President's Report December 2020

MD

BREAZE ends this terrible Covid-fraught year on a bit of a high with the commencement of another substantial Social Solar project, managing the installation of 68kW of rooftop solar across the roofs of a Ballarat-based not-for-profit. We thank all donors to the BREAZE Public Fund for their contributions to this work. Public donations offer BREAZE the opportunity to apply for grants that require matched funding, whereby the funder requires the applicant to contribute a proportion of the capital costs of the project. Thank you too, to our partners at DELWP in the New Energy Jobs Fund team.

 

November Member Activities

December’s Smart Living Ballarat session was: 3 Happen Films looking at different aspects of modern agriculture including organic, regenerative and city farming. Is this the future of food? The Hidden Orchard’s Ellen Burns, who has taken over from Tim Drylie since he was elected to the Hepburn Shire Council, hosted the post screening discussion. For anyone who missed it you can still catch up – SLB talks remain available on the SLB Facebook site - just click on the ‘videos’ link on the left. https://www.facebook.com/smartlivingballarat/

Council Plan

The City of Ballarat is gearing up development of a new, 5 year Council Plan, with the current Plan 2017 – 2021 set to expire next year. This is an opportunity for the community to make its voice heard regarding environmental priorities. The Council is moving forward with implementation of the Carbon Neutrality and 100 per cent Renewables Action Plan which it passed in 2019. The target is net zero emissions from Council operations by 2025. Since then two Sustainability Officers have been appointed one with a designated focus on Urban Forestation and the other on Carbon Neutrality. However, action 5.4a of the Plan ‘Empowered Communities,’ includes setting aspirational targets for the whole of the city and monitoring progress. Obviously ambition is important here, in terms of targets and time frame. If you feel strongly about this do keep an eye open for the community engagement process which will begin shortly via the Council’s MySay webpage - and will end with release of a draft Plan for consultation around July 2021. BREAZE’s long held aspirational target for greater Ballarat is net zero by 2030.

Planning Day

The BREAZE Board will be holding a planning day for 2021 in January. If you have any suggestions of what we should be doing please forward them by 18 January 2021 to

Climate/Environment News

My take on the three worst and three best – in no particular order – below:

Three worst
    1. The vanishing Arctic
    2. World is in danger of missing Paris climate target, summit is warned
    3. Coalition accused of wasting 18 months on 'nothing' electric vehicle strategy
Three best
    1. Export superpower: AEMO to model even faster paths to net zero emissions
    2. Federal Court upholds Djab Wurrung's Western Highway appeal, overturns Sussan Ley's decision on sacred trees
    3. Australia’s first remote, renewable hydrogen microgrid to be built at Denham

 

To all BREAZE  members and friends, when choosing Christmas presents for loved ones, please consider a donation to BREAZE’s One Dollar for One Watt – the gift that keeps on giving: to the environment and the community.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

All the best

Mary

Mary Debrett
President, December 2020