Management of roadsides is important for safety, fire management, township appearance, conservation of significant vegetation and the provision of services such as gas and electricity.  

Maintenance of Nature Strips and Roadsides

Nature strips are in place to provide services to each property, such as drainage, sewage, gas, phone and electricity. Although the nature strip is classed as government land, these services benefit the property owners and/or tenant. As a result property owners maintain nature strips.

We will mow roadsides at intersections and high traffic areas to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. We will also mow some roadsides around townships.

Maintenance programs for roadsides are varied and depend on location, the significance of the vegetation and the vegetation of neighbouring properties.

Fire Management on Roadsides (Roadside Slashing Program)

The roadside slashing program is carried out annually to reduce fire fuel loads and manage potential fire hazards on strategic network roads. The program is determined by the criteria set in the Country Fire Authority (CFA) roadside management guidelines and strategic roads are designated by the CFA.    

Planting Guidelines for Nature Strips & Roadsides

Where possible, indigenous species will be planted on nature strips, otherwise appropriate non evasive exotic species will be used.

Roadsides outside the urban areas will only be planted with indigenous native species that will provide habitat and wildlife corridors for native fauna.

Tree Planting by Residents

Residents are not permitted to plant trees and shrubs on nature strip, council managed parks and road reserves unless council approval is obtained. Council may remove any such plantings. Where existing vegetation is planted on nature strips, road reserves or council managed land by residents, any unauthorized vegetation will be removed.  

Buloke Shire Council - Community Local Law No.10

27. Locating trees and plants and other obstructions

(1) An owner or occupier of land must not plant a tree or plant, allow a tree or locate a tree or plant, fencing, a sign or anything on their property so that it could be an obstruction or so that it obstructs or interferes with pedestrian or vehicular traffic because it:

(a) overhangs a property boundary onto a footpath or other part of the road used by pedestrians limiting safe access or likely to cause injury or damage;

(b) or extends over any part of the road so that it:

(i) obstructs the view between vehicles at an intersection; or

(ii) obstructs the view between vehicles and pedestrians; or

(iii) obscures a traffic control item from an approaching vehicle or pedestrian; or

(iv) obscures street lighting; or

(c) constitutes a danger to vehicles or pedestrians or compromises the safe and convenient use of the road.    

(2) A tree or plant overhanging a property boundary onto a footpath will be considered to limit safe access for pedestrians or likely to cause injury or damage if it encroaches on a road because it is less than 3 metres high or a pedestrian cannot continue on a footpath and needs to step off the footpath to avoid trees or plants from an abutting property.

(3) The Council may serve a Notice to Comply requiring an owner or occupier of land to take remedial action to ensure that trees and plants on that person’s property do not compromise safe access for pedestrians using a footpath.¹  

¹ Section 225 of the Local Government Act 1989 provides a power to the council to carry out work if a person fails to carry out work required under a local law and to recover the costs of carrying out the work.