MD 2023Climate in the News this month

Last week the Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation Report was released– it’s Australia’s longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change and certainly didn’t get the coverage it deserves, so worth a look.

This latest report on public attitudes to climate change and climate action indicates widespread ongoing confusion and ignorance, even as the devastating effects of climate change are hammered home around the world on a daily basis. Read the Report here

"In 2023, Climate of the Nation asked for the first time about Australians’ concerns regarding the impact of climate change on the cost of living. Three in four (75%) say they are concerned about more expensive insurance premiums, and the same proportion (75%) are concerned about disruptions to supply chains making it harder to buy necessities.

The top three climate impacts of concern are more droughts and flooding affecting crop production and food supply (80%), more bushfires (79%) and the extinction of animal and plant species (79%).

Australians oppose new gas, coal and oil projects and fossil fuel subsidies"

Just two lines down the summary also notes: ‘56% of Australians know that opening new coal, gas and oil projects will make it harder for Australia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030’ – which indicates that 44% of Australians do not yet realise this.

Read more: President's September Report

Screen Shot 2023 09 15 at 11.21.48 amWant to get your kids excited about sustainability? Smart Living Ballarat's 27 September session falls within school holidays, so we have planned a special kid-friendly edition! Green Earth Kids is a business dedicated to inspiring children, families and businesses to live in a more Earth friendly way 🌏
Miree runs eco workshops specialising in sensory play and craft activities using natural and recycled materials 👧
She has also just launched a range of DIY Eco Party kits for your child's next birthday! 🥳
Kid's activities will be set up in the room and the presentation will be aimed at adults but kid-friendly.
The in-person workshop will be held in the meeting room at Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, down the hallway of the BRMC hall (the old Ballarat East Library).
The best place to park is in the carpark at the back, just off Princes St, and there are disable parks available right next to the hall (enter the carpark off Princes St and keep driving up the hill).
As always, the session will also be streamed live to Facebook and posted for later viewing on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page.

It's not the same experience as being there live though, so get along in person if you can! No need to register, everyone welcome.
Smart Living Ballarat is a free monthly workshop series looking at all different topics around sustainable living – made possible through a partnership between BREAZE and the City of Ballarat. Join your host, Ellen Burns, on the 3rd Wednesday of every month!

Handing the report to Juliana Addison2 copyWith the State Government due to review their Gas Substitution Roadmap in the coming months, Environment Victoria wanted to show the government that Victorians are asking for the Roadmap to be strengthened with setting specific goals and timelines to assist households to get off gas.  After surveying over 220 locals and having conversations around replacing gas appliances, a Report – What do Victorians Think about Gas? – was compiled and handed to local politicians recently on the steps of parliament. 
Together with a cost comparison report compiled by RENEW, the Report shows overwhelming public support to move away from gas.
In addition it's clear that Victorians will save by switching across to all electric. To find out more about how to save by getting off gas read Environment Victoria's IT’S A GAS: How ditching gas this winter can cut heating bills by 75%
AUTHOR: BREAZE Board member, Sue Broadway also volunteers with Environment Victoria


2023 Sept BGD Gib Wettenhall

Next up at Ballarat Green Drinks - Thursday 21 September 6:30-8pm - Gib Wettenhall OAM will talk about biorich plantation and sustainable buiding with timber.
An award winning author, with a background in journalism, editing and law, Gib turned to tree growing, managing a biorich plantation at Lal Lal. 
The biorich plantation optimises habitat for wildlife while offering resources to landowners for income diversification.
A founding member of the Ballarat Region Treegrowers (BRT) and editor of Australian Forest Growers magazine for 14 years, Gib is committed to sustainable forestry and the ethos of going local and going slow, to minimise energy use and emissions.
As Secretary of BRT, Gib has been involved in a 2021 project fund raising for and overseeing the construction of a 21st century Aussie drop-slab hut by young wood craftsman, Lachie Park, the old slow 'green wood' way, without nails, deploying a minimum of machinery and choosing natural unprocessed products. 
Register free for September Green Drinks now at

MD 2023Getting off Gas.

As something many of us are still struggling with at the domestic level, it was great to have this announcement from the Victorian government last month. 

