GrampiansCPH whiteThe Grampians Community Power Hub is currently advertising two paid positions to work with a team of BREAZE Inc volunteers and the Hepburn Branch partner, Hepburn Wind, in identifying opportunities for renewable energy projects across the communities of the Grampians region. Both positions are being advertised through the agency, Talent Nation, and interested parties should apply via the advertisement on the Ethical jobs website - click on links below.  

          • Project Manager - to coordinate Hub operations, participate in the Project Control Group and undertake feasibility studies as appropriate - full time
          • Communications/Administrative Officer - to manage Hub communications and promotions and assist with the everyday running of the Hub - part time

The Community Power Hub program is being delivered by Sustainability Victoria to support Victoria's transition to a clean energy future. The Community Power Hub is envisaged as increasing community awareness, helping communities to reduce energy costs, and building community resilience via greater energy independence. 

He’s back by popular demand!August 2021

Join us and John “Ditchy” Ditchburn for a spring gardening special where you’ll learn how to grow four key spring planted vegetables including:

  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin

John will give us practical hints on growing these four key vegetables in Ballarat’s springtime including information on air and soil temperature dynamics and how they influence when and how to plant in spring.

John brings with him a lifetime of experience in growing fruit and vegetables and being involved in the food gardening community. He first began to grow vegetables at the age of sixteen. Since then, apart from a year spent travelling, he has always grown vegetables in one form or another. As well as running the Urban Food Garden, he has been involved in numerous gardening activities in Melbourne and Ballarat.

John also works as a freelance cartoonist; you can check out his work here.

This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event. To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation.

This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/S0JqvKoD

MDBREAZE Inc. to host Grampians Community Power Hub

On Thursday 8 July Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily d’Ambrosio, announced $6.5 million to expand the Community Power Hubs program and provide new grants for community organisations. 

BREAZE is delighted to be nominated as lead partner organisation for the Community Power Hub for the Grampians region (G-CPH). BREAZE joins six other organisations in the expanded regional CPH program: Loddon Mallee hosted by Bendigo Sustainability Group; Barwon South West hosted by Geelong Sustainability Group; Hume hosted by Indigo Power; Gippsland hosted by Gippsland Climate Change Network, and the two metropolitan CPHs - metropolitan Melbourne hosted by Yarra Climate Action Network and the Greater Yarra Valley and Ranges hosted by Healesville CORE Group.

As host of the Grampians CPH BREAZE  will be collaborating with our Hepburn branch partner, Hepburn Wind, and with other communities and partner LGAs  across the Grampians region,  working with Sustainability Victoria to facilitate transition to a low carbon, clean energy future.

It’s an honour for BREAZE to be again selected to manage such an important and timely program, one that will aid the development of community-owned renewable energy projects across the state. The Grampians CPH will help local communities to build cheaper, cleaner energy infrastructure that is also more resilient when bushfires hit. 

The CPH Pilot program which ran from 2017-2020 substantially boosted Victoria’s renewable energy capacity and saved thousands in energy costs. Collectively, the pilot program’s 15 projects added 1.35MW of renewable energy capacity back to their communities, annually reduced their carbon emissions by 1,839 t.CO2e and saved $346,000 in electricity costs. This 2021-2022 program hopes to achieve similarly benefits for Victorians and accelerate our transition to a renewable energy future. 

As the lead partner organisation, Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions will be funded to increase access, involvement and ownership of renewable energy systems within the Grampians region, whilst delivering significant economic benefits and ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Grampians Community Power Hub will be a one-stop-shop for advice on renewable energy and energy efficiency and one of the most important platforms for communities in this region to move towards a renewable energy system. Working at the grass roots level to 

empower our local communities with the knowledge and support they need is crucial if we are to make the transition to a low carbon, clean energy future.

So as  DELWP’s Grampians Renewable Energy program ends, BREAZE moves onto the next phase of helping to decarbonise the region.

