The crane from the old pier stored beside the Aquatic club awaiting a decision as to

its future.

The last truck load of the demolished crane about to go to the wreckers in Geelong.

Heritage Group

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Friends of Lorne Heritage Group

A heritage group is being formed within Friends of Lorne with the objectives:


To become familiar with major items of historical interest in Lorne and the surrounding area.


To work with the Lorne Historical Society in documenting their historical significance


To assess the wider community support for the retention/restoration of particular objects artefacts

and buildings


To facilitate the retention/restoration of such items deemed by the Society and the community to

be significant


To cooperate with the appropriate authorities and organizations in the above facilitation.


To coopt to the group individuals having special interest/expertise in a particular project,

independent of their membership status with Friends of Lorne

The formation of the group was initiated by the demolition of the crane that stood on the end of the old

pier and was being temporally stored on shore.

The restoration of the crane will be the first project for the Heritage Group.

At its height the fishing industry in Lorne had about 36 fishing

boats providing a ton of couta each day to be processed by the

Fishing Co-op. Cranes were used to lift the boats onto the

safety of the deck at the end of each day because seas could be

rough. There was only room for 25 on deck, however, the rest

had to face the weather on moorings. Several different cranes

were used in the life of the pier.

Logging activities at the pier ceased about 1935 and the fishing

industry also declined to such an extent that only 3 fishing

boats remained about 10 years ago. The final blow was dealt

when the crane was condemned as unsafe and the fishing

industry in Lorne disappeared overnight.

Around this time consultants also reported that the pier itself

was unsafe and the decision was taken to build a new pier to

service tourism and recreational fishing needs. Construction of

a new pier commenced on the 1st March 2006 using the old pier

as a working platform. At the end of construction the old pier

was demolished except for a short section at the shore end.

The reasons for this were to save money, to preserve part of

Lorne’s history, and to provide a possible site for relocation of

the now unused crane.

Friends of Lorne had consistently over 5 years made known its

desire for the crane to be retained as an icon of Lorne’s past.

In 2005, as part of preliminary discussions on the new pier, they

circulated 700 survey forms to members and randomly in the

general community. Of the 222 forms completed, 76% were in

favour of the crane being kept on the end of the new pier and

also 83% were against it being relocated to the shore. At a

public meeting called after the design had been completed it

was clear that the fin tailed  design at the end of the pier made it impossible for the crane to be placed

at the end of the new pier. The meeting gave very strong support to the crane being placed on the

timber deck of the section of the old pier that was not to be demolished. This was followed by another

survey. Of the 149 forms returned 78% were strongly in favour of this solution.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) was not committed to placing the crane on the section

of the old pier and stored it temporarily on the shore while a decision was made. However, Friends of

Lorne was given an assurance in writing that a decision on the future of the crane would not be made

until the master plan process for the future development of the Point Grey (the pier precinct) had been


To the dismay and anger of a large section of the wider community, with only a few days warning, the

crane was cut up and delivered to the wreckers in late November 2009.This was despite Friends of

Lorne’s previous offer to contribute to costs of relocation.

Some members of Friends of Lorne visited the wreckers and obtained their cooperation in putting aside

some of the pieces of the crane for return to Lorne. GORCC agreed to transport these sections back to

the quarry at Lorne for storage.

The formation of a heritage group within Friends of Lorne is now well advanced. Its aim is to reassemble

the saved portions of the crane into a simple realistic copy to be placed on the remaining section of the

old pier. This can be done in such a manner as to overcome all the reasons given by GORCC for its


The group will work with GORCC to achieve its aim.