2023 BGD Susan MoodieApril Ballarat Green Drinks featured local Burrumbeet farmer and conservationist, Susan Moodie, a dedicated environmentalist who has planted thousands of trees in wildlife corridors around her property over the last several decades.

Susan, who grew up on the farm she now works has evolved and refined her farming practices as her knowledge and awareness of what is happening to the wider environment has grown.

In her own words:

"The initiation of Connected Sanctuaries in 2023 comes with the knowledge that human life requires a transformation not just of policy, but the ideas- beliefs and assumptions that are destroying the environmental fabric upon which all life depends.  Those involved have diverse backgrounds and skill sets, but collectively are committed to restoring the fabric of environmental life and in doing so, our own lives. Thank you for the opportunity to share our vision with the wider community."

Having grown up at Burrumbeet on a farm, much of her attitude to life has been shaped by the rural landscape, in particular its restoration and enhancement, Her early experience also prompted the particular disciplines she pursued: agriculture, Landcare through forestry, organic market gardening, permaculture, multidisciplinary research and policy development and teaching through the use of truly egalitarian processes (USA, Malawi, Afghanistan). The deeper knowledge gained  led to learning and work in yoga, particularly acknowledging conflict, and its transformation has been a feature of her life through the past 3 decades.

Join us for drinks/dinner on 20 April 6:30-8pm at Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St South.

Free book via trybooking.com/CEXYC

 

 

 

 

Woodbine

 In November 2022 BREAZE Inc. received a grant via the Victorian Government's New Energy Jobs Fund Round 6 (NEJF6) to install 58kW of solar PV across 5 properties owned and operated by Woodbine Inc., a disability provider in Warracknabeal. This is the third grant BREAZE Inc. has received through the New Energy Jobs Fund, which has been running for 6 years. The 5 properties include three accommodation blocks (one in Echuca), an office and workshop.

Vany Gunaratnam, BREAZE Inc Project Manager,  estimates that the solar panels will save Woodbine approximately 30% of its energy costs, funds which will be freed up for its core business, helping people with disabilities and their families. 

Read more: BREAZE Social Solar: Warracknabeal Project

MD 2023
BREAZE Inc. at Buninyong Smart Living Expo - Sunday 26 February2023 Expo 1

The BREAZE Inc. stall at the Buninyong Smart Living Expo on February 26 at Buninyong Royal Park offered a great opportunity for us to talk about what BREAZE is doing and pass on information about some of our current initiatives.

There has been considerable interest in the Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy which we are partnering in with Hepburn Energy and T2Zero.

And much interest too in the EV Bulk Buy - another partnership with Hepburn Energy via the Good Car Co.  BREAZE Inc. will be holding a Show and Shine Day on 6 May to2023 Expo 2 expand locals' options for more affordable EVs and offer bookable test drives. Watch our social media  for more information

If you are interested in the Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy you can complete the “Ready for a quote” online form:  

You should also attend the webinar for more information on this Hot Water Heat Pump Bulk Buy. The first webinar is on Thursday 16 March. If you miss it, there's a second webinar scheduled for Monday 3 April 6:15-7:15 pm Webinar registration:  

The Climate Safeguard Mechanism

Four BREAZE Inc. Board members met with the Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, to express concerns that proposed changes to the Safeguard Mechanism - a bill currently being debated in parliament - do not go far enough, still permitting the top 200+ industrial emitters covered by the policy, to offset their emissions 100% and still permitting international offsets. We detailed specific requests in line with formal submissions made by the Climate Council and t2023   Catherine King Meetinghe Environmental Defenders Office, regarding no new coal and gas and international offsets. We presented Catherine King with a copy of the 2022 BREAZE Annual Report and The Big Switch, by Saul Griffiths, who is the founder of the Rewiring Australia not for profit oranisation. You can read our letter, summarising our concerns, and thanking Catherine King for meeting with us, here

BREAZE Inc undertook this meeting as part of the #SafeguardOurClimate campaign organised by CAN Australia, who also organised the Dirty Dozen campaign and a social media Day of Action on 10 March.

