2023   BGD 18 May 2 2

This month Ballarat Green Drinks is delighted to present An Owner's Review of the BYD Atto 3 by Gavin Cerini on Thursday 18 May 6:30-8pm
This year Drive.com.au dubbed the BYD Atto 3 the best value EV under $70,000. It is one of the lowest cost EVs on the Australian market so definitely of much interest at present as those of us with ICE vehicles ponder the possibilities of going electric.
Gavin will be giving a comprehensive review and those who attend the talk will also be able to check out the Atto 3 in the carpark.  Gavin's talk is going to cover all the technical stuff that car enthusiasts rejoice in along with a more generalised overview of the Atto 3's pros and cons based on his five months of ownership. 
Gavin says he has no regrets so expect an enthusiastic review.
Please book to secure your place at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South, 6:30-8pm on Thursday 18 May.

CoB 2023/24 Draft Budget

This month the Draft Budget for 23/24 was submitted to Council. The City of Ballarat (CoB) is currently seeking community feedback via MySay Ballarat  on the Ballarat Draft 2023/24 Budget until 5 pm 19 May. BREAZE Inc. believes much more funding needs to be allocated to the Climate Action Program, particularly the Ballarat community-wide 2030 Net Zero Plan- BZE 2030. With less than 7 years left we need to see ambitious action now. We urge you to check out the Draft 2023/24 Budget on MySay Ballarat and complete the survey and make a submission if you can. Make your voice heard. Anyone wanting to cite the urgency for acting on climate change might like to reference this article in The GuardianWorld on the brink of five 'disastrous' climate tipping points - published in September 2022. Since then of course the IPCC's Synthesis Report was released in March this year - there's a good summary of it in this ABC article: IPCC climate scientists issue 'a survival guide for humanity', warning window closing to reduce emissions, by Michael Slezack and Loretta Florance.

If you make an online submission via the MySay Ballarat site you are also eligible to make an oral presentation to Council at an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday 7 June at 6:30pm. 

A quick search online will reveal that many Councils are running Home Electrification Programs, something we believe should also be offered in Ballarat.


The BZE Plan has 50 Actions detailed at the end of the document and while many of these are to implemented by different community sectors, there is also a need for Council leadership here.

As noted in the April President's Report, BREAZE Inc. is part of the BZE Alliance, along with a number of other sustainability and climate action groups keen to work with Council to implement some of the Actions in the Plan. You can read the Plan here

The BZE Alliance is keen to work with Council and other sectors of the community in driving down emissions and is hoping to see more funding allocated to climate action when the final 2023/24 budget is presented to Council in June.

Heat Pump Bulk Buy - CLOSED

The Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy has now closed. If you missed out do not despair. The Victorian Energy Upgrade program offers some rebates that should be checked out. 

EV Bulk Buy Event 6 May

Thanks to great planning by BREAZE Inc. Vice President, Campbell Mercer and a great team of volunteers, the Saturday 6 May EV event organised by BREAZE Inc. at the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre drew over 100 regional residents keen to learn about EVs and take them for test drives. The event was a collaboration with Hepburn Energy and the Good Car Co . If you missed out you can still book a test drive in a Nissan Leaf in  Ballarat via the Good Car Co website  PLEASE NOTE: the booking schedule is due to be upgraded by 13 May. 


The public forum for residents interested in building more thermally efficient homes, Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes was held at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute (BMI) on Sunday April 3, from 1-3pm. The keynote speaker was Jeremy Spencer – Director at design & build company Positive Footprints, founding member of Builders Declare, and current member of  the Design Matters Board, the Sustainability Hub, and the NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group. The Forum was booked out with over 120 attending the event in the BMI's Minerva Room. A recording of the event can be found here

For more information about the Forum read the article on the BREAZE website. Great work again by BREAZE Inc. volunteers, Sue Broadway, Pat Hockey, Lydia Mzondo, and Sue Nunn and special thanks to BREAZE Inc. Board member, Sally Missing, the Coordinator of the Building Better Homes for the Future Forums. Another forum is due to be held in coming months. Follow BREAZE Inc. on facebook for updates.

May 18: Ballarat Green Drinks - Gavin Cerini - An Owner's Review of the BYD Atto 3.
6:30-8:00pm, Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St, South, Ballarat - Join us for drinks/dinner and great talks and conversation.

This month we have Gavin Cerini giving an owner's review of the BYD Atto 3. Gavin took delivery of his Atto 3 a few month ago and has no regrets he says, but is happy to share the pros and cons. This year Drive.com.au dubbed the Atto 3 the best value car under $70,000. Those attending Gavin's presentation will also be able to check out the Atto 3 in the carpark.

Free book via Trybooking: https://www.trybooking.com/CEXYC

Volunteer Tree Planting Anyone? Sunday 14 May 2-4, 360 Dobson's Lane Burrumbeet.

Last month's Ballarat Green Drinks speaker, farmer and conservationist, Susan Moodie will be holding a community tree planting session on her land in Burrumbeet and anyone interested is invited to attend. The address is 360 Dobson's Lane, Burrumbeet. Susan says those coming should bring a shovel, sensible footwear and gloves. Volunteers will be rewarded by afternoon tea prepared by Susan. Over many years, Susan has developed wildlife corridors around her property at Burrumbeet, creating habitat for birds and other wildlife. Please email Susan if you are going and include your mobile: <>

May 24: Smart Living Ballarat - 12:30-1:30 pm

On Wednesday May 24 Ellen Burns, host of Smart LIving Ballarat (SLB) will again be sharing her tops tips on beating the Ballarat cold. 'Free ways to stay warm!' was a hit last year so we thought we'd run it again. It's no less cold this year we believe. 

This session will be available to attend in person, with venue yet to be confirmed - please check the SLB Facebook page for details - and will also be livestreamed. Check out the  Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page for our monthly talks.  The recording of the talk will be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share.


With our focus strongly on the Actions detailed in the Ballarat community wide net zero 2030 Plan, the Board will be endeavouring to align as many of our activities as we can with those Actions - helping with and promoting, the electrification of everything, endeavouring to work with Council in assisting locals to access the assistance they need to make this necessary transition. We know electrification, along with home energy efficiency retrofitting, will help to reduce energy bills as well as reduce emissions.

BREAZE Inc. Board meetings are held on the third Monday of the month and alternate between Zoom and face to face meetings over dinner at the Royal Mail Hotel in Sebastopol. If you are a paid up member of BREAZE Inc. you are welcome to join us. Please email and I will forward you link/details. 

All the best


Dr Mary Debrett
President, May 2023                                                  


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: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85286948506

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 trybooking.com/CEXYC






 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: https://www.trybooking.com/CEXYC
  • 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: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86454231414  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.