Roadside Conservation

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Roadside vegetation in Indigo Shire contains significant remnant vegetation with very high ecological values and often threatened species of flora and fauna.

In a landscape cleared for agriculture where little remains of the original native vegetation, the roadside verge often contains the last refuge for plant communities.  These provide habitat and corridors linking larger areas of vegetation for native animals.  Without these corridors, animal communities would become isolated and unable to migrate in search of food, habitat and mating opportunities.

Council's Roadside Conservation Management Plan, adopted 15 September 2020, recognises the conservation, cultural and recreational values of roadsides in the municipality.  The Plan aims to protect, maintain and enhance native vegetation and biodiversity values when undertaking activities on roadsides.

The Roadside Conservation Management Plan assessed conservation values on all rural roadsides within the Shire, classifying them into Critical, High, Medium or Low Conservation value roadsides.

Check the conservation value of your roadside.(XLSX, 142KB)

The Roadside Conservation Management Plan lists management strategies appropriate for work on each category of roadside, as well as applicable legislation that applies to all roadsides.

Frequently asked questions

Can I clear trees in the road reserve?

Contact us to discuss your proposal. You will need a consent to work in the road reserve. There are some exemptions but most vegetation clearing would also require a planning permit and offsets. Given Council is the responsible authority for most roads, Council would be required to obtain the planning permit and offsets required. Our policy is to retain native vegetation in the roadsides unless it is causing a road safety issue. All roads are regularly inspected for maintenance, including assessment of overhanging trees, but if you think there is a hazard please report it to us.

 

 

Can I plant trees in the road reserve?

 Probably. We encourage native vegetation appropriate to the area to improve the roadside conservation value. You will need a consent to work in the road reserve so please discuss your proposal with us. Don't plant near power lines or other services. Planting of non-natives is not permitted and may be removed by Council.

 

Can I bulldoze/grade the roadside to remove fire hazards?

No. This is a contravention of the native vegetation regulations. Clearing the area will result in loss of habitat, and more weeds. Fuel reduction in applicable roadsides will be professionally undertaken by the CFA brigades, with the required environmental checks and controls in place.

 

There are trees near my fence, can I clear them?

For fence maintenance or construction, a combined maximum width of 4 m can be cleared under exemptions, however, if one side is already cleared to 4 m or more, then the other side can be cleared to 1 m only if necessary. If more than the exempt amount of vegetation to be cleared, Planning Permits apply. If you are proposing to remove trees in the road reserve, you must have permission from Council via a consent to work in the road reserve. 

 

Can I collect firewood from Council roadsides?

Firewood collection is permitted on designated roads only, with a valid permit.

See our firewood page for more information.


 

 

Can I graze or drove livestock along the road reserve?

You will need a local laws permit, you can find more information here.

 

 

Can I mow or slash in the road reserve?

Yes, but disturbance to native vegetation must be avoided and minimised. 

 

Can I keep bee hives in the road reserve?

Yes, and you don’t need to get permission from council. Beekeepers need to be registered, comply with the Bees Act 1971 and Bees Regulations 1992, and need to keep the bees and hives in accordance with the Apiary Code of Practice. 

 

I need to construct an access point, driveway or drain, what are the requirements?

A planning permit may be required if native vegetation will be removed that is not subject to an exemption. A consent to work in the road reserve will also be required, find more information here.

 

 

Can I make fairy houses or decorate the trees?

Talk to us about the best options for where to do this. Native animals need hollows in trees for their houses. Fairy doors etc would be best placed on ornamental street trees. 

 

Can I burn off in the roadside?

No, the CFA may conduct burn offs in the road reserve, with Council's consent.

Can I control weeds in the roadside?

Yes, if you don’t impact native vegetation as well, and you hold an Agricultural Chemical Users Permit. 

 

Can I take flowers and seeds from roadside vegetation?

You will need a permit from DELWP.