As noted previously, while signing petitions and meeting with/writing to MPs might not seem very radical, if thousands of ordinary citizens like us do show our concern, it will eventually become hard to ignore us. 

Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes

The BREAZE Inc subcommittee behind the Building Better Homes for the Future industry forum in October 2022 has two more forums planned for 2023, which will be open to the public. You can book now for the first of these, Achieving 7 Stars and Net Zero Homes presented by Jeremy Spencer at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute on April 3, 1-3pm. 

Free events coming up this month
  • March 16: Ballarat Green Drinks 6:30-8:00pm -  'Taking back the power' - Peter Reid, Treasurer of CoPower.  Hear about how CoPower redistributes its profits to the community. Bunch of Grapes Hotel, 401 Pleasant St, South, Ballarat - Free book via Trybooking: https://www.trybooking.com/CEXYC
  • March 22: Smart Living Ballarat 12:30-1:30 pm - Local architect, Talina Edwards talking about her award-winning "Owl Woods Passive House" in conversation with SLB Host, Ellen Burns.    The Owl Woods house, completed in Trentham in 2019, has been described as an exquisite example of sustainable home design. Owl Woods proves it is possible for a home to be comfortable, sustainable, functional, flexible, healthy and beautiful.  Join live to get inspired and take part in the Q+A with Talina. This session will be held ONLINE only, via Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86454231414  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.
BREAZE In. Board Meetings

The BREAZE Inc. Board meets every third Monday of the month from 5:30-7pm. In 2023 the Board has agreed to alternate meetings via Zoom and face-to-face. Our next meeting on 20 March will be held at the Royal Mail Hotel, 290 Albert St, Sebastopol. If you are a member and would like to attend, please email me at  at least one day beforehand.

All the best

Mary

Dr Mary Debrett
President BREAZE Inc.

House for ESD

Presented by Jeremy Spencer
 
 
 
  
 

Power bills are going up and 7 star ratings for new homes are coming

How to build a better home that is cheaper to run, comfortable and more thermally efficient.

This free forum presented by Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints walked us through what the big ticket items are and illustrate the benefits and costs of building a carbon neutral home.

Jeremy says: I do think that it's important to explain the 7 star rating and whole of house approach given its release in Vic later in the year. I'll outline how to achieve a great outcome cost effectively. My focus as always is on practical achievable outcomes.

Presented by Jeremy Spencer Director of Positive Footprints and founding member of Builders Declare.

JeremyAbout Jeremy

For almost 20 years Jeremy has been a Registered Builder, Thermal Assessor and Director at design & build company Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints have won multiple awards for sustainability and worked to show that energy efficient sustainable design and high-performance construction is a cost-effective option and can be a mainstream reality. An educator and former GreenLiving lecturer in an earlier life, Jeremy is founding member of Builders Declare, and currently sits on the Design Matters Board, the Sustainability Hub, and the NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group.

EV Bulk Buy


Expanding the options and making EVs more affordable - BREAZE Inc. has been invited by Hepburn Energy (formerly Hepburn Wind) to be a community partner in their EV Bulk Buy with the Good Car Company - the second regional Community EV Bulk Buy for Hepburn Shire and the broader region of Central Victoria!  If you want to test drive an EV register an expression of interest on the link below.

Visit Https://www.goodcar.co/hepburn23 to find out more.

The Good Car Company, which imports 2nd hand EVs  from Japan (along with New Teslas and Polestars via Novated lease options) will be launching their EV Bulk Buy at the Malmsbury EV Expo on Saturday 15 April.

