During construction and maintenance of roads, we take measures to maintain the flora, fauna and ecosystems that may be impacted by our work.
We have a number of policies in place which aim to:
- maintain and where possible improve roadside biodiversity
- minimise the threats to plants and animals when we build roads
- maintain landscapes through native vegetation offsets and revegetation
- manage noxious weeds.
Native vegetation and offsets
We have a three step approach to minimise the impacts of road construction on native vegetation.
- avoid adverse impact
- if we cannot avoid impacts, we minimise impacts through planning and design
- if clearing must occur, the clearing must be offset through the purchase and protection of similar vegetation.
Permits and approvals
Various permits and approvals are required for any potential impacts to plants and animals. We work closely with key stakeholders (i.e. Councils, Department of Environment and Primary Industries and the Department of the Environment), in processing these applications to avoid, reduce and/or remediate impacts to these species.
Road projects are designed to have minimal impact on fauna-rich areas, such as wildlife corridors. Wildlife corridors are often located along creeks intersecting with motorways or within the road reservation where the projects are proposed. We protect fauna movement where possible by creating fauna crossings (underpasses or overpasses). This reduces destruction of habitats and improves and maintains species diversity.
The VicRoads Fauna Sensitive Road Design Guidelines [PDF 7.0Mb] have been developed to assist VicRoads staff promote the movement of wildlife across roads. These guidelines help in the assessment and management of fauna along roads to provide a better understanding around the impacts of roads and traffic on fauna movements and the options available for fauna sensitive road design.
We manage around 80,000 hectares of roadsides. Much of this consists of high quality vegetation. Our road reserves support a significant proportion of vegetation and make a major contribution to ecological landscape connectivity.
In the regions of Victoria where native vegetation is fragmented, our roadsides provide valuable habitat for a number of threatened plants and animals.
When landscaping our roadsides, we prefer to use plants sourced from the seeds of local trees and plants. These plants are more adapted to local conditions and have a greater tolerance to withstand drought. By planting natives, we are supporting the continuation of local species and helping to enhance local biodiversity.
The VicRoads’ Roadside Management Strategy 2011, Roadside Management – A balanced approach, sets the primary direction for holistic and integrated roadside management.
The strategy provides a framework for the balanced consideration of the four key objectives of roadside management:
- Enhance road safety and vehicle movement
- Protect environmental and cultural heritage values
- Manage fire risk; and
- Preserve and enhance roadside amenity.
It uses an asset management approach to balance the key objectives of roadside management and identify the most appropriate treatments to preserve roadside functions.
Roadside Management – A balanced approach [PDF 566 Kb]