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Program Contact

Eva Twarkowski
Regional Natural Resource Coordinator
Phone: (02) 4978 2029
Email: evat@huntercouncils.com.au

Roadside Management

The Regional Roadside Environment Program aims to maintain and improve the important ecosystem services and environmental values that high quality and well managed roadsides contribute to the landscape. These include:
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Improved catchment and ecosystem health
  • Maintaining the aesthetic character of the landscape.
The program pursues a strategic and coordinated approach to the management of roadsides that encompasses all aspects of roadside management, from planning and environmental assessment, through to implementation of road maintenance and construction activities. The program has developed a suite of tools and resources that relate to all aspects of road planning, construction and maintenance and which are relevant to a range of staff including planners, asset managers, field supervisors and operations staff, GIS officers and natural resource management / environmental staff.

To date the program has included:
  • Widespread consultation with councils to identify roadside management issues
  • Identifying and documenting the value of icon roadside vegetation remnants across the region
  • Developing a region wide Roadside Environmental Management Strategy
  • Developing a Roadside Resource Kit including management guides, policy templates and tools to build the capacity of councils to manage roadside environments
  • Implementation of a regional roadside environment marker scheme to identify and improve management practices at ecologically sensitive sites
  • Implementation of on ground works targeting the protection and rehabilitation of ecologically significant communities located in roadsides.

Current On Ground Works

Regenerating Roadside Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC's)

Council Areas: Port Stephens, Maitland & Dungog

This project builds upon previous restoration and rehabilitation activities to remove African Olive from EEC's located in roadsides in the Port Stephens and Maitland Council areas. The current project seeks to regenerate and restore 35 hectares of roadside EEC's to improve their condition and to maintain important wildlife corridors and connectivity across various land tenures. HCCREMS, Hunter Local Land Services, and participating councils will map all EEC's across the project area and apply sensitive integrated weed management techniques targeting Lantana, Bridal Creeper and Asparagus Fern. Targeted fauna surveys will also determine the importance of roadsides as wildlife corridors. The project will also actively engage with local communities via a community event to encourage and support landholders to strategically control noxious weeds on their land.

Completed Projects

Project  Description

Conservation of Weeping Myall Woodland 2012 to 2013

Council Areas: Muswellbrook and Singleton

This project involved the regeneration and rehabilitation of small and fragmented Weeping Myall Woodland remnants located at Jerry’s Plains, roadside-management.jpegMuswellbrook and Broke.
          
Key activities delivered under the project included:

  • On-ground weed control and bush regeneration works at seven roadside locations
  • Improved ongoing management of sites through their Inclusion in the Regional Roadside Roadside Environment Marker Scheme
  • Installation of fencing to protect highly vulnerable sites
  • Vegetation surveys at all sites prior to and subsequent to weed control works.

Conservation of White Box Yellow-Box Blakely’s Redgum Grassy Woodlands  

Council Areas: Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter

This nationally critically endangered community occurs as small remnants on road reserves in the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook Shire Council areas.
In many road-mgmt-2.jpegcases these roadside remnants are the only remaining examples of this community in the region.
                     

The project delivered the following activities:

  • Control of  high priority weeds including African Boxthorn, Galenia, Tiger Pear and African Olive to encourage native regeneration within 5 sites located at Dartbrook, Bunnan, Merriwa and Edderton.
  • Improved ongoing management of sites through their inclusion in the Regional Roadsdie Environment Marker Scheme
  • Vegetation surveys of all sites prior and subsequent to weed control works.

Rehabilitation and Restoration of Persoonia pauciflora and Grey-crowned Babbler Habitat

Council Area: Cessnock

Persoonia pauciflora (North Rothbury Persoonia) is listed as critically endangered under the Commonwealth EPBC Act. It is only endemic to North Rothbury with a significant percentage of its remaining habitat being located within road reserves. These sites also provide habitat for the threatened Grey-crowned Babbler

Key activities completed included:

  • Removal of greater than 90% of weeds through sensitive bush regeneration works at 3 roadside locations. This has improved ecological integrity and resilience of remaining habitat.
  • Complementing and expanding previous rehabilitation works completed by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) on nearby Crown Land
  • Improved ongoing management of project sites through their inclusion in the Regional Roadside Environment Marker Scheme
  • Planting of 200 native shrub and ground cover species within a highly degraded section of roadside.

Creek Crossings

Council Areas: Gloucester, Dungog, Greater Taree and Great Lakes

This project sought to improve biodiversity and water quality at creek crossings through delivering on ground vegetation rehabilitation works at six priority sites. It also involved identifying and including priority crossing locations within the Regional Roadside Environment Marker Scheme to encourage improved management of these locations. Key activities included:

  • Identification and condition assessment of 36 priority water crossing locations
  • Delivery of bush regeneration works at six sites to improve water quality and vegetation condition
  • Mapping and inclusion of all sites within the Regional Roadside Marker Scheme under a new category of `Water Crossings’
  • Development of a `Water Crossings' Field Guide to support best practice management of sites during road maintenance and construction activities.

Coolatai and other grasses

Council Areas: Singleton and Dungog


The invasion of native plant communities by exotic perennial grasses is listed as a key threatening process under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act. This project sought to assist Singleton and Dungog Councils, community groups and local landowner’s restore the natural resilience of native grass communities through the control of invasive grass weeds (particularly Coolatai grass and African Lovegrass) along approximately 100 kilometres of roads.
 

Diuris bracteata - Terrestrial Donkey Orchid

Council Area: Gosford

Diuris bracteata was thought extinct until rediscovered north-west of Gosford in 2004. The species remains classified as Extinct under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and is listed as Endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act. Fourteen of the fifteen known populations of this species are located within the Gosford council area within road reserves, highlighting the significant importance of roadside conservation to its long term survival.

This project directly assisted Gosford council to protect and manage Diuris bracteata populations through the removal of invasive weeds and ensuring roadside design, construction and maintenance practices are compatible with the conservation needs of the species. The distribution and extent of the species was also confirmed, with all sites being included within the Regional Roadside Environment Marker Program.

Rehabilitation of EECs through removal of African Olive

Council Areas: Port Stephens and Maitland


African Olive is a highly invasive small tree that has spread extensively throughout the Hunter Valley,  becoming problematic on farming land, along creek lines and roadsides and also invading native bushland. This project identified and controlled African Olive within roadside sites containing Lower Hunter Spotted Ironbark Forest Community and Hunter Lowland Redgum Forest Communities - both listed as endangered ecological communities under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.