$1M Allocated to Improve Water Quality, Address Ibis Infestation in Forest Lake

More than $1 million has been committed over a two-and-a-half year period to address ongoing issues in Forest Lake. The funding will be used to improve the lake’s water quality, tackle algae and address the increasing ibis population.

The 10.9-hectare man-made recreational lake used to be an area where family and friends could gather amidst picturesque surroundings. Now the lake’s declining environment is driving locals away.

“The lake was originally one of the reasons people moved and bought here. They proudly took visitors from other suburbs, interstate and overseas for walks and picnics at the lake. Now, instead of walking, locals are driving out to other suburbs for outdoor recreation. This has detrimental repercussions for example on ‘sense of community’ and local businesses,” a local commented in a Change.org petition in hopes of saving the lake.

In January 2019, a number of local residents even formed a group called the Lake Action Group. The group hopes to find a long-term to solution by actively researching, contacting experts in the field of lake restoration, communicating with council and encouraging community involvement.

News about infestation of ibis surfaced in 2017. At the time, there were already thousands of ibises in the area and they were already causing damage to the environs. The Council implemented some rules, such as reducing food sources and installation of signages that warn visitors not to feed the birds.  

Algae infestation also contributes to the challenges of maintaining the lake. The blue-green algae bloom that caused some concern to locals in 2011 occurred again in 2017. Residents have been advised not to enter the water due to the high toxicity levels from the algae bloom.

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With this initiative to save the lake, the community could see the lake’s beauty that was once lost.

“Brisbane’s natural environment makes our city one of Australia’s best places to live, work and relax and it’s important we work together to protect our waterways to ensure future generations will continue to enjoy them,” Team Quirk wrote on Facebook.