Read more: EV Bulk Buy Ballarat Event 6 May - expanding EV options

The year of the Rabbit 2023, means another year less to reach that much vaunted target of 'net' zero emissions. MDIn October 2022, the City of Ballarat endorsed a Plan to drive implementation of its community-wide Zero Emissions Ballarat (ZEB) 2030 target. With only 7 years left to get GHG emissions reductions on the right trajectory to avoid runaway climate change, we need the support of all BREAZE members & friends in 2023, to drive the BREAZE agenda to cut emissions in our region:

•  Support the ZEB Plan which will be launched in early 2023
•  Work with the City of Ballarat to help to promote the Plan
•  Work with the City of Ballarat to assist in implementing the Plan whenever possible
•  Network with other climate action and environmental groups in raising awareness about the Plan via community engagement across greater Ballarat.
 
If you're willing to get involved in helping to drive the ZEB 2030 Plan, please let us know. 

 

BREAZE Inc. at Buninyong Smart Living Expo - Sunday 26 February

BREAZE Inc. will have a stall at the Buninyong Smart Living Expo on February 26 at Buninyong Royal Park - 10am-3:30pm. Please drop by for a chat and find out more about what you can do to help drive the ZEB target.

Membership Drive

As you may know, BREAZE membership plays a key role in covering the operating costs of BREAZE Inc. – public liability insurance (that covers our various programs and the affiliated groups who contribute so much to building a sustainable community: Ballarat Repair Cafe, Buninyong Boomerang Bags and Ballarat Tool Library), plus other administrative, software and auditing costs. If you support what BREAZE does but haven't yet officially signed up you can do this:

The Dirty Dozen Campaign and the Climate Safeguard Mechanism

Despite devasting extreme weather events that have raged across the globe in the past few years, much of society appears to remain in business-as-usual mode.  As evidenced by flooding, bushfires and record temperature extremes – confirming decades of warnings from climate scientists – climate change calls for considerably greater ambition. This is not a time to be 'relaxed and comfortable' - John Howard's once stated aspirations for the nation. Please join us in being 'concerned and engaged' – in driving changes for a safe environment. We need to make the Dirty Dozen big polluters pay.

We hope this is an issue you are interested in supporting – the push for a tougher Climate Safeguard Mechanism – an important policy lever which is currently under review. What 'net' means and how legal 'offsets' are defined are also part of this issue. To find out more: 

Signing petitions and writing to MPs might not seem very radical but if thousands of ordinary citizens like us do show our concern, it will eventually become hard to ignore us. 

BREAZE Social Solar

In 2023 BREAZE Inc. will be project managing the Woodbine Solar Project, installing 58 kW of rooftop solar across five properties owned by Woodbine Inc., a disability services provider in Warracknabeal. This project is jointly funded by BREAZE Inc., Woodbine Inc. and a grant from the Victorian government's New Energy Jobs Fund Round 6, now administered by the newly named Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) - DELWP is no more!

Free events coming up this month

  • February 16: Ballarat Green Drinks- 6:30-8:00pm, Bunch of Grapes Hotel - Solar Citizens e-Ute Roadshow and talk on Fuel Efficiency standards and clean transport options - book via Trybooking: https://www.trybooking.com/CEXYC
  • February 22: Smart Living Ballarat- 12:30-1:30 pm Barkly Square - Democratising Community Energywith Renewable Newstead's Don Culvenor - It will also be live streamed at fb.com/breaze.org.au
  • February 26: Buninyong Smart Living Expo- 10:00am-3:30pm Royal Park Buninyong - https://smartlivingexpo.com.au

The BREAZE Inc. Board meets every third Monday of the month from 5:30-7:00pm - sometimes via Zoom and sometimes face-to-face. If you are a member and would like to attend, please email me at //mary@breaze.org.au/">

All the best,

Mary

Dr Mary Debrett
President, December 2022                                                     

 

Achieving 7 stars and Net Zero Homes

House for ESD

How to build a better home that is cheaper to run, comfortable and more thermally efficient.

Power bills are going up and 7 star ratings for new homes are coming

This free forum was presented by Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints who walked us through what the big ticket items are and illustrated the benefits and costs of building a carbon neutral home Click Here to view the video.

Jeremy says: I do think that it's important to explain the 7 star rating and whole of house approach given its release in Vic later in the year. I'll outline how to achieve a great outcome cost effectively. My focus as always is on practical achievable outcomes.

