Committee for Lorne: Climate… are we on the right bandwagon?

December 18, 2023 BY

There are already far too many words, opinions, oars in the water, bakings in the sun, and blowings in the wind … yet here I am, penning another.

You will be forgiven if you turn away now to watch the rain clouds, the gulls, the cockies, or the passing parade of visitors to our town … but I’m over all this climate stuff.

The debate—if it can be called a debate—is like a kids-in-the-schoolyard scuffle where, sooner or later, someone must step into the middle to say, “… it’s time to break this up, take a breath, and be rational”. While our kids are all being scared out of their wits—and who can blame them—the quasi-adult brains driving their anxiety are ‘out to a long lunch’!

Two things have led me to pen this piece:
[1] the annual climate talkfest [COP28] soon to conclude in Dubai.
[2] a very thoughtful, inquisitive question from Finn, my 12-year-old grandson that came out of nowhere while driving from Lorne to G’town.
Suddenly he asked: “… can you explain what nuclear power is, Codge” [Codge—or Codger—is my family sobriquet] “… and why won’t Australia use it?” Try unpacking that in an hour for a 12-year-old!

First … COP28. Historically, Australia’s light has not shone brightly at sequential COPs, our messaging being too often confused, inconsistent, and scrambled.

But at this 28th annual talkfest, our ideological one-man horror show, Chris Bowen, has eclipsed all past performances to shine ever more brightly as ‘the odd man out’.

I wonder if the man is just thick-skinned—or simply thick? I regret denigrating a Minister of the Crown, but … really!
While Australia’s position is to continue to proselytise sun and wind ‘renewables’ as the only way forward [NB: the energy they produce might be renewable, but the infrastructure they require
also has to be renewed… and every 20-25 years],the other G20 countries are wisely back-peddling from that mantra and are looking again at carbon capture and storage, at natural carbon sinks, and bright-mind technological solutions.

Above all, they are embracing a return to the nuclear power option [always my preference as the best long-term solution to base-load power] and advocating for a tripling of nuclear power generation by 2050. Bowen, meanwhile, drives his leftist Cabinet and Caucus towards a dystopian future where regional landscapes [but not teal-hued inner suburbs] are blanketed by swathes of solar panels and towering wind turbines.

This does not mean that sun and wind cannot/should not play a part, but the quite unhinged climate ideologue from Western Sydney seems blind to any alternatives. When we desperately
need a national all-options-on-the-table debate to inform rational bipartisan decisions about energy, a popsicle has been put in charge. Bowen is the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time.

Indeed, one might be forgiven for thinking, “Anyone but …” As I write this [for me] uncharacteristic diatribe, Lorne’s temperamental spring and early summer weather continues to tease.

The high winds, sheeting rain, and swollen rivers of the Schoolies fortnight when a mud slick stained the bay from Stony Creek to the George River and sodden, flattened, and forlorn Schoolies tents dotted the camping grounds—it was a doozy of an Easterly— finally gave way to several days of gloriously warm and sunny weather. But Lorne is now cold, wet, and gloomy again, even as a heatwave has cranked up in New South Wales.

Dorothea Mackellar was spot on when, 120 years ago, she wrote her immortal poem “Core of my heart” (later known as “My Country”) … see attached excerpt copied from the original held at
the State Library of New South Wales. Australia is indeed “… a sunburnt country, a land of droughts and flooding rains”, which Bowen is now doing his best to shade [or umbrella] with solar panels.
While catastrophists cry, “Armageddon is upon us—though perhaps not quite yet—it is hard to deny the evidence that our human need and greed for energy is causing atmospheric damage.

But this threat must be met with a soberly thought out, globally agreed upon, funded, coordinated, and implemented strategy. While challenging to engineer with more than 200 nations in the room,
this time—except for Bowen and Australia—some headway is being made. The peeps are trying! A major rethink of global priorities and goals is back on the table, and the language from the meeting has changed. As Joel Fitzgibbon put it so beautifully in The Australian [8/12/23], “COP28 certainly knows how to draw an odd crowd” …

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/cop28-certainly-knowshow-to-draw-an-odd-crowd/news-story/ff6af2f18c2868f09b895fc796c79c76 “… while some still focus entirely on emissions reductions, recklessly demanding an immediate cessation of fossil fuel consumption, others have recognised the urgency and enormity of the challenge and understand that such a big task requires time, calm and multiple solutions”. Fitzgibbon adds: “… this is the sensible message business leaders and industry bodies have brought to COP28.”

