In reflecting over the Festive Season break on the challenges facing our society, environment and economy, it is apparent that there is a critical role for BREAZE to play in 2018 to provide our region’s resident’s businesses and community groups to build resilience in the face of a changing climate, changing economic landscape and changing social interactions.Ian Rossiter

The recent spate of extreme weather globally and 2017 climate data confirming the trend of the atmosphere and sea warming reinforces our need to galvanise our community to act on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

As reported in The Age last week “The Federal Environment and Energy Minister waited until just before Christmas to release the latest national greenhouse gas emissions figures and review of climate policies. Buried in the back of the emissions report was a table revealing the nation’s carbon pollution has risen in each of the past 5 years.

What will confuse many is that Australia will probably meet its pledge to cut emissions by 5 percent by 2020 even though pollution is rising. Thank the special treatment Australia got during the Kyoto protocol period. We were permitted to increase emissions by 8 percent during the 2008-2012 period even as other rich nations agreed to cuts.

As actual emissions fell 128 millions short of that bloated goal, Australia generated a “surplus” it is now using to count towards the 2020 goal.

Five nations, including Germany and Britain, cancelled similar surpluses. A rising pollution trajectory, though, will eventually catch up with Australia. As part of the 2015 Paris climate deal, the Turnbull government pledged to slice 2005 levels emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2030 and the surplus will long be used up by then.

BREAZE therefore needs to work collaboratively with local and state government to encourage residents and businesses achieve the renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that these levels of government have set.

We therefore will focus our efforts in 2018 in delivering community renewable energy projects, providing the “how to” knowledge to residents through the Smart Living Ballarat workshops, providing advocacy to all levels of government to implement emission reduction targets that can reverse the current trends, and encouraging our members to participate in social media, letter writing and rallies that call for safe climate action.

Our BREAZE Board is wanting to survey members and readers of our newsletter to determine where our members and supporters think we should prioritise our time and resources. Please take the time to complete the survey monkey via the link in the newsletter this month. The Board will conduct a strategic planning workshop next month using the data received.

The next Produce swap at the Ballarat Community Gardens:

Next Produce Swap - April, Saturday 7th

May, Saturday 5th

June, Saturday 2nd

July, Saturday 7th

August, Saturday 4th

September, Saturday 1st

October, Saturday 6th

November, Saturday 3rd

December, Saturday 1st

January, Saturday 5th

February, Saturday 2nd


Next Market Date - Sat 24th Mar

Market Date for the next 12 months

Sustainable House Week!2017 09 17 Sus house day Poster


Sustainable House Week was a huge success for BREAZE.    After two "sell out" presentations at Lucas and the Ballarat library we had a massive turnout at all the houses that were open on Sustainable House Day.   We are still awaiting official figures but volunteer feedback was that we would have averaged well over 100 visitors at each house.

Thank you to the presenters, those who opened their houses, and all the volunteers that made this week another successful Sustainable House Day for the Ballarat Region.

Ian Rossiter

July has been an exciting time for BREAZE. Domestic solar feed in tariffs rose in Victoria on 1 July from 5 to 11.3 cents per kW hour following the Essential Services Commission review that considers the environmental cost benefit and rises in the wholesale electricity price.  Gas consumers have been dealt significant price rises as we now try to compete with export markets. This coupled with the lack of action taken by the Federal Government on the Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Finkel’s Report (Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market) has created the perfect storm for unprecedented interest in renewable energy.  Consumer sentiment is that we can’t wait for our Federal politicians to fluff around until 2020 to enact any reforms and that individuals, companies and local communities will find ways to invest in renewable energy with localised storage capacity in order to avoid black outs and the predicted continued cost increases of the centralised systems.

The Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Target of 40% of the state’s energy production coming from renewable sources by 2025 is reliant on a proposed reverse auction process to procure wholesale electricity supplies, establishment of battery storages and investment in community energy initiatives. Given that the majority of the wind farms approved for construction are in Western Victoria, Our region has an opportunity to attract investment. The consortia making proposals to invest and supply renewable energy, will be required as part of the procurement process to identify economic prosperity projects that will be provided as part of their bids. These projects need to deliver regional social and economic benefits.   BREAZE Is collaborating with the Committee for Ballarat to identify a range of projects that can be presented to potential bidders for consideration.

It is pleasing to see the growth in publicity, interest and attendances at our Smart Living Ballarat workshops held at the Ballarat Central Library at lunchtimes on the third Wednesday of each month. This month has set a new bar with Simon Reid’s presentation on Getting the Most Out of Solar attracting 120 people.

The Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosia this week announced BREAZE had been funded to deliver the Ballarat Community Power Hub project. This is a big achievement with two years funding for BREAZE to coordinate the development of community renewable energy projects in our region.

We are expecting the outcome of BREAZE’s application for the Victorian New Energy Jobs program shortly.   We have sought a grant to finalise the business case for collection and processing of sawdust into briquettes as a means of storing and distributing bioenergy for heating and cooling applications in our region.

With the Ballarat Farmers Market still attracting new stallholders, entertainers, customers and arrangements being put into place for Sustainable House Day in August, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to assist through a range of voluntary roles. If you want more information please contact our Vice President Tarn Kruger ()

Political advocacy remains important at a time when there are governments and companies still supporting proposals for new coal, gas and oil mining on the basis it will provide jobs and investment in regional Australia. Like the tobacco and asbestos industries, the proponents are not afraid to spend huge sums of money to influence us that continued investment is justified. Please take the time to see how your voice can give our politicians, banks and superannuation funds the comfort of knowing fair minded Australians don’t believe the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry and that our prosperity is dependent on transition to clean energy sources. (search the following websites No Adani, Greenpeace, Market Forces, to join letter writing campaigns, rallies and other actions)

Ian Rossiter 21/7/17

WelcomSLC-Solar-install2e to the first Smart Living Ballarat blog!

Hmmm… what is that you say? Well, the idea for Smart Living Ballarat emerged about 3 years ago as a result of many people thinking about how to best support our community to enjoy a high quality of life without having a high impact on our environment. Coordinated by the Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat, and auspiced by BREAZE the Smart Living Centre came to life when it received funding from the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund, managed by Sustainability Victoria.

Read more: Smart Living Ballarat

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The BREAZE Team.

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