Council Roadside Reserves Resources

Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework (CREMF)

Local Government NSW has developed a Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework (CREMF) (PDF, 3.8MB)  This new framework aims to embed roadside environmental management into council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework and includes resources and tools to assist councils in the process.

Overview Presentation

LGNSW has developed an overview of the framework (PPT, 3.5MB). The slides include speakers notes and have been developed so that the presentation can be used directly or edited with acknowledgement of the original authors.

Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM)

The Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM) provides councils with a tool to capture current information on roadside reserve environmental characteristics and assign conservation values to assist in management. The development of the RAM is a joint project between LGNSW and Local Land Services (LLS) and funded by the NSW Environmental Trust to undertake assessments of roadside reserves and traveling stock routes. 

The RAM enables land managers to assess the conservation value of many sites in a relatively short time frame and to collate and compare them with other sites. It provides a simple approach to assess and capture environmental data, through a two page proforma that identifies three main aspects: conservation status, landscape context and vegetation condition. Based on the scoring for each of these aspects and using a conservation value assessment matrix, each site is then assigned an overall conservation value of high, medium or low. Councils will then use this information to prioritise and manage their roadside reserves.

The RAM training package and guidelines, have been developed to assist with statewide consistency. The guidelines will be supplemented by regional vegetation guides that provide an overview and summary of the key vegetation classes and associated Threatened Ecological Communities that are known to occur within each LLS region.  

Two RAM Apps have been developed to assist councils and LLS staff in undertaking their assessments. The Apps provide an in-field tool to collect data in an electronic format, bypassing the need for using field sheets and therefore the possibility for transcription errors.

EcoRoadside and RAM training

The EcoRoadside App has been developed for councils by EcoServer. The App provides a visual guide with prompts and information to assist councils in filling out the RAM form. Photos and additional information can be recorded including current and proposed management requirements. The final conservation value score is calculated on site enabling a ‘live’ in-field check.

The App has been trialled by a number of councils, with over 800 roadside assessments undertaken. Four training workshops have also been held in Bingara, Parkes, Penrith and Wagga Wagga, with 42 council staff from 25 councils participating.

Instructional videos and guidelines for downloading and using the EcoRoadside App are available. 

Introductory setup video 

Detailed training video 


Councils with a CRR grant funded project are encouraged to trial the RAM and the EcoRoadside App.  


The ESRI Collector for ArcGIS application (app) was developed for LLS and is also available for use by councils. The ArcCollector App requires pre-loaded assessment points that have pre-populated landscape information for the sites. This App requires an ArcGIS named user account which can be provided on request. Contact Kathy Godfrey.

Training resources

Environmental Data for Site Management (PDF, 722KB)

These slides cover how to establish a sound data foundation to support management of roadside environments. 

Topics covered include:
1. Characterising roadside environments
2. Ranking environmental conservation significance of roadsides
The slides include speakers notes and have been developed so that the presentation can be used directly or edited with acknowledgement of the original authors.
Ecological Impact Assessment of Council Roadside Activities Training (PDF 1.6MB)
These slides cover legislative obligations in undertaking an ecological impact assessment of council activities which have the potential to impact natural features of the roadside environment. The slides include speakers notes and have been developed so that the presentation can be used directly or edited with acknowledgement of the original authors.
Site Management Checklists and Safeguards (PDF, 6.96KB)
These slides cover:
  • An introduction to checklists and safeguards
  • Example pre-construction checklist
  • Practical safeguards for common works in roadside environments


Council Roadside Vegetation Management Plan Template (Word, 51KB)
The RVMP template was developed to be used by councils in the context of the Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework. The template is designed for councils to adapt, with citation, as required.
Review of Environmental Factors Template (Word, 101KB)
The REF template was developed to be used by councils who do not have an existing template available to assess environmental impacts.

Other resources

State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) Flowchart (PDF, 333KB) 
The ISEPP flowchart is provided to guide councils in determining whether roadworks undertaken by council are classified as exempt development or require additional assessment in accordance with Part 4 and Part 5 of the EP&A Act.
Example Pre-Construction Checklist (Word, 42KB)
The checklist provides a quick reference check to ensure that the key environmental factors have been considered prior to undertaking any works within the roadside reserve. 

Case Studies

Tweed Shire Council - Roadside Field Reference Notes and Maps (PDF, 263KB)

Tweed Shire Council (TSC) adopted a comprehensive Roadside Vegetation Management Plan in 2013.  The field reference notes and maps have been created to assist TSC personnel in making informed decisions when planning and undertaking works in council’s road reserves.


Mid Coast Council Integrating Service Delivery: Roadside Maintenance and Weed Control (PDF, 273KB) 

Council developed a simple, cost saving approach to roadside management that increased both their ability to deliver roadside weed management and also increased the amount of roadside maintenance works undertaken. 

Snowy Valleys Council - Successful Collaborative Multi-stakeholder Grant Project (PDF, 144KB)

Through working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders this project team was able to significantly decrease an infestation of Chilean Needlegrass by 95%. 

Wingecarribee Shire Council - Data Driven Approach (PDF, 116KB) 

Wingecarribee Shire Council developed a flexible, transparent and objective data driven GIS tool for strategic roadside vegetation management based on biodiversity outcomes.