A reunion and celebrationIMG 0170

 

On 9 July members of the BREAZE Board got together with members of the Old Colonists’ Association (OCA) Committee, along with the Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison and Cr Belinda Coates, to celebrate the completion of the Victorian Government’s Grampians Renewable Energy (GRE) Program, and BREAZE’s nomination as lead partner in the Grampians Community Power Hub. One of the nine projects undertaken for GRE was the installation of Solar PV across the OCA’s retirement village in Charles Anderson Grove – the project steering committee, OCA and BREAZE volunteers, met fortnightly for nearly a year. Solar for retirees, social housing and sporting clubs are among the GRE models that BREAZE hopes to replicate across the many communities of the Grampians region in the new regional CPH.

L-R: Travis Hurst (OCA); Juliana Addison (Member for Wendouree);  Gerald Jenzen (OCA); Jo Barber (OCA President); Therese Footner (BREAZE Board); Stephen Carter (OCA Treasurer); Sally Missing (BREAZE Board); Peter Boadle (BREAZE Board); Mary Debrett (BREAZE President); Suzanne Nunn (BREAZE Board); Cr Belinda Coates (CoB); Peter Reid (GRE Coordinator/BREAZE Board); Pauline Gleeson (BREAZE Board)

 

Read more: President's July Report

IMG 4025On Thursday 9 July Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily d’Ambrosio, announced $6.5 million to expand the Community Power Hubs program and provide new grants for community organisations. 

 BREAZE Inc. has been nominated as lead partner organisation for the Community Power Hub (CPH) for the Grampians region and joins six other organisations in the expanded CPH program: Loddon Mallee hosted by Bendigo Sustainability Group; Barwon South West hosted by Geelong Sustainability Group; Hume hosted by Indigo Power; Gippsland hosted by Gippsland Climate Change Network. The 2021 program also includes two metropolitan CPHs - metropolitan Melbourne hosted by Yarra Climate Action Network and the Greater Yarra Valley and Ranges hosted by Healesville CORE Group.

The Hubs are envisaged as assisting small business and community organisations to help the transition to renewable energy to halve emissions by 2030.

This regional program expands on the Pilot program which ran from 2017-2020 and substantially boosted Victoria’s renewable energy capacity, saving thousands in energy costs, adding 1.35MW of renewable energy capacity into communities – reducing annual carbon emissions by 1,839 t.CO2e and saving $346,000 in electricity costs. This 2021-2022 program hopes to achieve similarly benefits for Victorians while accelerating our transition to a cleaner, renewable energy future. 

BREAZE is honoured to be once again be managing such an important and timely program, one that will help local communities to build cheaper energy infrastructure that will also be more resilient when bushfires hit. 

BREAZE volunteers will be looking for viable projects and seeking to engage with potentially interested groups such as: not-for-profit operators of social housing and retirement facilities, community child-care centres, kindergartens, Men's Sheds, environmental and sustainability groups, neighbourhood associations, sporting clubs, colleges and universities, animal welfare organisations, scouts, scholarship funds, public museums and libraries, and cultural organisations.

Possible projects include: solar arrays, solar bulk buys, solar streetlight installations in community facilities and households, community batteries, virtual power plants, and small scale utility solar and wind.

BREAZE  will be collaborating with Sustainability Victoria and Hepburn Wind, our Hepburn branch partner, and will be seeking other partners across the Grampians to enable the much needed transition to a low carbon, clean energy future. 

As a one-stop-shop for advice on being energy efficient, the Grampians Community Power Hub will be one of the most important platforms for communities in this region to move towards a renewable energy system. Working at the grass roots level to empower our local communities with the knowledge and support they need, is crucial if we are to make the transition to a low carbon, clean energy future and to meet Victoria's emissions reductions target.

If you or your group has a project in mind please contact me -  or head to our form to register your interest.

How can we invest our money in a way that benefits the environment? Join us and Market Forces to learn how to invest your money ethically by moving your funds to institutions that do not invest in the fossil fuel industry.