Ah, Joel, if only the Labor government still had you at their climate helm and not the current ninny. Incapable of reading the room, Bowen’s unwaveringly blinkered view has shaped Australia as a ‘COP28 climate pariah’ in this global priority rethink, leaving him [and us] very much ‘out in the cold’. At least most COP delegates will take home the sentient message “…that such a big task requires time, calm and multiple solutions”. Meanwhile, the placard-waving activists here in Australia might do well to paint over their ‘Ban Nuclear Power’ messages and replace them with ‘Bring Back Joel’. Regarding the COP28 activists and their protests, Fitzgibbon also puts it well: “… the protesters [outside] seem as oblivious to the progress of the nearby climate talks as the politicians and negotiators involved in the formal talks [inside] are oblivious to them.”

Finally, to Finn, my sharp-minded, curious grandson, and his question, “… can you explain what nuclear power is, Codge, and why won’t Australia use it?” … it was a stimulating hour’s drive!
We talked about the shape and structure of atoms; about how some atoms, like uranium, are radioactive and, when split by a neutron, release more neutrons; about chain reactions [using the ping pong balls and mousetraps example]; about how uranium atoms, when split, release heat that is then used to generate power and energy. We talked about isotopes, radioactivity decay, and the anxieties surrounding disposal. We talked about how it can all go pear-shaped [as it did at Chernobyl and Fukushima] but how that technology was many decades old and newer, safer, smaller systems are the way of the future. You may tell from this piece that I am a nuclear power advocate. Hopefully, I may have just added one more during that one-hour drive!

John Agar

Feature Writer – Committee for Lorne



A word from the Chairman


Community is a word that is often used, but what does it mean? There are many dictionary definitions, but I think the one that best describes the Lorne community is “a group of people who share a story that is so important to them that it defines an aspect of who they are”.

We are not unique in Lorne but we are “special” in the community we have. You can see it reflected around us in the facilities we have, the Stribling Reserve Community Pavilion, Lorne Community Connect, the former Lorne Community Hospital (now Great Ocean Road Health), and our three churches. But our community is much more than facilities, it is about the coming together of Lorne people in times of sadness and joy, of need and celebration. We have seen it this year with the commemoration of the lives of those who have passed on, the amazing financial and physical contribution to Cam Nugent and his cause, the support of our netball, football, and cricket teams and in so many other ways.

It has been exemplified by the consistent attendances at the Thursday night community dinners at Stribling Reserve which have become part of the calendar of many locals and visitors, even though they may have no particular interest in, or connection with, netball, football, or cricket.

At this time of year our community comes together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and to thank each other for our friendship, involvement and sharing. The Lorne Country Club did this in style on Sunday, where over 100 members and guests enjoyed fine food, good company, great entertainment and the presentation of two Life Memberships to Mark Trickey (posthumously) and Dale Ridgeway. It was a fitting end to an eventful year for the Club.

Congratulations to the Costa family on once again lighting up North Lorne. Their display gets better every year and brings joy to many, not just children. Santa won’t miss Lorne this year, let’s just hope he makes it past North Lorne!

Welcome to Country Road, your store will bring new life to the southern end of our shopping strip. Congratulations to the tradies who have literally worked night and day to get the store ready for its pre-Christmas opening. We wish you success and look forward to you and your team being part of our community.

Last week we bade farewell to Lorne’s oldest residents, Geoff Jarratt at the age of 101. I did not know Geoff personally but the tributes that have flowed paint a picture of a man who was loved, respected and admired by many. Geoff was a founding member of the Lorne Aquatic and Angling Club, was a Life Member of the Lorne Football Netball Club, and demonstrated what it means to be a part of and serve our community.

Rest in peace Geoff, condolences to Wendy, John, Debbie, and friends.

John Higgins – Chairman


Lorne Ward Events Calendar –


  • 12 Mountain to Surf Run

8:30am at Lorne

  • 12-15 David Princus -Watercolours exhibition

at Lorne Community Conedct

  • 13 Pier to Pub Swim

from 11am at Lorne

  • 19-20 Karen Stoneham solo exhibition

at Lorne Community Connect

  • 21 Deans Marsh Market

local food growers, producers and crafts people at Deans Marsh Reserve 10am-2pm

  • 19-21 Deans Marsh Sheep Dog Trials

8am start, Deans Marsh Reserve

  • 27 Lorne Market

9-4pm https://www.lornemarkets.com/


  • Castle & Candle Competition,

6-9pm at St George River


  • 10 Lorne Aquatic & Angling Club – Major Fishing Competition No 2

Weigh cut off 12.30pm. Free roast lunch for competitors, $10 non-fishing members.

  • 28-13/4 Photographic Exhibition

at Lorne Community Connect. 1st prize $1,000, 2nd prize $500 submissions close 19 January 2024

  • 31 Lorne Aquatic & Angling Club – Major Fishing Competition No 3

Weigh cut off 12.30pm. Free roast lunch for competitors, $10 non-fishing members.


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