Screen Shot 2023 05 04 at 11.51.30 amMySay Ballarat is currently seeking feedback on the  Ballarat Draft 2023/24 Budget until 5 pm 19 May. We think much more funding needs to be allocated to the Ballarat community-wide 2030 Net Zero Plan- BZE 2030 - there's less than 7 years left. Check out the Draft 2023/24 Budget on MySay Ballarat. Make your voice heard.

The Ballarat Zero Emissions Plan, passed on 26 October 2022, commits to a community wide net zero emissions target by 2030. The Plan was written in consultation with local stakeholders from industry, commerce and community groups from across the city. It details 50 Actions under five key outcomes:

1. Net Zero Business
2. Net Zero Homes 
3. Net Zero New Developments
4. Net Zero Transport
5. Net Zero Waste

We think the City of Ballarat's Climate Action Program is very good and congratulate Council on endorsing such progressive policies. However, we fear these policies are in the end only as good as the resources allocated to them.

The summary of Environmental Sustainable Initiatives on page 8 of the Draft 2023/24 Budget indicates that $210,000 has been allocated for the Climate Action Program - which includes both the Council's own corporate Carbon Neutrality 100% Renewables Action Plan (with a target of net zero by 2025), AND the community-wide Ballarat Zero Emissions net zero by 2030 Plan. Make no mistake, this is more than some Councils. But it is also a long way short of what we need to meet this target.

We are asking all our BREAZE friends and associates to let Council staff and your ward councillors know what you think about the budget. What do you think should be Council's top priorities in achieving its own self declared number one goal in the four year Council Plan 2021-25: An Environmentally Sustainable Future? (see page 19)

What are the Actions that you would like to see funded? How much do you think the 2023/24 Budget should have allocate to the Plan? Which Actions in the BZE Plan do you think are important?

Australians have had a rough few years now from climate change with numerous extreme weather events - first the Black Summer bushfires and then the floods and now with the shift back to El Nino more dry weather to come - all much more extreme than we have been used to in the past.

We know broadly what we must do, but the community needs leadership and assistance. Let's help Council get this right. The deadline for the MySay public feedback is 5pm 19 May. If you make a submission you are also entitled to appear in person at an unscheduled Council meeting on 7 June 6:30 pm, to talk to councillors about your submission. We think this is a very good opportunity to have a robust and honest discussion about the challenges facing our community as a result of climate change. We thank Council for the opportunity to have input. 

There is also an online information session at which you can meet with Council staff and ask questions about the budget on 9 May 5-6pm. To register email 






2023 SLB  BTL
Introducing the Ballarat Tool Library! Smart Living Ballarat has featured the Ballarat Tool Library before in the "Meet Your Local Eco Groups" session but they have been busy little beavers over the last year or two and have lots of news to catch us up on! Recently BTL moved into a beautiful new space, right across the hall from their previous home in Barkly Square – there will be a full tour of during the session.
We'll also get to check out the range of tools and equipment they have available for hire - everything from pressure washers to food dehydrators!

BTL volunteers have started running their own series of practical skills workshops as well, thanks to a grant from Ballarat Foundation. 
Past sessions include Home Plastering, Introduction to Welding and Home Plumbing and we'll be chatting about what might be coming up next!

Log on to the session online here:

This SLB session will also be streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. The recording will then be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share. 

Smart Living Ballarat is a series of free monthly workshops, put on in collaboration between BREAZE and the City of Ballarat.

Join host Ellen Burns on the 4th Wednesday of every month to learn new skills for living smarter! 




A tougher safeguard mechanism - CANA

Over the last two months BREAZE Inc has taken part in two national campaigns, adding our local voice to those of other communities across Australia to lend weight to the work of national agencies with paid staff, able to reach mainstream media. Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) began its campaign for a tougher Safeguard Mechanism with the 'Dirty Dozen' letter writing campaign asking our 12 biggest fossil fuel companies (responsible for 40% of emissions covered by the Safeguard Mechanism) to pull their weight on climate and accept a strengthened Climate Safeguard Mechanism. Following their non-response the campaign switched to lobbying MPs. 

