of the more impressive and decisive announcements to come out of the G7 was a commitment to phase out fossil fuels by 2025. However, The Guardian notes that the Group didn’t call for a halt to the exploitation of new fossil fuel resources. 

In her typical cut-through style, Greta Thunberg noted on Twitter:

For the umpteenth time the rich club has failed to deliver on its promise to channel $100bn a year to poor nations coping with a heating climate." "The world's richest democracies have responded with a plan to make a plan.

Ballarat’s ZNet 2030 Ambition

Back home many are thinking about how to drive the Ballarat Net 2030 community-wide target. BREAZE Inc. thanks those local residents who logged on for our networking event – Achieving Ballarat Net Zero by 2030 – discussion revolved around the achievability of the goal and what locals can do to help drive it. Making submissions to the City of Ballarat Draft Budget 2021-2022 was among the actions discussed, urging Council to allocate funds to drive the target. A 9 June Unscheduled Council Meeting  discussed the 17 verba/written submissions – several of which emerged from the networking event. At the meeting, Ballarat CEO, Evan King explained that due to the unfortunate timing of official State requirements, the Draft Budget had to be issued before the Council Plan which meant that the Draft Budget addressed the requirements of the pre-existing, and not the pending Council Plan. The CEO noted that community concerns regarding the environment had been heard. BREAZE Inc. understands that the City is currently developing a plan to address the Z-Net 2030 target for community -wide emissions.


Smart Living Ballarat

This month’s Smart Living Ballarat online talk on Wednesday, June 17 explored how to become a locavore and going plastic free with Steve Burns from Ballarat Farmers Market and Wendy from the Ballarat Wholefoods Collective. The talk also referenced other collectives local to Ballarat including Creswick and Buninyong. Plus, Wendy from the Ballarat Collective showed how to make our own cleaning products using minimal, natural ingredients! Catch up with the talk via Smart Living Ballarat Facebook  

Ballarat Green Drinks

Ballarat Green Drinks continues online. Apologies for the current hiatus. We hope to be back online soon, and back in face to face mode as soon as we can.

BREAZE Talks to Brett McDonald on Ballarat Today – Radio 3BA

The next BREAZE Inc. talk on 3BA is on Friday 25 June at 10:15 AM. We hope that members will tune in to hear BREAZE Inc. Board member, Paul Duggan talk to Brett about Smart Living Ballarat, the local institution he has managed on behalf of BREAZE Inc. for many years.

BREAZE Inc. Social Solar 

Thanks to the Victorian Government’s Grampians Renewable Energy (GRE) program, a $1.1 million investment in renewables and local jobs across the region, the FY 2020-21 has probably been the best year yet for BREAZE Inc. Social Solar. All up BREAZE Inc volunteers led by GRE Project Coordinator, Peter Reid, have overseen the installation of 450kW on 104 roofs across the Grampians region.

The beneficiaries –not-for-profits – have included disability service providers, sporting facilities and social housing. One standout example in Ballarat has been the Charles Anderson Grove retirement village operated by the Old Colonists’ Association (OCA), one of the oldest philanthropic organisations in the country. By combining funding from DELWP via the GRE program, a Bank Australia Impact Grant, and subsidies from Solar Victoria, BREAZE Inc in collaboration with the OCA and DELWP administered the  installation of  2-3 kW systems across the entire village –  27 cottages and the community centre – approx. 80kW in total.

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Charles Anderson Grove – a village powered by solar.
L-R: Jo Barber, President OCA; Sam Sharkey, Bank Australia (Ballarat); Peter Reid BREAZE GRE Project Coordinator; Kathryn Campbell, DELWP | Regional Manager Community and Partnership Programs | Ballarat


Helping to decarbonise the economy one roof at time may seem slow but it’s a process that is also doing a lot to raise public awareness of the benefits of renewable energy. OCA President, Jo Barber reported that village residents had expressed pleasure in better understanding the implications of their energy needs after getting solar panels – as well as the cost benefits of course!


Please consider supporting the work of BREAZE Social Solar with a donation to One Dollar, One Watt  –-  All donations over $2 are tax deductible.


Board Meetings

If you have a passion for climate action and are interested in what we do please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in joining the Board or in just attending the July Board meeting, now held via Zoom, should email me – 

All the best


Mary Debrett
President, June 2021

This month we are chatting about becoming a locavore and going plastic free with Steve Burns from Ballarat Farmers Market and Wendy from the Ballarat Wholefoods Collective. We’ll talk about the other collectives local to Ballarat including Creswick and Buninyong. Plus, Wendy from the Ballarat Collective will show us how to make our own cleaning products using minimal, natural ingredients!
What is a locavore?

