President's Report July 2020

MDActivities

Smart Living Ballarat talks continue online during the pandemic. Do check out the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook site for details. https://www.facebook.com/smartlivingballarat/ And please try to register ahead so presenters know who they are talking to. If you haven’t ever attended one of these talks the online platform makes it pretty easy—and it’s an opportunity to learn and pick up practical tips from local experts. May’s talk, Sustainability in the Time of Covid, was presented by Steve Burns from Ballarat Permaculture, June had BREAZE treasurer Peter Reid talking on energy efficiency in the home, while in July, ‘Bottom Up Economics’ featured Daylesford’s Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman talking about all things earthy from compost toilets to food forests. All SLB talks remain available on the Facebook site above – just click on the ‘videos’ link on the left.

This month BREAZE volunteers began implementing the 9 projects funded by the State government jobs stimulus funding—the Grampians Renewable Energy Program that was announced on the 20th of May. As a result of that injection of funds—$1.1 million in total—projects that were ready to go thanks to the great work of the BREAZE-hosted Community Power Hub and its Project Control Group—Peter Reid, Jane Lean, Ian Rossiter, and Ross Irving—will be happening soon with all to be completed by the end of the financial year. All in all the projects — McCallum Disability Services, Ballarat Regional Industries, Ballarat Cemetery Trust, Ballarat Table Tennis Association, Ballarat Squash and Racquetball Club, the Old Colonists’Association Retirement Village, Child and Family Services, Uniting Care Ballarat and the East Grampians Health Services — are likely to amount to more than 850kW of Solar PV. That’s a great bonus for the community and the environment.

Also on behalf of BREAZE, thanks are due to Bank Australia for awarding an Impact grant to our social solar project at the Old Colonists' Association's Retirement Village, which means that we will be able to install solar on the community centre and several dwellings.

Action Groups

For any members who are interested in volunteering with BREAZE, do keep an eye out for up-coming notifications regarding our four Action Groups – Advocacy, Sustainable Living, Community Forum and Social Solar. While the pandemic does frustrate a lot of activities that we would normally be engaged in, email and online meet-ups offer some scope for continued activity. Notice of online meet-ups will be given on BREAZE facebook and our website. You can also find the contacts for each of these action groups listed on our website. Do get in touch if you have any questions. As has often been said: the COVID curve is not the only curve we need to flatten — we cannot allow politicians to forget that we also have a climate emergency.

Submissions

This month BREAZE has made submissions to:

Climate News

As usual there’s been plenty of good and bad climate news in the media this month. Here’s my take on the three worst and three best

Three worst
  1. 'Intense Arctic Wildfires Set a Pollution Record' https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/climate/climate-change-arctic-fires.html
  2. 'Climate worst-case scenarios may not go far enough, cloud data shows' https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/13/climate-worst-case-scenarios-clouds-scientists-global-heating 
  3. 'Australian banks 'undermining Paris agreement' with $7bn in fossil fuel loans'- https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/08/australian-banks-undermining-paris-agreement-with-7bn-in-fossil-fuel-loans?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

 

Three best
  1. 'Top super fund dumps fossil fuels' - https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/top-super-fund-dumps-coal-miners-as-emissions-cuts-intensify-20200708-p55a1c.html
  2. 'NSW first renewable zone attracts stunning 27GW of solar, wind, storage proposals' https://reneweconomy.com.au/nsw-first-renewable-zone-attracts-stunning-27gw-of-solar-wind-storage-proposals-82163/
  3. The Victorian government’s Greener Government School Buildings scheme invites Victoria’s state-owned schools to apply for rooftop solar. http://www.jamesmerlino.com.au/media-releases/applications-open-for-greener-government-school-buildings/

 

The BREAZE board welcomes any suggestions from members about what we should be doing. Please get in touch if you have any suggestions. We continue to meet monthly via Zoom and certainly welcome community input.

 

All the best

Mary

Mary Debrett President, July 2020