President's September Report

MDCircular Economy Plan Launch

The City of Ballarat's long awaited circular economy plan - Circular Ballarat – was launched online on 9 September with the motto: “re-think, make and re-use”  Targeting re-use of  raw materials from  manufacturing waste-products, the circular economy framework includes three new initiatives aimed at assisting local businesses to participate:

  • ASPIRE – an online marketplace for businesses to buy, sell or exchange waste and commodities. This is available for most Ballarat businesses for free until July 2022 
  • Ready, Set, Grow Circular – a business development program designed to help cast a circular lens over businesses 
  • Materials Flow Analysis – a detailed regional material flows analysis to better understand what resources are used in our economy, where they are sourced, what they are used for, where they are consumed and how businesses manage their waste. This project is supported by the Recycling Victoria Councils Fund, delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government. 

It's great to see to Council implementing the goals of the Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan – zero emissions by 2025 (for council operations). Also pleasing to note acknowledgement of BREAZE's Social Solar as a community-led sustainability program. The Circular Economy plan makes strong connections between environmental sustainability and circular economy innovation. Council's next step is the Circular Economy Roadmap. If you want to give feedback, keep your eye on the MySay Ballarat website for community consultation on the Roadmap. The circular economy framework is part of Victoria's state government circular economy initiative

Sustainable House Day

Unsurprisingly, Renew's Sustainable House Day is online again for 2021. But while the main event day has been shifted to October 17, a number of regional events are happening throughout September. Smart Living Ballarat is hosting one of these on Wednesday 15 September at the usual time - 12:30 pm. The SLB Sustainable House Day will feature two Ballarat couples talking about their sustainable homes - one a strawbale house and the other an all-electric low emissions home renovation. Register online via the SLB Facebook site

Tune into Radio3BA at 10:15am on Wednesday 22 September, to hear BREAZE Board member, Therese Footner, talking about Sustainable Housing with Brett McDonald on Radio 3BA's Ballarat Today.

On the theme of sustainable housing it is also worth noting, that while the CoB has lagged in this area, council is now following up on Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) as per its Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan (2019) - Action 5.3b: City of Ballarat to advocate for and achieve regulation for greater housing and commercial building efficiency standards. The CoB is one of a group of 29 Victorian Councils collaborating on a joint research project led by The Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) that aims to elevate Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) targets for new development.

Local community voices for sustainability – lifestyle, management practices and climate action – have helped in raising the importance of the environment in Council, which is also evident in its elevation as a priority in the new Council Plan. Well done to all those who have taken the time to make submissions on MySay Ballarat, and Council meetings, to email councillors, and write letters to the editor. Your efforts are clearly helping in supporting Council in driving this important transition to a cleaner and greener community.

BREAZE BOARD ACTIVITIES

ZEB - Zero Emissions Ballarat

Since the landmark, bi-partisan Council motion of 24 March 2021, which endorsed an 'aspirational community wide zero emissions target by 2030,' council has been working on a Plan and Community Engagement timeline. As part of the Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB) steering committee, BREAZE will endeavour to keep you informed about actions to be taken and how you can be involved.

Grampians Community Power Hub (G-CPH)

The Grampians Community Power Hub currently has 11 community energy projects under consideration as discussions continue with respective communities/stakeholders. The first meeting of the Roundtable Advisory Group was held on 30 August, bringing 26 representatives from across the 11 local government areas of the Grampians region together on screen. Although initially planned as a face-to-face launch in Ararat, COVID lockdown saw the G-CPH launch postponed and the inaugural meeting rebooted on Zoom.

The CPH will be holding a Community Energy Forum - Online - 29 September 7:30 - 8:30 pm and members are invited to register and attend. Our panel of local experts includes: Taryn Lane, G-CPH Project Control Group (PCG) and Manager Hepburn Wind; Ian Rossiter, PCG Ballarat CPH Pilot 2017-2020; Edwin Irvine, President, Natimuk Community Energy; Eddy Ostarcevic, Star Energy, St Arnaud and Chair, G-CPH Roundtable Advisory Group. Interested BREAZE members are encouraged to register to attend via Eventbrite

Board Meetings

If you have a passion for climate action and ideas about how you can help BREAZE achieve its mission, please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in attending should email me – 

All the best

Mary                                                            

Mary Debrett
President, September 2021