1. A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.
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.

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To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation.
This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

WED FACEBOOKThis year the global theme of World Environment Day (5 June), was ecosystem restoration. Taking up the BREAZE Inc.Competition challenge – 'What I can do to help the environment' – 68 grade 5/6 children from primary schools across greater Ballarat, submitted entries. A judging panel of three BREAZE members read and graded all the entries and arrived at the following list of winners, with special mention certificates and prizes allocated to six students whose work also shone.

While BREAZE Inc. very much regrets that the Competition awards ceremony had to be cancelled due to the COVID lockdown, we congratulate all those awarded who will be receiving their certificates and prizes – book vouchers – shortly via Australia Post.

Overall Competition Winner:    Jonty Clarke – Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School

School winning Entries
St Alipius Primary School : Grace Vermont
Forest St Primary School: Taian Smith
St Francis Xavier Primary School:  Milla O'Donohue
Canadian Lead Primary School: Mikaela Finley
Special Mentions
Harper Heniak - St Francis Xavier Primary School
Kate Hardcare - Forest St Primary School
Myah Esther Sabuya - Forest St Primary School
Ollie Seuren - Forest St Primary School
Samantha  Catherall - Forest St Primary School
Sienna Templar - St Alipius Primary School
Chance Burton - Canadian Lead Primary School
Stephanie Tatneau - Canadian Lead Primary School

Sustainable Home

BREAZE Inc. Board member, Therese Footner has put together a list of things householders can do to make their homes more energy efficient, cutting energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Steps to enhance the energy efficiency of your home:

1. Draft proofing your living area.

a. Check the fit of doors and windows within their frames – rectify gaps around the bottom of doors with weather seals and draft stoppers that are easy to fit.
b. Check for excessive and possibly outdated ventilation, especially in older homes.
c. Check for cracks between architraves and walls, skirting boards and walls as well as between floorboards – cracks between architraves or skirting boards and walls can be filled with a high-grade sealant.
d. Chimney places in older homes may need to be sealed safely.
e. It may be worth checking exhaust fans and replace them with ones that seal shut when turned off as they may be allowing a backdraft of external air to enter the house when they are not in use.

2. Check lighting and change to LEDs where possible.
3. Insulation can make a big difference to the effectiveness of heating your home.

If it is possible, check the type and amount of insulation in the ceiling space or walls of your home. If practical you may be able to install more insulation which should help to reduce heating bills.

4. If possible, upgrade windows to double glazed which will reduce heat loss and help maintain a more constant temperature.

For those preferring to do it themselves there are now a number of DIY double glazing kits available in hardware stores. A very cheap DIY fix is to use bubble wrap to cover windows as a temporary measure. Insulated blinds can also reduce heat loss if they are well fitted.

5. Buy energy efficient appliances:

These make a difference to the amount of energy used. Consider replacing your gas water heater with an electric heat pump or solar hot water system. The Victorian state government has launched a program that offers rebates on upgrading certain appliances to improve efficiency. Solar Victoria currently offers rebates to upgrade to a reverse cycle split system.

6. Government assistance:

The federal and Victorian state government department websites offer information and sometimes incentives to reduce the energy you require to run your home.
• For example, you can ask for an assessment of the energy performance of your home, based on the Victorian Residential Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
• The CSIRO also offers information on its website.
• Beyond Zero Emissions offers up to date publications that can help with transitioning to a more efficient and comfortable home.

7. When renovating:

Consider capturing more sunlight along the north side of the house to increase light and warmth, a good long-term investment.

Energy used to heat homes, particularly gas, is a significant contributor to greenhouse emissions. By making your home energy efficient you will save on energy bills and also reduce emissions. If you have gas heating and reverse cycle air conditioning, do consider closing doors and using the reverse cycle air con to heat living rooms instead of gas, whenever you can.

Resources with information on improving energy efficiency in the home

Beyond Zero Emissions 2015, The energy -freedom home. Scribe, Brunswick.
Wright, J Osman, P & Ashworth, P 2009, The CSIRO home energy saving handbook. Macmillan, Sydney.
Institute of Sustainable Futures 2013, Your home 5th Ed. Dept. of Environment and Energy, Canberra.

