President's July Report

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)




 21 July 12:30 pm online –another free talk from Smart Living Ballarat talk:

Ethical Investing by Market Forces

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. Log on via

PLEASE REGISTER  - To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, for the Zoom presentation. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event.

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. At our 19 July meeting, Tom Quinn, a resident of Ballarat and recently appointed Head of Policy at the leading climate think tank, Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) will be talking about his new role. The July Board meeting, which will combine both meeting and dinner, will be held at the Lake View Hotel from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Any member interested in attending should email me – 

All the best


Mary Debrett
President, June 2021