Council Roadside Reserves Resources

Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework (CREMF)

Developed by LGNSW, the Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework (CREMF) (PDF, 3.8MB) looks at councils' many complex road responsibilities holistically and aims to support councils in NSW to navigate complex legislation, meet regulatory requirements, minimise risk and make the process of improving roadside environments more efficient and cost-effective.

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 their management. The development of the RAM was a joint project between LGNSW and Local Land Services (LLS), funded by the NSW Environmental Trust through their linear reserves program. 

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, based on: conservation status, landscape context and vegetation condition. Each site is assigned an overall conservation value of high, medium or low. Councils use this information to prioritise and manage their roadside reserves.

The Rapid Assessment Methodology Guide steps councils through the process of undertaking an assessment of their roadside reserves. The conservation value data captured by councils through the CRR project is available on SEED.

In addition, two RAM Apps have been developed to assist councils and LLS staff to undertake their linear reserve assessments, the EcoRoadside App and the Esri Collector for ArcGIS App. 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 App

The EcoRoadside App was 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. Email Kirsty McIntyre at LGNSW for more information and to set up a user account.

Instructional videos and guidelines are available. 

Introductory setup video 

Detailed training video 

Additional RAM Resources

The LLS RAM training package and guidelines are supported by regional vegetation guides. These provide an overview and summary of the key vegetation classes and associated Threatened Ecological Communities, which occur in each LLS region. Data captured by LLS on the conservation value of travelling stock reserves is also available on SEED.


The ESRI Collector for ArcGIS application (app) was developed for LLS and is also available for use by councils. The 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 LLS for more information.

Roadside Vegetation Management Plan Template

RVMPs are key strategic documents, which provide an overview of the current status of existing roadside reserves, legislative responsibilities, threats and opportunities, as well as key management objectives and strategies to better manage these resources into the future. The template assists councils to develop a RVMP by providing an outline of key headings and considerations.

Review of Environmental Factors (REF) Templates and Resources

Councils must consider the Environmental Impact Assessment requirements of roadside works. Five REF templates have been developed to support councils depending on the scale of their activity. They include:

Accompanying the REF templates are additional supporting materials:

The two workbooks link to the templates and provide key examples and methodology to assist councils with common environmental considerations around roadside works.

Asset Management Plan (AMP) Templates and Resources

Integration of natural assets into councils’ systems and processes was identified by councils as a key area for further direction, resources and assistance. Two key documents were developed to assist:

Supporting these templates is the Strategic Asset Management Plan Amendment Guidelines for councils looking at updating their strategic asset management plan to include natural assets.

Survey of councils

In 2018, a survey of NSW councils was undertaken on their current management of natural assets. A report outlining the findings from the 44 councils completing the survey is available. Download the survey report (PDF, 292KB)

Research report

Following the survey, LGNSW engaged Cardno to investigate approaches to manage natural assets as a component of broader local government asset management systems. Download the research report (PDF, 3.8MB)

The report combined with survey responses informed the development of the AMP templates above.

Example Pre-Construction Checklist

The pre-construction checklist provides a quick reference check for councils to ensure that key environmental factors are considered prior to undertaking any works within the roadside reserve.

Case studies

Check out the Case Studies and Resources page.


This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.