Roadside Environmental Management
Local Government has a number of core responsibilities when it comes to managing roadside reserves, including the environmental values of these areas.
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.
Roadside reserves may contain significant native biodiversity, including ecological communities that may not be represented in national parks, public reserves or private land. They provide valuable wildlife habitat and corridors, especially when linked with other native vegetation remnants in the landscape. They also 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 was established to build the capacity of councils to assist them with embedding natural assets within roadside reserves into their Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework. Funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and managed by LGNSW, the project developed resources to assist councils to manage their roadside reserves.
The CRR project included a contestable grants component with 19 projects funded and successfully completed. The projects trialled resources developed through the program, including the Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework, Roadside Vegetation Management Plan template and the Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM). Feedback from councils on completion of their projects informed the development of the final Council Roadside Reserve environmental management resources.
To demonstrate some of the great work undertaken by two of our funded councils, two case study videos have been developed:
Griffith City Council undertook a comprehensive survey of all roadside reserve vegetation communities and their condition along 1,348km of roadside reserves. This informed the development of the Griffith Roadside Vegetation Management Plan and other resources. Read the case study (PDF, 109KB).
Wagga Wagga City Council assessed the conservation value of its roadside vegetation using the Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM) and the EcoRoadside App with a total of 123 individual assessments undertaken across the LGA.
The Council Roadside Reserves project has developed resources to assist councils to manage their roadside reserves as well as to embed roadside reserve management into their Integrated Planning & Reporting (IP&R) systems. Embedding roadside environmental management within IP&R has the benefit of streamlining processes by linking planning, reporting and asset management processes.
This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.