For all Australians, but especially those who participated in CANA's campaign to secure a tougher Safeguard Mechanism, it was great to see the cap put on emissions from new fossil fuel plants. Even though the goal of banning new fossil fuel power projects – endorsed by the Climate Council, by climate scientists around the world and by the International Energy Agency  –  was not to succeed there is hope that the cap will prove a big enough financial disincentive to effectively end any such new developments. Find out more about it in this article by Paul Karp in The Guardian 27 March 2023

Read more: President's April Report

2023 BGD Susan MoodieApril Ballarat Green Drinks featured local Burrumbeet farmer and conservationist, Susan Moodie, a dedicated environmentalist who has planted thousands of trees in wildlife corridors around her property over the last several decades.

Susan, who grew up on the farm she now works has evolved and refined her farming practices as her knowledge and awareness of what is happening to the wider environment has grown.

In her own words:

"The initiation of Connected Sanctuaries in 2023 comes with the knowledge that human life requires a transformation not just of policy, but the ideas- beliefs and assumptions that are destroying the environmental fabric upon which all life depends.  Those involved have diverse backgrounds and skill sets, but collectively are committed to restoring the fabric of environmental life and in doing so, our own lives. Thank you for the opportunity to share our vision with the wider community."

Having grown up at Burrumbeet on a farm, much of her attitude to life has been shaped by the rural landscape, in particular its restoration and enhancement, Her early experience also prompted the particular disciplines she pursued: agriculture, Landcare through forestry, organic market gardening, permaculture, multidisciplinary research and policy development and teaching through the use of truly egalitarian processes (USA, Malawi, Afghanistan). The deeper knowledge gained  led to learning and work in yoga, particularly acknowledging conflict, and its transformation has been a feature of her life through the past 3 decades.

Join us for drinks/dinner on 20 April 6:30-8pm at Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South.

Free book via






 In November 2022 BREAZE Inc. received a grant via the Victorian Government's New Energy Jobs Fund Round 6 (NEJF6) to install 58kW of solar PV across 5 properties owned and operated by Woodbine Inc., a disability provider in Warracknabeal. This is the third grant BREAZE Inc. has received through the New Energy Jobs Fund, which has been running for 6 years. The 5 properties include three accommodation blocks (one in Echuca), an office and workshop.

Vany Gunaratnam, BREAZE Inc Project Manager,  estimates that the solar panels will save Woodbine approximately 30% of its energy costs, funds which will be freed up for its core business, helping people with disabilities and their families. 

Read more: BREAZE Social Solar: Warracknabeal Project

MD 2023
BREAZE Inc. at Buninyong Smart Living Expo - Sunday 26 February2023 Expo 1

The BREAZE Inc. stall at the Buninyong Smart Living Expo on February 26 at Buninyong Royal Park offered a great opportunity for us to talk about what BREAZE is doing and pass on information about some of our current initiatives.

There has been considerable interest in the Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy which we are partnering in with Hepburn Energy and T2Zero.

And much interest too in the EV Bulk Buy - another partnership with Hepburn Energy via the Good Car Co.  BREAZE Inc. will be holding a Show and Shine Day on 6 May to2023 Expo 2 expand locals' options for more affordable EVs and offer bookable test drives. Watch our social media  for more information

If you are interested in the Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy you can complete the “Ready for a quote” online form:  

You should also attend the webinar for more information on this Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy. The first webinar is on Thursday 16 March. If you miss it, there's a second webinar scheduled for Monday 3 April 6:15-7:15 pm Webinar registration:  

