Forrest Gateway Project Questionnaire
A two-year feasibility study to assess transforming a vacated government work centre into a purpose-built venue for community needs is underway for 47–49 Grant Street, Forrest.
This is currently named the Forrest Gateway Project.
2015 - 2017
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) relocated their offices and work centre from Forrest to nearby Barwon Downs. DELWP consulted the Forrest and district community about possible uses for the vacated land.

Community consultation overwhelmingly favoured creating a multi-purpose venue - co-locating the Neighbourhood House, the Historical Society, the CFA, together with a Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) in the event of bushfire.

In addition, to generate revenue for site operations, a learning and research / interactive visitor facility also located on the site was proposed– the Forrest Gateway to the Otways.

2018 - 2019
In 2018, the Forrest & District Community Group received a $250,000 grant to conduct a two-year feasibility study into the Gateway concept, emphasising a community-led approach to adapting to climate change. Forrest is in a unique location for this concept - positioned on the boundary of a National Park to the south, prime farming land to the north, and home to a major water catchment.

In March/April 2019, a community consultation process is open for comment. The Forrest Gateway Project is inviting community feedback regarding possible uses of the site. The Project is currently exploring funding options and design proposals to establish the feasibility of the preferred services in a purpose-built venue. The Project is also exploring revenue streams for financial viability for long-term maintenance and upkeep of the site, and to take the opportunity presented by the land to increase employment and income options in Forrest & district. Some early ideas for revenue sources include:
• Partnerships with existing community service providers, such as DHHS*, CFA*, EMV*, DELWP, Parks Victoria (* see below)
• Research and education centre (with a possible focus on climate change adaptation), with grants achieved in partnership with universities, state agencies or other research organisations; as well as hire of the facilities for research and educational purposes
• New, state-of-the-art interactive visitor facility to generate tourism

We would greatly appreciate it if you could take 10 minutes or so to give us your responses. The questionnaire must be submitted by 10th April 2019. All responses are anonymous. Names and addresses are not collected.

(DHHS: Department of Health & Human Services / CFA: Country Fire Authority / EMV: Emergency Management Victoria)

DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONS
Please tick relevant box. These demographic questions help us to understand whether the survey has reached a representative section of the community and visitors.
1. Age *
Required
2. Gender *
Required
3. How many people including yourself live in your household? *
Required
4. Which of these most closely describes you? *
Required
5. How often do you use existing social/government services in our town, such as Neighbourhood House, Forrest Learning Centre (including Primary School), playground, sporting facilities (including MTB trails) *
Required
QUESTIONS ABOUT IDEAS RAISED IN 2017
6. How important is it that there is a fire refuge or place of last resort available for the local community in the event of a threatening bush fire? (select one): *
Required
7. How important are the following community facilities and services (which have potential to be located on the site)? *
Extremely important
Very important
Fairly important
Neither
Fairly unimportant
Extremely unimportant
Don’t know
Neighbourhood House
Physical Activity Centre (Gym)
Historical centre
Youth space
Art Space
Children’s space
Meeting rooms
8. Preserving Forrest’s history as part of the site was strongly supported by the local community during consultation in Dec 2017. Your current opinion is that a Historical Discovery Centre is: *
9. A new state-of-the-art fire safe facility for the community will require government development funding. How important is it to you that this is prioritised and built, rather than simply making best use of the existing buildings? *
10. To enable ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the site, the site will need to generate an income. Please identify income generating uses that you would like to see operating on the site (you may select more than one use): *
Required
If we look to the future, this facility has the ability to help Forrest define itself for many decades to come. A potential source of income may exist through the creation of a research/ learning facility in collaboration with universities and other organisations. This would bring increased employment and visitors to the area.
11a. How supportive are you of the creation of a research facility in collaboration with universities or research organisations on this site? *
11b. Would you like to make a comment?
Your answer
12. Another idea is to use the site as a learning hub for school groups, universities and open to the public in general. How supportive of this are you? *
13. Do you have any suggestions for use of the site for education or interaction? Eg. agriculture in the future, climate change effects, temperate forests & the Otways
Your answer
14. Exploring some sort of interactive tourism experience for visitors to Forrest is another option for generating revenue at the site. How supportive are you of increasing tourism in Forrest to increase employment and income? *
15. Do you have any ideas for a tourism experience for visitors to Forrest?
Your answer
16. There are a number of other issues and ideas that could be built into the design for the facility. How important are the following to you? *
Extremely important
Very important
Fairly important
Neither
Fairly unimportant
Extremely unimportant
Don’t know
Indigenous partnerships on a range of issues, eg. cultural sharing, land management, historical and contemporary
Partnerships with agencies such as DELWP, CFA, Parks Victoria, Landcare, Barwon Water, Colac-Otway Shire, Tourism Victoria
Supporting tourism in Forrest and the Otways
Health and wellness experiences for visitors
17. Is there anything else you would like to see (or not see) built into the design of the facility?
Your answer
18. Are there other agencies/organisations that you think we should partner with on the site?
Your answer
19. How supportive would you be of using this facility, if it included the following features?
Extremely supportive
Fairly supportive
Somewhat supportive
Neither
Somewhat unsupportive
Fairly unsupportive
Extremely unsupportive
Neighbourhood House
Historical Society
CFA and bushfire place of last resort
Education and research facility
Interactive visitor experience for tourists
20. How do you think the re-developed site may contribute to the town in the future, if you consider the next generations. General comments:
Your answer
Thank you for your time
PLEASE PROVIDE ANY FURTHER COMMENTS OR IDEAS
Your answer
Contact the Forrest Gateway Project
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