An affiliate of Friends of the Earth Australia and launched in 2013, Market Forces believes that the banks, superannuation funds and governments that have custody of our money should use it to protect not damage our environment.

Their work exposes the institutions that are financing environmentally destructive projects and help Australians hold these institutions accountable. We work with the community to prevent investment in projects that would harm the environment and drive global warming.

This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event. To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation.

This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

https://www.marketforces.org.au/ Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/97647089925

FB: https://fb.me/e/1xr1K6CxV

 
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This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

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Businesses in the region are invited to join Mount Alexander Sustainability Group and other groups at Business Mount Alexander's The Business of Climate Change event this Monday evening (28 June) at The Goods Shed, Castlemaine. Find out about funding, finance and subsidies to help your business cut emissions, save on power bills and reduce waste. Hear from local businesses who have made the switch and how it's helped them save money and grow their business.
 

MD

 

G7 Summit – not what it might have been

With Joe Biden and Boris Johnson both now making bold statements on the need for climate action, there were high hopes for this latest G7 meeting in Cornwall. But while the Group made some very encouraging announcements – including affirming the goal of constraining global warming to 1.5º C and agreeing to protect/restore 30 percent of the natural world by 2030 – the world’s 7 richest nations collectively failed to guarantee the necessary funds to drive the action required. It’s a big problem for the upcoming CoP26 in Glasgow in November, undermining trust between rich and developing nations, as Fiona Harvey reported in The Guardian (14/6/21):

Poor countries argue that the rich world did most to create the climate crisis, but the most vulnerable nations also face rising debt burdens from Covid-19, and have no money to invest in clean energy, low-carbon infrastructure or ways to adapt to extreme weather. 

One of the more impressive and decisive announcements to come out of the G7 was a commitment to phase out fossil fuels by 2025. However, The Guardian notes that the Group didn’t call for a halt to the exploitation of new fossil fuel resources. 

In her typical cut-through style, Greta Thunberg noted on Twitter:

For the umpteenth time the rich club has failed to deliver on its promise to channel $100bn a year to poor nations coping with a heating climate." "The world's richest democracies have responded with a plan to make a plan.

Ballarat’s ZNet 2030 Ambition

Back home many are thinking about how to drive the Ballarat Net 2030 community-wide target. BREAZE Inc. thanks those local residents who logged on for our networking event – Achieving Ballarat Net Zero by 2030 – discussion revolved around the achievability of the goal and what locals can do to help drive it. Making submissions to the City of Ballarat Draft Budget 2021-2022 was among the actions discussed, urging Council to allocate funds to drive the target. A 9 June Unscheduled Council Meeting  discussed the 17 verba/written submissions – several of which emerged from the networking event. At the meeting, Ballarat CEO, Evan King explained that due to the unfortunate timing of official State requirements, the Draft Budget had to be issued before the Council Plan which meant that the Draft Budget addressed the requirements of the pre-existing, and not the pending Council Plan. The CEO noted that community concerns regarding the environment had been heard. BREAZE Inc. understands that the City is currently developing a plan to address the Z-Net 2030 target for community -wide emissions.

MEMBER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES 

Smart Living Ballarat

This month’s Smart Living Ballarat online talk on Wednesday, June 17 explored how to become a locavore and going plastic free with Steve Burns from Ballarat Farmers Market and Wendy from the Ballarat Wholefoods Collective. The talk also referenced other collectives local to Ballarat including Creswick and Buninyong. Plus, Wendy from the Ballarat Collective showed how to make our own cleaning products using minimal, natural ingredients! Catch up with the talk via Smart Living Ballarat Facebook  

Ballarat Green Drinks

Ballarat Green Drinks continues online. Apologies for the current hiatus. We hope to be back online soon, and back in face to face mode as soon as we can.  https://www.facebook.com/BallaratGreenDrinks

BREAZE Talks to Brett McDonald on Ballarat Today – Radio 3BA

The next BREAZE Inc. talk on 3BA is on Friday 25 June at 10:15 AM. We hope that members will tune in to hear BREAZE Inc. Board member, Paul Duggan talk to Brett about Smart Living Ballarat, the local institution he has managed on behalf of BREAZE Inc. for many years.