The Climate Safeguard Mechanism

Four BREAZE Inc. Board members met with the Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, to express concerns that proposed changes to the Safeguard Mechanism - a bill currently being debated in parliament - do not go far enough, still permitting the top 200+ industrial emitters covered by the policy, to offset their emissions 100% and still permitting international offsets. We detailed specific requests in line with formal submissions made by the Climate Council and t2023   Catherine King Meetinghe Environmental Defenders Office, regarding no new coal and gas and international offsets. We presented Catherine King with a copy of the 2022 BREAZE Annual Report and The Big Switch, by Saul Griffiths, who is the founder of the Rewiring Australia not for profit oranisation. You can read our letter, summarising our concerns, and thanking Catherine King for meeting with us, here

BREAZE Inc undertook this meeting as part of the #SafeguardOurClimate campaign organised by CAN Australia, who also organised the Dirty Dozen campaign and a social media Day of Action on 10 March.

As noted previously, while signing petitions and meeting with/writing to MPs might not seem very radical, if thousands of ordinary citizens like us do show our concern, it will eventually become hard to ignore us. 

Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes

The BREAZE Inc subcommittee behind the Building Better Homes for the Future industry forum in October 2022 has two more forums planned for 2023, which will be open to the public. You can book now for the first of these, Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes presented by Jeremy Spencer at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute on April 3, 1-3pm. 

Free events coming up this month
  • March 16: Ballarat Green Drinks 6:30-8:00pm -  'Taking back the power' - Peter Reid, Treasurer of CoPower.  Hear about how CoPower redistributes its profits to the community. Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St, South, Ballarat - Free book via Trybooking:
  • March 22: Smart Living Ballarat 12:30-1:30 pm - Local architect, Talina Edwards talking about her award-winning "Owl Woods Passive House" in conversation with SLB Host, Ellen Burns.    The Owl Woods house, completed in Trentham in 2019, has been described as an exquisite example of sustainable home design. Owl Woods proves it is possible for a home to be comfortable, sustainable, functional, flexible, healthy and beautiful.  Join live to get inspired and take part in the Q+A with Talina. This session will be held ONLINE only, via Zoom:  It will also be streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. The recording will then be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share.
BREAZE In. Board Meetings

The BREAZE Inc. Board meets every third Monday of the month from 5:30-7pm. In 2023 the Board has agreed to alternate meetings via Zoom and face-to-face. Our next meeting on 20 March will be held at the Royal Mail Hotel, 290 Albert St, Sebastopol. If you are a member and would like to attend, please email me at  at least one day beforehand.

All the best


Dr Mary Debrett
President BREAZE Inc.

House for ESD

Presented by Jeremy Spencer

Power bills are going up and 7 star ratings for new homes are coming

How to build a better home that is cheaper to run, comfortable and more thermally efficient.

This free forum presented by Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints walked us through what the big ticket items are and illustrate the benefits and costs of building a carbon neutral home.

Jeremy says: I do think that it's important to explain the 7 star rating and whole of house approach given its release in Vic later in the year. I'll outline how to achieve a great outcome cost effectively. My focus as always is on practical achievable outcomes.

Presented by Jeremy Spencer Director of Positive Footprints and founding member of Builders Declare.

JeremyAbout Jeremy

For almost 20 years Jeremy has been a Registered Builder, Thermal Assessor and Director at design & build company Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints have won multiple awards for sustainability and worked to show that energy efficient sustainable design and high-performance construction is a cost-effective option and can be a mainstream reality. An educator and former GreenLiving lecturer in an earlier life, Jeremy is founding member of Builders Declare, and currently sits on the Design Matters Board, the Sustainability Hub, and the NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group.

EV Bulk Buy

Expanding the options and making EVs more affordable - BREAZE Inc. has been invited by Hepburn Energy (formerly Hepburn Wind) to be a community partner in their EV Bulk Buy with the Good Car Company - the second regional Community EV Bulk Buy for Hepburn Shire and the broader region of Central Victoria!  If you want to test drive an EV register an expression of interest on the link below.

Visit Https:// to find out more.

