Home » Forest Lake History – Part 12

Forest Lake History – Part 12

Corin Mackay and Jamie Furness    January 26, 2024    6 min read   

From “Before Forest Lake” by Vicki Mynott

Forest Lake beginnings


1988 -The Archerfield property and the “Woodlands” vision were bought by developers 

1989 – The name “Forest Lake” first appeared in a concept plan

1990 – Work on infrastructure for Forest Lake was in progress

1991 – The Forest Lake project was officially opened by Premier Wayne Goss in April

1991 – Homestead Park was officially opened in November

Forest Lake 1990

In 1990, the whole area was still covered in forest, but by 1994, there were many houses, and The Lake had sprung into being.

Clearing and burning. Source: Jenny Stedman
Clearing for Forest Lake Boulevard. Source: Jenny Stedman

1991 – Sales and Construction begins

“The Traditional family allotments range in size from 620m2  to 900m2, with an average size of 743m2 and will range in price from $40,000 to $53,000 with an average price of $48,000.

The larger Parkland allotments will range from 1,300m2 to 2,000m2 with an average size of 1,614m2. They will be priced from $70,000 to $89,000 and will average $80,000…”

  Source: Forest Lake Update, Issue Two, March 1991

Forest Lake was divided into 15 villages… and eight smaller residential precincts…

In the early 90s, a new housing stage was released every four weeks. In Forest Lake’s first year, 450 lots were sold. From a startup date of April 1991 to August 1993, work began on 1150 houses and 755 families moved into their new home…  (Philip, p27)

Forest Lake firsts 1991-1993

The first Forest Lake land release, Woodvale Village, was opened by Mr Henry Palaszchuk MLA on 30 November 1990.

The Ipswich Road Overpass was completed in December 1990, extending the Centenary Highway towards Forest Lake. This was funded and built by the Forest Lake developers. 

The first home to be built in Forest Lake opened in mid-1991 as the project Information and Sales Centre (at the Garden/Government Road entrance to Forest Lake).

A Housing Industry Association Display village, with homes by eleven of Queensland’s leading builders, was opened in August 1991 in Lavender Court.

Also in 1991, Delfin won two planning awards for Forest Lake – from the Royal Australian Planning Institute (Qld) and the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management.

First Tree Planting – Clive Wells, BCC Alderman for Inala Ward. Source: Forest Lake Update, Issue Two, March 1991
First Ipswich Road Overpass.  Source: Forest Lake Update, Issue Two, March 1991
First House in Forest Lake – in 2017, part of a child care centre.  Source: Forest Lake Update, Issue Two, March 1991

In September 1991, the very first residents of Forest Lake, Fred and Irene Allen, moved into Lavender Court and became part of the foundations of the Forest Lake community. These original residents are now remembered in Allen Close, in the Jubilee Crossing village, where streets are named after early residents of Forest Lake.

Doyle’s Bus Service

Doyle’s Bus Service took over Goodna Bus Service in 1973. We serviced Ellen Grove, so naturally we extended into Forest Lake when they started building there in 1991. Then, when the first shopping centre – “Forest Fair Neighbourhood Shopping Centre” – opened on Woogaroo Street in November 1992, the developer hired Doyles to provide a free mini-bus to the centre for residents from Monday to Friday. Later the service was extended to Centenary Shopping Centre.”

  • Kevin Doyle, 2016
Doyle’s Mini Bus Service. Source: Kevin Doyle.


By 1993, Forest Lake was beginning to become established. In that year:

  • Brisbane City Council commenced bus services within Forest Lake
  • Construction began on Forest Lake’s first schools
  • Delfin held the first community garden competition
  • Several community groups were established, including the Forest Lake Seniors, Neighbourhood Watch and the Lions Club.
  • Stage one of The Lake was under construction

The Lake News also began publication in July 1993. In its August issue, it was reported in The Lake News:

“… the lake is filling rapidly… Landscaping of the lake will commence during this month with the first 400m of embankment planting…

A quick trip down the track at the end of the Boulevard will allow you to see stage one of the lake. The white concrete liner you can see around the edge will be fully submerged when the final water level is reached. A further concrete and natural stone wall will be built behind the existing concrete leaving a three metre wide safety ledge where the water is a maximum of 600mm deep…”

  • The Lake News, August 1993

In the September 1993 issue, The Lake News provided a summary of the current Forest Lake population – 771 families (2000 people); two families moving in per day – and predicted maybe 1000 families by Christmas.

1994 – A Watershed

1994 was a defining year for Forest Lake. The project gained momentum, promised services started to become a reality and Forest Lake was becoming a community.

It was in 1994 that BCC gave official approval to Delfin’s 1990 revised development plan. (The original plans had not included innovations such as smaller blocks, narrower roads and low-profile kerbs, and Delfin had operated on an interim approval from 1990 to 1994).

In January 1994, another Delfin innovation was completed. Joint campus primary schools opened in Alpine Place, with 244 students in the State School and 66 in Forest Lake College (itself a shared initiative of the Anglican and Uniting churches).

The Forest Lake Child Care Centre opened adjacent to the Woogaroo Street shops and the schools.

By 1994, Forest Lake had a population of 2,500 people, with increasing services and community facilities.

“In 1994, research showed that Forest Lake’s beautiful landscaping and expansive range of parks and bushland areas were the main reasons why people were choosing to live at Forest Lake. …” (Philip p50)

It was in 1994 that The Lake was opened.

Forest Lake edging – Before The Lake was completed c1993. Source: Jenny Stedman
Forest Lake works – Before The Lake was completed  c1993. Source: Jenny Stedman

The Lake is Finished

The Lake is the centrepiece of Forest Lake.

It is not a natural lake, though it was constructed in response to the natural environment. The Lake site is a natural depression where four gullies meet as their runoff flows eastwards to Blunder Creek.

TLPI Flood Map, Forest Lake, 2012. Source: brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/FOREST_LAKE.pdf   

The flow lines can be seen on BCC’s Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) Flood Map.

The Lake was designed as part of the stormwater and runoff system for Forest Lake and the evolution of this process was a leader in the field.

The Lake has an area of 10.9 hectares, with hike and bike trails around its 2.7 kilometre perimeter.

The Lake was officially opened by Lord Mayor Jim Soorley. 15,000 people attended the event.

Forest Lake had arrived.

The Lake opening, 12 March 1994. Source: Gert Riley papers
The Lake opening, 12 March 1994. Source: Gert Riley papers
Choir at The Lake opening. Source: The Lake News, April 1994.

The Lake News thanks the Richlands-Inala History Group for providing this article. 

The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month (except in January) from 9.30 am for a 10am meeting at the BCC Inala Library Meeting Room, Corsair Ave, Inala. For enquiries contact secretary@rihghistory.org.au

Corin Mackay and Jamie Furness