Outgoing Committee for Ballarat chair Dr David Deutscher says an ambitious plan to create a carbon neutral Ballarat should be a key focus for the city moving forward.
Dr Deutscher helped launch Committee for Ballarat's strategic priorities for 2020 and beyond during a members webinar on Friday, featuring guest speaker former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
It was his last event before officially stepping down as chair this week.
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton announced a goal to move to zero emissions by increasing renewable energy and potentially creating a mini electricity grid for the city during the webinar.
This plan is a key part of the committee's focus on addressing population growth and liveability and is intended to boost innovation, attract businesses and create jobs.
It is well known the expression it takes a village to raise a child but it takes a connected community to sustain an adult.Dr David Deutscher, outgoing Committee for Ballarat chair
"Sustainability is now common thinking. We are at a tipping point where we have an opportunity to make a difference," Dr Deutscher said.
"With the pandemic... we have seen the value of regional living so I think it will be good for us in the region to attract population, but to look at the sort of population we want to attract.
"It is actually millennials we need because they are the people who are drivers of economic growth. They want jobs. One of the ways of retaining them is to have an arts and culture context."
Dr Deutscher said another priority to progress Ballarat and prepare for population growth was to focus on creating 'villages' rather than 'suburbs'.
He said this involved thinking about human connectedness in addition to physical connectedness with infrastructure to allow less reliance on cars, a switch to electric cars and a focus on walking and bike riding.
"We need to think about building homes that require less energy and can be self sufficient, even supplied through a micro grid that supplies the community," Dr Deutscher said.
"It is well known the expression it takes a village to raise a child but it takes a connected community to sustain an adult.
"We have that opportunity here in Ballarat going forward to make that a reality."
Dr Deutscher, who took on the role at the committee's annual general meeting in October, was born and raised in Ballarat.
He said he decided to step down from his position as Committee for Ballarat chair to prioritise family.
"Family, my children and wife come first," he said.
Dr Deutscher is now retired from medical private practice but continues to teach young surgeons in Ballarat operating theatres.
Dr Deutscher said it had been a 'privilege' to work with Committee for Ballarat and its team members, particularly Mr Poulton, whose 'energy, enthusiasm and commitment is unparalleled'.
Committee for Ballarat deputy chair Rod Walton will take on the role of interim chair of the board on July 1.
The process of identifying a new chair has begun.
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