Victoria becomes the first state and second jurisdiction in Australia to ban gas in new builds - as of 2024. The ACT made the acommitment a year earlier, ending gas in new builds from January 2023 and ending all gas by 2045. The Victorian government's decision comes as a new study of Australian Gas Plants reveals methane emissions greatly exceed those forecast in environmental impact statements. While methane doesn't last as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it is estimated to be 80 times more potent and to account for 30 per cent of warming since the industrial revolution. Sector specific methane targets, plus tax incentives, are among approaches being taken across the world to get everyone on board. A good article on the Study in Renew Economy on 8 August.

'Infrared thermographer Théophile Humann-Guilleminot found 101 leaks and methane venting at 15 of 38 sites visited in New South Wales (NSW), and at 20 of 42 sites visited in Queensland. At some sites there were multiple emissions points from a single piece of equipment ...

Venting, where gas is deliberately released, was found at four of seven Santos coal seam gas wells surveyed in the Pilliga/Bibblewindi forest in NSW, and at the APA-operated compressor station at the Wallumbilla Gas Hub.

“I have personally undertaken methane fieldwork in eight countries and filmed at more than 250 fossil fuel sites. Doing this work in Australia was on another level,” he says.

“In times of heated debates on energy cost, seeing all this gas wasted and supercharging climate change is deeply worrying.”                                                                                                                     

Rachel Williamson in Renew Economy 8 August

Implementing the Ballarat Zero Emissions Plan - a key BREAZE Inc. objective for 2023

Read more: President's August Report

Screen Shot 2023 08 08 at 4.07.30 pmBREAZE Inc. commissioned this guide, which is produced by Hepburn Energy, as part of its work for the Grampians Community Power Hub – to facilitate ongoing community energy projects across the central and western Victoria. The Grampians Community Power Hub Program, funded by the State Government. 

The purpose of this guide is to inform local people and groups in the regions, about community energy, appropriate technologies, models, and processes for delivery.

The guide provides:

-  context and background information on the energy system
-  information on technology and models
-  examples and case studies of community energy projects
-  advice on how to deliver a project
-  and links to other resources

A great opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of growing your own seedlings with Screen Shot 2023 08 02 at 5.51.38 pmBallarat's gardening expert, John "Ditchy" Ditchburn! Ditchy draws on years of local knowledge and gardening experience to bring you techniques and advice that are specific to Ballarat gardens.


Learn how to grow your own veggies from seed and how to grow seedlings that not only survive, but thrive! Now is the perfect time to get prepped for Spring!

Join in person at the Ballarat South Community Hub (behind Pheonix College) or join the session online here:

It will also be streamed live to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. The recording will then be posted and available to watch, rewatch and share.Smart Living Ballarat is a series of free monthly workshops, put on in collaboration between BREAZE and the City of Ballarat.

Join host Ellen Burns on the 4th Wednesday of every month to learn new skills for living smarter!


2023  BGD Auugust

 Next up at Ballarat Green Drinks on 17 August at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South - Stephanie Davison of Gardens for Wildlife Ballarat will be talking on Creating a Garden Haven for Little Birds

Birds add colour and movement to our gardens and their antics never fail to fascinate. When asked, people always say they would like to attract more birds - especially wrens, robins, spinebills, honeyeaters and thornbills. It’s simple to make spaces in your garden where the little birds can feel safe and thrive. In the process you’ll attract other wildlife to your patch and enjoy the many benefits of gardening for wildlife.

Stephanie is a long-term volunteer at the City of Ballarat Indigenous Plant Nursery, an active member of the Wattle Flat Pootilla Landcare Group and a founding member of Gardens for Wildlife Ballarat. Her talk is based on the practical experience of growing and observing indigenous plants and animals in gardens and natural landscapes around Ballarat. 

Come and join us for drinks/dinner. Great talks by local experts followed by Q&A. Green Dirinks is a great way to network, meet people and learn about what's happening in Ballarat. 6:30-8pm.

Freebook via

EE Energy workshop TWITTER 2If you attended one of the Home Energy Efficiency Workshops at Ballarat Tool Library, Barkly Square please come along to the Review Session on 4 September 10-11:00 am - Training Room 101 at Barkly Square.

It's an opportunity to ask follow-up questions and share what you've have done - and to give us feedback on the workshops. Morning tea will be served. First timers also welcome. All FREE

 These workshops are intended as a pilot with further funding to be sought later this year for a longer program for 2024

Ballarat Zero Emissions Alliance (BZEA) of which BREAZE Inc. is a member has organised the workshops, which are being funded  by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA). 2023  EE Workshop 1