Presented by Jeremy Spencer Director of Positive Footprints and founding member of Builders Declare.

Jeremy

About Jeremy

For almost 20 years Jeremy has been a Registered Builder, Thermal Assessor and Director at design & build company Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints have won multiple awards for sustainability and worked to show that energy efficient sustainable design and high-performance construction is a cost-effective option and can be a mainstream reality. An educator and former GreenLiving lecturer in an earlier life, Jeremy is founding member of Builders Declare, and currently sits on the Design Matters Board, the Sustainability Hub, and the NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group.

Building Better Homes for the Future Forum Recording is now available!

In October BREAZE held a very well attended industry forum to discuss how new housing in Ballarat can be built in a more sustainable way.  A robust discussion of the opportunities and barriers was explored on the night, including practical ways to source and use more sustainable materials, and ways in which the planning process can help or impede building housing that is more sustainable. One of the key messages that came out of the forum was the need to educate the community about what is needed to make our homes more sustainable. In November local architect Matthew Turner presented at the Ballarat Green Drinks session on: “The Future of Home: Sustainable, Accessible, Affordable” at the Lake View Hotel.  More forums on Building Better Homes are planned in 2023 - watch this space for details.

Enjoy viewing these excellent presentations at your leisure. 

Paul is a practising architect and Honorary Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Architecture and Building. He helped steer environmental and architectural outcomes for Mullum Creek - a peri-urban eco-housing development in Donvale Victoria that has generally been considered best practice sustainable development. 

Bradley Hall’s presentation 
Bradley is the Group Managing Director of Chatham Homes he has a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University and as you will probably guess from this, he likes to shake things up. He has a passionate interest in driving change in the building industry with a focus on environmental sustainability, climate resilience and health. 

Joseph van Dyk’s presentation
Joseph is a Director of regional-focused developer Hygge Property and has nearly 20 years’ property development experience in Australia and the UK, specialising in residential and mixed-use led developments for private . His presentation focuses on the development principles used by Hygge which aim to be ahead of standards/requirements.  Including:  Design-led development, Sustainability in brownfield locations, using 100% green power and no reticulated gas; Housing diversity, Energy efficiency and alternative transport. 

Natalie Robertson's Presentation 
Natalie is the City of Ballarat Director of Development and Growth.  Natalie has an extensive background in Statutory and Strategic Planning, Regulatory
Services and many major projects related to economic growth and development. Natalie has a Graduate Diploma in Urban, Rural and Regional Planning and is studying a Master of Business Administration. Natalie’s presentation focuses on how the City of Ballarat is moving towards more sustainable buildings and a net zero future.

Panel discussion - all presenters

Facilitated by Nick Grylewicz, Integra's Director of Land Development

 

MD 
As Christmas 2022 approaches it seems timely to recap and reflect on BREAZE Inc. achievements for the year - along with our ongoing activities we've had some big ones:   

• Via our leadership of the Grampians Community Power Hub, delivered by Sustainability Victoria we identified 46 community renewable energy projects: from feasibility studies for rooftop solar installations for local not-for-profit organisations, to contracting expert facilitator discussions on governance for a community-solar farm, to scoping a community renewables power hub, to first stage feasibility studies for community battery trials – along with extensive Level 1-2 energy audits for the Grampians Health Service on five sites across three regional locations. We estimate the potential total capacity of this pipeline as 12MW. Sometimes, however, the outcomes were not what we wanted. Community batteries we found, were more complicated than we had thought - the contractor Orkestra, has written an interesting article on the topic. BREAZE volunteers - Peter Boadle, Paul Duggan and myself – committed a $242,200 in-kind contribution to the G-CPH, which ran from 1/7/21-30/6/22. Thanks in large part to our Hepburn branch partner led by Hepburn Energy, we also implemented five projects - rooftop solar, btm batteries and heat pump bulk buys. 

