A collage of images promoting Committee for Ballarat's Insight Session, Round Table Dinner with Julia Baird and the Ballarat Energy Network

CEO Update – February 2024

16/02/2024

From the CEO:

Welcome to 2024! We look forward to keeping you up to date on the work Committee does in collaboration with its valued and varied members from across Ballarat and the region.

Our Inspiration sessions include our marque Round Table Dinners, exclusive for our members and their guests. 2024 kicks off at the RACV Goldfields Resort in Creswick and features Dr. Julia Baird, best-selling author and Walkley Award winning journalist. Julia’s body of work includes the multiple award-winning “Phosphorescence” and her latest book Bright Shining”.

Insights sessions are designed to address specific issues aligned to our Strategic Plan. In March we will focus on population growth and housing. We have seen the impact of population growth across regional Australia, accelerating during COVID and still averaging 89,000 people each year moving to regional centers.

Fun fact: Between March 2020 and December 2023, median regional housing values have increased by 54.2%. In that same time, median capital city housing values increased by 29%.

In March, Committee for Ballarat will host an Insights Session:  Ballarat’s Housing Future: if we build it who will come.  This session will help us understand the specific data relevant to our region and help shape our member response to the State Government’s recently released  ‘new plan for Victoria’.

It is our work to Influence where arguably we have the greatest impact.  A significant focus of Committee’s work in 2024 will be the Ballarat Energy Network (BEN), following its launch in July 2023.  The first stage of the project is designed to test the feasibility and commercial viability of a distributed energy network for Ballarat, delivering 100% renewable energy to regional business, industry and the community.

If the work demonstrates the success we think it will, we will have a significant case study that could change the nature of energy generation and distribution for regional cities all around the country.  In doing so, we will help bring down the cost of energy , maximise the capacity of locally generated renewable energy, reduce network constraints, increase local energy resilience, build social and community value and help take carbon out of the atmosphere.

We will have more to say about the Ballarat Energy Network throughout 2024 and I invite all readers to watch this space!

We look forward to your continued involvement in helping make our regional community a thriving and vibrant place, known for its liveability, sustainability and inclusiveness.