This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 31 October 2018 to 31 December 2018. Below is a record of the consultation process.
What is being decided?
The Native Vegetation Council has developed new interim guidelines for managing native vegetation on roadsides across South Australia and you are invited to give your feedback.
The Interim Guidelines for the Management of Roadside Native Vegetation provide guidance for local councils and the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) for removing native vegetation to maintain safety and visibility along roadsides, while retaining important native vegetation.
The new guidelines aim to provide local councils and DPTI with greater capacity to clear roadside vegetation and provide the pathway for removing native vegetation that poses a safety concern. They also outline when approval is required by the Native Vegetation Council and how it should be obtained.
What are the changes?
The Interim Guidelines will allow greater capacity for clearance of native vegetation regrowth on roadsides up to 20 years of age (previously 5 years). This will allow local councils and DPTI to undertake the majority of their roadside vegetation maintenance without requiring any approval. Where an approval is required, less information is needed.
For native vegetation clearance that involves broader clearance envelopes than the guidelines specify for clearance height, roadside furniture, visibility or sight distances, or verge clearance, a management plan can be developed for the Native Vegetation Council’s consideration and endorsement.
Provide your feedback on the The Interim Guidelines for the Management of Roadside Native Vegetation by:
For general inquiries, please email the Native Vegetation Council at email@example.com or call (08) 8303 9777 during business hours of 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Please note that feedback cannot be accepted by phone.
How can your input influence the decision?
Your feedback will inform the development of the final guidelines. It will help ensure the guidelines give local councils the right level of flexibility to make decisions about clearing native vegetation on roadsides. Your input will also ensure the right level of information is provided when approval is required to clear vegetation.
Overall, your input will help protect native vegetation of high conservation value along roadsides.
Closing date: Monday 31 December 2018
The Native Vegetation Council (NVC) is an independent body established by the Native Vegetation Act 1991. The NVC monitors the overall condition of the state’s vegetation and makes decisions on a wide range of matters concerning native vegetation in South Australia, including assessing applications and establishing conditions for the clearance of native vegetation.
Historically, South Australia has cleared too much native vegetation. This legacy means that a disproportionally high amount of remnant native vegetation occurs on roadsides and in road reserves, especially in the agricultural zone. Some of this may be the only remnant of the pre-European vegetation in a region and often contains threatened species and vegetation communities.
Benefits of roadside vegetation
Roadside vegetation provides a range of environmental and social benefits. Additionally, it can also have benefits for road maintenance and safety. They include providing shelter from wind and shade from sun glare, enhancing driver alertness, helping with road formation and stabilisation of slopes and embankments, and preventing weeds from establishing.
Issues resulting from roadside vegetation
Native vegetation can also create issues for road users such as preventing vehicle movement and clear vision, and creating possible hazards. Local councils and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) need to be able to manage roadside vegetation to allow for the safe movement of vehicles.
The new guidelines also provide rules around removing native vegetation if there's a safety concern. These rules replace the previous Framework for Clearance of Native Vegetation under Regulation 5(1)(lb) – Public Safety for Rail crossing, Road intersections and Roadsides (October 2012).
Using the interim guidelines
Local councils and DPTI can use these interim guidelines as a replacement to the Guidelines for the Management of Roadside Vegetation (2012) during the consultation period and they are encouraged to provide their feedback to the Native Vegetation Council.