Mansfield Shire Council is asking residents to check with Council before undertaking bushfire preparation works on roadsides or road reserves as they may be protected and providing important habitat for endangered species.
Mansfield Shire CEO, Kaylene Conrick said Council staff have received several inquiries about cleaning up roadsides as part of bushfire preparations.
“Many roadsides across the Shire offer habitat for threatened flora and fauna and are protected under Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Vic) and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Ms Conrick said.
“They often contain fallen logs which can be important for insects, lizards and birds and support high levels of biodiversity as they have remained undisturbed,” she said.
“Although Council encourages the removal of introduced grasses and fine fuel loads on low conservation roadways for bushfire preparation, high conservation roadsides should not be cleaned up in the same way.
“We understand distinguishing between the two can be confusing and so we encourage residents to contact Council before they do any work on roadsides.”
Permits are required for works within a road reserve. Council can provide advice about the permits and a list of High Conservation roadways. Council’s Roadside Conservation Management Plan can be found on our website here.