The ‘Adopt A Worker’ initiative is on the hunt for accommodation in Lorne to house summer casuals

The ‘Adopt A Worker’ initiative is on the hunt for accommodation in Lorne to house summer casuals

Words by Ashlee Simpson

As Victoria continues to open up and businesses return to normal capacity, summer casuals are struggling to find accommodation whilst they work. Here’s how you can help.

It’s like something out of a pre-COVID dream – tents lining the beachfront with an ocean of board-shorts and bikinis wandering around, dripping ice-creams, pubs and cafes overflowing from the inside out with an endless array of glasses and plates filling the tables.

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As we edge closer towards normality, members of the Lorne Business and Tourism Association have identified a key issue in attaining this blissful scenery – the cost and availability of living, particularly for summer workers relocating to make the most out of the season.

“The whole crazy/beautiful scene that is Lorne in summer doesn’t work without workers. It breaks down. Coffee isn’t made. Beers aren’t pulled. Dishes aren’t washed and shelves aren’t stacked,” illustrates the Lorne Business and Tourism Association.

Like everything, there is a solution. Simply, the association has reached out to the Lorne community of both part-time and permanent residents, asking to “adopt a worker”.

Whether it be a spare bedroom, granny flat, or a place for a tent or caravan, these extra, far more affordable living situations are ideal for summer workers.

Iconic places like HAH Lornebeach café or the local pub would not be capable of delivering wonderful customer service without their essential workers who struggle to find a temporary living situation close to work.

The association has urged Lorne residents that “no beds = no workers = no way to meet the needs of tourists = no fun for anyone.”

Organisers further emphasised the cost to rent these spaces and the importance of affordable rent. After all, “cut ‘em some slack – you’re doing a service for your town.” For comparison, the Lorne backpackers destination Great Ocean Road Cottages currently charges upwards of $250 a night.

Not only does this initiative invite workers from far and wide, but it also helps develop Lorne’s sense of community. The destination guide Love Lorne has denoted potential hosts could range from young families to older folk who would benefit from “reconnecting with the zeitgeist”, ultimately closing the gap of ageism and expanding the close-knit community, whilst also forming beautiful relationships across the board.

“So adopt a worker and become part of a sweet synthesis of community and commerce whereby Lorne is able, once again, to show its best self to the world.”

For more info and to register your interest to rent a worker, head here.