Websites Cranney, K & Wright, A, Our top tips on renovating or retrofitting for energy-efficiency, 27/11/20
Energy Efficient Homes can help save dollars and the environment – by Rochelle Kirkham



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On 21 November 2018, the Ballarat City Council passed a Notice of Motion from Councillor Belinda Coates acknowledging the climate emergency

On 3 April 2019 Ballarat City Council endorsed the Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan with a goal of net-zero emissions for council by 2025

On 24 March 2021 City of Ballarat Council unanimously endorsed an aspirational community-wide target of Net Zero emissions by 2030. 

These are outstanding goals but now the community needs to get on board and support and encourage and help deliver these breakthroughs. 






On 3 May the Victorian State Government finally announced its Emissions Reductions Target: 45-50% cuts on 2005 levels by 2030.

The target is actually lower than that recommended in 2019 by the Independent Expert Panel established under Victoria’s Climate Change Act and headed by Greg Combet, to advise the government on target setting. An article in The Conversation, “A great start, but still not enough: why Victoria’s new climate target isn’t as ambitious as it sounds,” elaborates on this fundamental shortcoming: 

The panel recommended targets of 32–39% by 2025 and 45–60% by 2030 as Victoria’s “fair share” contribution to limiting warming to well below 2℃ in accordance with Paris Agreement goals. And it acknowledged these recommended ranges still wouldn’t be enough to keep warming to 1.5℃, in the context of global efforts.

Speaking at a University of Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute webinar on the evening of the announcement, Greg Combet noted that a more ambitious target would have required federal government action. One audience question by Melbourne Uni’s Associate Professor Peter Christoff, highlighted the modest level of ambition:

In 2021 Victoria’s emissions are already between -25 and -27 percent below 2005 levels.  If we add the already announced closure, by 2028, of Yallourn W – which produces some 13.5% of the State’s emissions – we will have reduced emissions by around 40% by 2028.  Is there only a further 5% to 10% - a half a percent to one percent per annum – to be cut from all other sectors in this decade, through to 2030?  Why not more from other sectors?

In answering, the Minister referenced the importance of investor certainty and that ‘if we can achieve more we will.’ Elaborating on this, Combet noted that there is a legislated process in train to monitor 2025-2030 targets on a sector by sector basis, to identify where reductions can be accelerated. 

While setting a lower target than is required is obviously extremely disappointing, opting it seems for a pragmatic approach in the interests of keeping business on side, Victoria’s stance is nonetheless considerably more ambitious than that of the federal government and currently leads the nation in driving climate action. One hope expressed at the MSSI webinar was for collaboration between the states, which all have Zero 2050 targets, to accelerate national action.

Importantly, the Victorian target is also accompanied by spending commitments to decarbonise the economy: $100 million towards reducing transport emissions; $20 million on making farming more sustainable; $15.3 million for the Victorian Carbon Farming Program; and the rather exciting promise that: ‘Government operations, from schools and hospitals to police stations and metro trains, will also be powered with 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 – an Australian first.’

Tragically, the 2021 Federal Budget has failed to back renewables. There will be no green recovery. Expressing the exasperation of many, Renew Economy's Ketan Joshi observed:

Climate change is no longer an ‘issue’. It is everything: it soaks into every single compartmentalised subject matter in society. It drives the worsening of pre-existing problems – and climate solutions can drive the curing of those problems, too. A massive, budget-driven project to commence a rapid, immediate decarbonisation of Australia could be transformative.

In view of the 2021 federal budget failure, and comparing the Victorian ERT to Ballarat’s recent Net Zero 2030 target it seems it will be we, at the local level, left to drive radical action – but you probably already knew that! 

With that in mind we ask BREAZE members and friends to please consider making a submission on the CoB’s Draft Budget for 2021-22, which is currently open for feedback on the MySay Ballarat site. Do read the Draft Budget document before you make your submission. BREAZE Inc would like to see funds allocated for developing a Plan to promote and implement the Net Zero 2030 community-wide target. 

Read more: President's Report May 2021

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In case you hadn't heard, Ballarat Action Climate Co-op is organising a school strike –  coming up in less than two weeks in Ballarat – on May 21 at 12 PM Victoria Park. Strike organisers are seeking older strikers prepared to volunteer to help out as Marshals (they need about 100).  

Any  BREAZE members or friends who are interested in volunteering to be a Marshall can find more information on the Climate Strike Facebook site.

To volunteer as a Marshall please sign up on the form on this link:



              • Masks will be encouraged on the day and we’ll be getting people to physically distance as best we can.
          • We’ll have a marshal briefing sometime in the next week to go over covid safety, so if people fill out that form we’ll be able to get in touch with them in regards to the time and place of that meeting.