President's View September 2018

September has been a month in which renewable energy, climate change, energy costs, and impacts of extreme weather events has dominated our news bulletins despite the background noise of political leadership challenges, corruption scandals and the great Australian obsession with sport.
A number of surveys conducted over the last 12 months reveal that the majority of Victorians want stronger action on climate change, want more investment in renewable energy and do not want to see new coal mines approved.

Ian Stop AdaniThis sentiment has encouraged our State Government to continue to commit to the legislated Victorian Renewable Energy Targets. We have heard in recent weeks of subsidies for rooftop solar electric and hot water installations, announcement of six contracts for the supply of large scale solar and wind generated electricity and electoral pledges for subsidies for home battery installations and interest free loans for rooftop solar.

Unfortunately despite the best intentions, there are communities that are concerned about the scale and proximity of some of these new developments and there are many dissenters who for ideological reasons or vested interests are eager to undermine these opportunities. They are trying to continue a 19th century approach to mining fossil fuels and supplying energy from centralised sources, while demonstrating their objective is to maximise profits to shareholders. A 21st Century approach is to break dependence on finite energy resources and establish regional and neighbourhood energy distribution networks.

With the impending move towards electric cars, bikes and scooters and battery systems, we have the opportunity to generate and share our electricity, lower carbon and particulate matter emissions and stop the leakage of money out of the region currently paid for electricity, gas and fuels. At the same time the infrastructure required to make this change provides opportunities for employment in manufacture, installation and maintenance in our region. It’s time for us to demand of our elected governments this path which the majority of the community I believe supports.

What will you do to help make this happen?

Having been a BREAZE Board member since the 2013 annual general meeting (AGM) and Chair of the Board (President) since the 2014 AGM, it is time for someone else to take the leadership role at the 2018 AGM in November. I will happily renominate for a position on the Board and support whoever is elected and would encourage anyone interested in joining the board to contact me. ( or 0467 220 442)

I would like to thank the many BREAZE members who have assisted with Sustainable House Day (Sunday 16 September) in organisation, volunteering and opening their homes.

Ian Rossiter 13/9/18