The Good Car Company, which imports 2nd hand EVs  from Japan (along with New Teslas and Polestars via Novated lease options) will be launching their EV Bulk Buy at the Malmsbury EV Expo on Saturday 15 April.

Read more: EV Bulk Buy Ballarat Event 6 May - expanding EV options

The year of the Rabbit 2023, means another year less to reach that much vaunted target of 'net' zero emissions. MDIn October 2022, the City of Ballarat endorsed a Plan to drive implementation of its community-wide Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB) 2030 target. With only 7 years left to get GHG emissions reductions on the right trajectory to avoid runaway climate change, we need the support of all BREAZE members & friends in 2023, to drive the BREAZE agenda to cut emissions in our region:

•  Support the ZEB Plan which will be launched in early 2023
•  Work with the City of Ballarat to help to promote the Plan
•  Work with the City of Ballarat to assist in implementing the Plan whenever possible
•  Network with other climate action and environmental groups in raising awareness about the Plan via community engagement across greater Ballarat.
If you're willing to get involved in helping to drive the ZEB 2030 Plan, please let us know. 


BREAZE Inc. at Buninyong Smart Living Expo - Sunday 26 February

BREAZE Inc. will have a stall at the Buninyong Smart Living Expo on February 26 at Buninyong Royal Park - 10am-3:30pm. Please drop by for a chat and find out more about what you can do to help drive the ZEB target.

Membership Drive

As you may know, BREAZE membership plays a key role in covering the operating costs of BREAZE Inc. – public liability insurance (that covers our various programs and the affiliated groups who contribute so much to building a sustainable community: Ballarat Repair Cafe, Buninyong Boomerang Bags and Ballarat Tool Library), plus other administrative, software and auditing costs. If you support what BREAZE does but haven't yet officially signed up you can do this:

The Dirty Dozen Campaign and the Climate Safeguard Mechanism

Despite devasting extreme weather events that have raged across the globe in the past few years, much of society appears to remain in business-as-usual mode.  As evidenced by flooding, bushfires and record temperature extremes – confirming decades of warnings from climate scientists – climate change calls for considerably greater ambition. This is not a time to be 'relaxed and comfortable' - John Howard's once stated aspirations for the nation. Please join us in being 'concerned and engaged' – in driving changes for a safe environment. We need to make the Dirty Dozen big polluters pay.

We hope this is an issue you are interested in supporting – the push for a tougher Climate Safeguard Mechanism – an important policy lever which is currently under review. What 'net' means and how legal 'offsets' are defined are also part of this issue. To find out more: 

Signing petitions and writing to MPs might not seem very radical but if thousands of ordinary citizens like us do show our concern, it will eventually become hard to ignore us. 

BREAZE Social Solar

In 2023 BREAZE Inc. will be project managing the Woodbine Solar Project, installing 58 kW of rooftop solar across five properties owned by Woodbine Inc., a disability services provider in Warracknabeal. This project is jointly funded by BREAZE Inc., Woodbine Inc. and a grant from the Victorian government's New Energy Jobs Fund Round 6, now administered by the newly named Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) - DELWP is no more!

Free events coming up this month

  • February 16: Ballarat Green Drinks- 6:30-8:00pm, Bunch of Grapes Hotel - Solar Citizens e-Ute Roadshow and talk on Fuel Efficiency standards and clean transport options - book via Trybooking:
  • February 22: Smart Living Ballarat- 12:30-1:30 pm Barkly Square - Democratising Community Energywith Renewable Newstead's Don Culvenor - It will also be live streamed at
  • February 26: Buninyong Smart Living Expo- 10:00am-3:30pm Royal Park Buninyong -

The BREAZE Inc. Board meets every third Monday of the month from 5:30-7:00pm - sometimes via Zoom and sometimes face-to-face. If you are a member and would like to attend, please email me at //">

All the best,


Dr Mary Debrett
President, December 2022