New guidelines issued by the Native Vegetation Council will give councils greater capacity to manage roadside vegetation.
Councils and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure are responsible for road maintenance and also must manage roadside vegetation growth to improve safety for drivers.
Previously they could clear native vegetation regrowth of up to five years. This has been changed to 20 years, meaning most roadside vegetation management will be possible without seeking approval. Where an approval is required, the process will be streamlined.
Native Vegetation Council (NVC) presiding member Emily Jenke said the guidelines—which are now open for consultation—would allow the removal of vegetation where needed, while also ensuring the retention of important native vegetation.
“The changes will allow them to do most of their roadside vegetation management without requiring additional approval,” she said.
“Roadside vegetation has many benefits, including providing habitat for wildlife, shade from sun glare and stabilising slopes and embankments. However, roadside vegetation can also create potential risks for road users, such as affecting sightlines.”
The NVC has distributed the guidelines and wants councils and DPTI to use them for a trial period before providing feedback by 30 June 2019.
It will also will visit regions to discuss the guidelines, and members of the public can provide feedback.
The guidelines and more information are available at www.yoursay.sa.gov.au. Public feedback is open until 31 December 2018.