•  To promote environmentally sustainable design (ESD) and initiatives undertaken by the City of Ballarat Planning Department in collaboration with CASBE, a subcommittee of BREAZE Board members – Sally Missing (Coordinator), Sue Broadway and Pat Hockey – organised the Building Better Homes for the Future Forum. Over fifty local developers, architects and builders attended to hear a panel of speakers, led by renowned ESD architect Paul Haar, discuss the possibilities for reducing emissions across the building sector – which contributes 30% of GHG emissions. The video recording of the event can be viewed here.

  • Via our membership of the Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat (RSAB) BREAZE Inc. was also involved in the development of the City of Ballarat's Plan for the Net Zero Emissions Ballarat 2030 target This target has been a long-held goal for BREAZE and we look forward to working with the wider community and the Council in promoting and advancing the Plan in 2023.

  • BREAZE Social Solar also kicked some goals: in 2023 we look forward to implementing the Woodbine Inc. Solar Project (58.2kW) in Warracknabeal – to be Project Managed by BREAZE Board member and Renewable Energy Consultant, Vany Gunaratnam – thanks to funding from DELWP's New Energy Jobs Round 6; and to installing two more 6.5kW solar systems on McCallum Inc.'s accommodation units in Ballarat, thanks to a grant of $7,250 from CoPower's social renewables fund. and to the BREAZE Public Fund, chaired by Ian Rossiter.

MEMBER ACTIVITIES

Environmental Stalls at Lucas 10 Year Party and Sunset Community Market

2022Lucas 3Many thanks to Heath Steward, Senior Sustainable Policy and ESD Officer at the  City of Ballarat, who invited BREAZE to be part of the Environmental space at the Lucas 10 Year Party on  Friday 2nd December.

2022Lucas 4
It proved a great way to meet the locals and talk about the environment. Council staff from Waste and Environment led by HoD Les Stokes were out in force talking about the Circular Economy.

But it was the community group Gardens for Wildlife (GFW) who stole the show with boxes of tube plants - all natives - to give away.

Shout out to the CoB nurseries and Sustainability Officer Dan Siemensma for providing the trees. Sam Strong from GFW and Dan had their work cut out advising on planting and placement of the natives - cool trees that went like hot cakes

 

Smart Living Ballarat

Smart Living Ballarat talks host, Ellen Burns, is holding the last session for 2022 as a  face to face workshop on How to make Comfrey Balm at Barkly Square. If you find it booked out, don't despair, Ellen had also arranged Facebook livestreaming so you can still join the workshop online. Just in time for Christmas, the 21 December Smart Living Ballarat workshop on making your own comfrey balm, a beauty product, is a chance to make gifts for your sustainability-aware friends and family members. Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/make-your-own-comfrey-balm-slb-december-tickets-478954254067

Ballarat Green Drinks

A BREAZE sub-committee will be confirming the program for 2023 shortly. The program will run from February to November on the third Thursday of every month, from 6:30-8:00 pm.

The BREAZE Board will be discussing ideas for BREAZE in 2023 at our final meeting on 19 December. If you have any thoughts on what we should be doing please get in touch and I will forward you the zoom link. 

Many thanks for your membership and support throughout the year for the work of our volunteers. 

Finally, thanks to our volunteers and Board members for all the work we've accomplished this year. It's been great working with you all.

Wishing everyone a relaxing, Covid-free and low carbon Christmas.

All the best,

Mary

Dr Mary Debrett
President, December 2022                                                     

 

SLB December 2022

Lidwine Oliver is a Ballarat local who makes her own beauty and skincare products at home.
She will be demonstrating how to make a multi-purpose comfrey and plantain balm moisturiser.
The session was held in person at the Barkly Square kitchen across from A Pot of Courage.
 
 
 
The session was streamed live and posted to the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page.
Smart Living Ballarat is a monthly series of free workshops, looking at different aspects of sustainable living.
 
SLB, hosted by Ellen Burns is a collaboration between BREAZE Inc. and the City of Ballarat.