Roadside reserves are complex environments due to competing values, with a wide range of issues to consider including road safety, conservation, cultural values, firewood collection, bushfire risk, recreational use, legal requirements and development pressures.
Local Government has a key role in managing local and regional road reserves, and some aspects of state road reserves across NSW, including the environmental values of these areas.
Roadside reserves contain significant native biodiversity, including ecological communities that may not be represented in national parks, public reserves or private land. They provide valuable wildlife habitats and corridors, especially when linked with other native vegetation remnants in the landscape, and provide connectivity which may assist in ensuring roadside environments are more sustainable in the longer term.
Council Roadside Reserves Project
The Council Roadside Reserves (CRR) Project is a three-year project funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and managed by LGNSW. The CRR Project has been established to build the capacity of councils to embed the value of natural assets in roadside reserves into the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) systems of councils. It includes a contestable grants component to assist councils in the process.
Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework
LGNSW has developed the Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework (CREMF) (PDF, 2MB) which aims to streamline roadside environmental management in councils.
The framework looks at councils' many complex road responsibilities holistically and aims to support councils in NSW to navigate complex legislation, meet regulatory requirements, minimise risk and make the process of improving roadside environments more efficient and cost-effective.
Embedding roadside environmental management within IP&R has the benefit of streamlining the process by linking it with existing planning, reporting and asset management processes. Resources and tools are included to assist councils in the process. Grants were available for councils to be part of the statewide pilot program to trial the framework concepts to improve the management and long-term environmental value of their roadside reserve assets.
This presentation provides an overview of the CREMF.
Grants to councils
The CRR project included a contestable grants program for councils to trial the framework concepts to improve the management and long term environmental value of their roadside reserve asset. A total of 21 successful applications (PDF, 212KB) were approved, totalling $1,205,206.
Projects are currently underway and will be completed by 28 February 2019.
Resources for grant projects
More CRR grant-related resources, including training videos, are also available
This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.