Road reserves make a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation.
Many road reserves contain the last remaining intact areas of plant communities that provide habitat and wildlife corridors for a range of plants and animals. If you have a roadside containing native grasses, shrubs and trees adjacent to your property it will require little maintenance, be aesthetically pleasing and will provide abundant wildlife, shelter for stock and windbreaks for crops. Please leave tree limbs on a roadside rather than ‘tidying it up’ as logs and branches provide habitat for native animals.
Roadside Conservation Management Plan
Mansfield Shire Council, at its Ordinary Meeting on 17 June 2014, adopted the Roadside Conservation Management Plan (RCMP). The RCMP focuses on vegetated roadside areas. This complements Council’s role as a road manager relating to the traffic function of roads, as set out in the Road Management Act 2004.
The RCMP recognises that roadside vegetation forms important corridors in the landscape, providing habitat and links for flora and fauna, and also provides a large part of the aesthetic vegetated character of the municipality. The RCMP aims to assist roadside managers and users to understand vegetation values, applicable legislation requirements and suitable methods to reduce risks when working on roadsides.
The Roadside Conservation Management Plan consists of three documents:
The Community Roadside Handbook: a user friendly document for the general community as a reference for specific activities.
Roadside Conservation Management Plan - Part 1: this was dopted in June 2014, and was written specifically to assist Council Officers. It details Council’s role in roadside conservation by outlining the objectives, general principles and actions necessary to implement this Plan. It is an activity-based document that sets out the legislative requirements and issues that apply for each activity. It provides guidelines and methods for avoiding native vegetation damage. The RCMP refers to the Roadside Conservation Values Map Booklet which depicts ratings of high, medium or low conservation value for all Council managed roadsides.
Roadside Conservation Code of Practice Handbook: was produced to serve the needs of road construction and maintenance contractors and field services staff. It is to be used in conjunction with the Routine Roadside Maintenance Flowcharts included in this Plan and the Biodiversity Risk Management Protocols written specifically to assist Council and contractors.
Roadside Conservation Value Mapping
The Roadside Conservation Values Map booklet identifies the conservation value of all roadsides managed by Council in Mansfield Shire. The roadsides were assessed using methodology taken from the Roadsides Conservation Advisory Committee Roadside Assessment Handbook, 2000.
A conservation value of high, medium or low is generated through a vehicle-based assessment with the presence of indicating factors including:
- Roadside width
- Wildlife corridor
- Weed cover
- Site disturbance
- Listed species status
- Fauna habitat (presence of trees, shrubs, grasses, leaf litter, fallen timber, rocks, crevices or wet marshy land)
Landholders can access their adjacent roadside conservation value information by contacting Council’s Environment Department on 5775 8555.
Have Your Say
Council is currently updating their Roadside Conservation Value maps and would like the opportunity to hear from residents about their knowledge of species habitats in road side areas.
Please click here to access our online form to enable us to generate a great understanding of the biodiversity in our Shire.
This link will remain open until March 2021.
In most cases Council consent is required before any works or activities are undertaken in a road reserve for which Council is the Coordinating Road Authority. Permits are a means of notifying Council and State Government agencies prior to commencing any works on a road reserve to ensure a coordinated approach across the Shire to roadside management and road safety. Types of permits include:
A Planning Permit is required for native vegetation removal (including grasses and shrubs as well as trees) and works such as erecting signs. Planning Permits are administered by Council's Planning Unit.
Local Laws Permit
A Local Laws Permit is required for activities such as grazing or droving stock, roadside trading, advertising signs, displays and sale of goods. Local Laws Permits are administered by Council's Local Laws Unit.
Works Within a Road Reserve Permit
A consent for Works Within a Road Reserve is required for works such as; property access (crossovers / driveways), bitumen sealed turnouts and shoulders, concrete footpaths, plumbing services connections, minor excavations to lay or maintain underground utility services. Consent for Works Within a Road Reserve Permits are administered by Council's Engineering Unit.
Mansfield Shire Council
Address: 33 Highett Street Mansfield Vic 3722
Phone: 03 5775 8555
Address: 50-52 Clarke Street Benalla Vic 3672
Phone: 13 11 71