BREAZE Inc. Social Solar 

Thanks to the Victorian Government’s Grampians Renewable Energy (GRE) program, a $1.1 million investment in renewables and local jobs across the region, the FY 2020-21 has probably been the best year yet for BREAZE Inc. Social Solar. All up BREAZE Inc volunteers led by GRE Project Coordinator, Peter Reid, have overseen the installation of 450kW on 104 roofs across the Grampians region.

The beneficiaries –not-for-profits – have included disability service providers, sporting facilities and social housing. One standout example in Ballarat has been the Charles Anderson Grove retirement village operated by the Old Colonists’ Association (OCA), one of the oldest philanthropic organisations in the country. By combining funding from DELWP via the GRE program, a Bank Australia Impact Grant, and subsidies from Solar Victoria, BREAZE Inc in collaboration with the OCA and DELWP administered the  installation of  2-3 kW systems across the entire village –  27 cottages and the community centre – approx. 80kW in total.

DELWP   Amelia Penhall   BREAZE media event 1


Charles Anderson Grove – a village powered by solar.
L-R: Jo Barber, President OCA; Sam Sharkey, Bank Australia (Ballarat); Peter Reid BREAZE GRE Project Coordinator; Kathryn Campbell, DELWP | Regional Manager Community and Partnership Programs | Ballarat

 

Helping to decarbonise the economy one roof at time may seem slow but it’s a process that is also doing a lot to raise public awareness of the benefits of renewable energy. OCA President, Jo Barber reported that village residents had expressed pleasure in better understanding the implications of their energy needs after getting solar panels – as well as the cost benefits of course!

 

Please consider supporting the work of BREAZE Social Solar with a donation to One Dollar, One Watt  –- https://breaze.org.au/one-dollar-for-one-watt  All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

 

Board Meetings

If you have a passion for climate action and are interested in what we do please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in joining the Board or in just attending the July Board meeting, now held via Zoom, should email me – 

All the best

Mary                                                            

Mary Debrett
President, June 2021

This month we are chatting about becoming a locavore and going plastic free with Steve Burns from Ballarat Farmers Market and Wendy from the Ballarat Wholefoods Collective. We’ll talk about the other collectives local to Ballarat including Creswick and Buninyong. Plus, Wendy from the Ballarat Collective will show us how to make our own cleaning products using minimal, natural ingredients!
What is a locavore?

1. A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.
 
This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event.

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To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation.
 
This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

WED FACEBOOKThis year the global theme of World Environment Day (5 June), was ecosystem restoration. Taking up the BREAZE Inc.Competition challenge – 'What I can do to help the environment' – 68 grade 5/6 children from primary schools across greater Ballarat, submitted entries. A judging panel of three BREAZE members read and graded all the entries and arrived at the following list of winners, with special mention certificates and prizes allocated to six students whose work also shone.

While BREAZE Inc. very much regrets that the Competition awards ceremony had to be cancelled due to the COVID lockdown, we congratulate all those awarded who will be receiving their certificates and prizes – book vouchers – shortly via Australia Post.

Overall Competition Winner:    Jonty Clarke – Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School

 
School winning Entries
St Alipius Primary School : Grace Vermont
Forest St Primary School: Taian Smith
St Francis Xavier Primary School:  Milla O'Donohue
Canadian Lead Primary School: Mikaela Finley
 
Special Mentions
Harper Heniak - St Francis Xavier Primary School
Kate Hardcare - Forest St Primary School
Myah Esther Sabuya - Forest St Primary School
Ollie Seuren - Forest St Primary School
Samantha  Catherall - Forest St Primary School
Sienna Templar - St Alipius Primary School
Chance Burton - Canadian Lead Primary School
Stephanie Tatneau - Canadian Lead Primary School