THE Surf Coast Shire council says it is still committed to increasing the permanent population of Lorne, but will wait to hear more from the Committee for Lorne before it proceeds any further.
Councillors received an update on the project at their meeting on Tuesday last week.
According to the report, the Lorne Structure Plan was supposed to be reviewed last year but has been paused to take stock of the low housing affordability in Lorne, which the community sees as a key issue to be addressed.
The Committee for Lorne’s Achieving Lorne’s Aspirations plan of 2017 wants Lorne’s permanent population to increase from about 1,100 to 1,500 as well as a reduction in the median age.
“These goals are seen as critical to the sustainability and vitality of the town. The affordability of housing for workers is seen as a key hurdle,” the report states.
The report says the committee will make a representation to the council sometime early this year, which will include:
• The latest version of the Achieving Lorne’s Aspirations plan
• A detailed research paper on affordable housing issues and options for seasonal and permanent workers, and
• A summary report with recommendations and proposals for the council’s consideration.
The shire has also been invited to take part in a Victorian Planning Authority study, the Homes for Key Workers Action Plan.
The study’s intention is to increase the supply of high-quality rental and permanent accommodation for workers from a range of industries across the Great South Coast region up to and including the Surf Coast.
At last week’s meeting, Lorne Ward councillor Clive Goldsworthy said the Lorne community had worked closely with the council on the issue to extend the scope of the Lorne Structure Plan.
“It acknowledges there is a massive issue of housing affordability, and that’s across not only Lorne, that’s across the whole of the Surf Coast Shire with such an itinerant population of workers over the tourist season.”