Council's Roadside Conservation Management Plan¬†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.¬†
Roadside vegetation has been shown to contain highly 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 certain plant communities.¬† These provide habitat and corridors linking larger areas of vegetation for a multitude of native animals.¬† Without these corridors, animal communities would become isolated and unable to migrate in search of food and habitat.
Council assists landholders with land adjacent to Council roadsides to appropriately manage¬†pest plants and animals. Local Landcare groups¬†also provide assistance to control pest plants and animals on roadsides.
The Roadside Conservation Management Plan¬†assessed conservation values on all rural roadsides within the Rural City of Wangaratta, classifying them into High, Medium or Low Conservation value roadsides.¬† The plan lists management strategies appropriate for work on each category of roadside.
The Council production ‚ÄėKeeping Roadside Secrets Safe‚Äô shows how roadside vegetation protects flora and fauna and enhances roadsides. Contact the Wangaratta Government Centre to receive a FREE copy of this DVD.
In light of the devastating fire events in recent years, it is natural that there is a high level of concern among the community to reduce the risk of fire.¬†
Council shares this concern and has provided support and assistance to those regions which suffered. Both Council and VicRoads cooperate with the CFA to reduce fuel on identified roadside reserves in the municipality.¬†
Council cooperates with the CFA in controlled burning on selected roadsides. The CFA selects roadsides for controlled burning based on strategic fire breaks, identified fire risk and the risk and control of biodiversity impacts. This occurs in consultation with Council and ¬†the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP).¬† Simply clearing roadsides of vegetation is generally not a solution.¬†
In many cases, this can actually increase fire risk because fast growing exotic species will be expected to invade the area and can create a higher fuel load.
A permit is required for grazing on roadsides.
Application must be made in writing to Council. For more information, contact the Wangaratta Government Centre‚Äôs customer service team on (03) 5722 0888.¬† Standard conditions and fees apply.¬†
Grazing is not normally allowed on High Conservation Value roadsides to protect the habitat of many animals and birds. Controlled grazing on medium and low conservation roadsides can help control weeds and requests will be assessed depending on roadside conditions. Council‚Äôs Roadside Management Strategy outlines the conditions for grazing on roadsides.
For further information contact Council's Councils Natural Resource Management (NRM) Unit¬†on (03) 5722 0888, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the documents available for download at the bottom of the page.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions regarding roadsides.
Is a planning permit required to clear native vegetation along fence lines?
Yes.¬† A planning permit is required for native vegetation removal unless fencing works meet certain exemptions that must be approved by Council. For all enquiries about fence line clearing and fence line exemptions contact Council‚Äôs Planning department.
Is Livestock movement permitted on roadsides?
Yes.¬† Supervised movement of stock is permitted during daylight hours, at a pace of no more than one km/hour for movement between farm paddocks along and across a road reserve. Otherwise droving or grazing of stock on roadsides requires the permission of the road authority.
Do I need a permit to graze my roadside?
Yes. A permit is required for grazing on roadsides. Grazing is not generally allowed on High Conservation Value roadsides to protect the habitat of many animals and birds. Controlled grazing on medium and low conservation roadsides can help control weeds and requests will be assessed depending on roadside conditions. Applications must be made in writing to Council. Standard conditions and fees apply
Do I need Council‚Äôs permission to spray weeds on my roadside?
No. Weed spraying is permitted, provided it is carried out in compliance with all other legislation. Weed spraying must be planned to avoid loss of native vegetation. All persons undertaking roadside weed spraying must hold appropriate qualifications such as an Agricultural Chemical Users Permit. ¬†
Is permission needed for other works on road reserves?
Yes. Under the Road Management Act 2004, Council is required to regulate activities on roadsides to protect public safety.¬† Some activities on roadsides require the consent of the road authority to prevent degradation of the road itself or risk to the road users. A ‚ÄėWorks on Road Reserve‚Äô permit is needed for ploughing, cropping or haymaking adjacent to council roads due to the equipment used. Standard conditions and fees apply.
Do I need a permit to collect firewood from Council roadsides?
Yes.¬† Fallen timber on road reserve is an important habitat for native fauna.¬† Roadside firewood collection is only allowed on low conservation roadsides and medium conservation after approval by Council‚Äôs Natural Resources Management (NRM) Co-ordinator. Permits can be purchased from the Wangaratta Government Centre.