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What the locals want

Jamie Furness    February 2, 2023    3 min read   

By Jamie Furness

With 2023 in full swing, Forest Lake locals recently expressed some of the things they would like to see in the community via Facebook to a virtual Suggestion Box.

Forest Lake local and community champion Kylie Gates, who organises regular community events such as the Forest Lake Community Festival, said she was hoping people would get on board with organising some of the ideas mentioned in the comments.

“I’m just one person, and I was hoping to get people excited,” she said.

“It’s exactly the same reason I started the community festival … we have this big suburb with so much potential with not a lot happening.”


Locals were particularly keen to bring back community movie nights by the lake and more pet-friendly events.

Several people also voiced a strong interest in bringing back pest fishing events to remove harmful non-native fish from the lake.

“I think pest fishing is brilliant – maybe with some entertainment,” one user said.

Oher ideas included community barbecue, car shows, Meet the Neighbour events, New Years Eve fireworks and laser light shows, and expanding the Jazz at the Lake event with the inclusion of more food trucks.

People also voiced the need for more entertainment options, as well as events for teens and tweens.

“We need a targeted “big kids” event,” one local said, with suggestions including folk festivals and speedcubing (rubix cube) competitions.

Fireworks and laser light shows were popular suggestions for 2023 in Forest Lake.


Locals were keen to see upgrades applied to the Lake stage, with LED lighting and better equipment, as well as the introduction of a community garden.

“With the cost of veggies I think a community garden is a great way of connecting with people,” one local said.

Sports facilities suggested included a swimming pool, a local skate or BMX park, with another person asking to bring back paddle boating.

“Years ago they had paddle boat hire at the lake – that was fun,” another contributor said.

Others pushed for a new community hub and a local wedding venue.

“Reclaim the building at the lake and make it the wedding reception and restaurant venue that it was built for,” they said. 


Several locals expressed the need for more variety at the Forest Lake shopping centre. 

Some specifically asked to bring in a Chemist Warehouse and bargain gift store, such as the Reject Shop, while another listed the need for a car wash.

Kylie is working together with Forest Lake Ward councillor Charles Strunk and The Wasps vice president Veronica Stickley to make some of the suggestions happen.

“We’ve locked in the March market event as a pets edition,” she said.

“We’ve just started a walking group – it’s going to be on Monday and Wednesday nights at the amphitheatre at 7:00 pm.”

A car show may be on the cards for 2023 at The Wasps oval (conditional upon the installation of a driveway) as well as jewellery, arts and craft days at Simple Bliss Coffee and the expansion of Jazz at the Lake.

“We’ve locked in a date for the [Forest Lake Community] Festival – that’s going to be August 26,” she said.

Event announcements will continue to come as the year progresses.

Forest Lake Community Festival, 2022.

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Jamie Furness