Powerpoint - LGNSW

Powerpoint - LGNSW

Overview of the Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework Developed on behalf of LGNSW for the Council Roadside Reserve Project 2016-2019 Introduction The framework was developed to; Embed roadside environmental management into the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IPR) process Improve use of environmental data in managing roadsides Support Councils applying for funding under the Council Roadside Reserve Project 2016-2019. This presentation provides An introduction to the Framework An overview of the tools, case studies and support materials designed to assist Council in the implementation of the Framework.

2 The Roadside Environment Setting Councils own or are responsible for a significant amount of the 2.5 million hectares of roadside vegetation in NSW A Roadside Reserve is defined as the entire width of the road corridor (fence to fence or boundary to boundary) The corridor includes road infrastructure, roadside furniture, associated drainage, and verge area that may contain native vegetation, fauna habitat or heritage items Management must balance competing values: road safety, conservation, heritage, bushfire, recreation, firewood collection and other uses 3 Council Roadside Vegetation Management: - the Status Quo

Council consultation found: Innovative approaches to roadside vegetation management But also Inconsistent uptake by Councils Low priority at all levels of the organisational structure Organisational thinking/silos Different languages for asset management and natural asset management Lack of ownership and accountability for environmental outcomes in roadside reserves 4 Solutions The framework provides an overarching structure to improve environmental management of road

reserves = Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework Support materials: case studies, templates, decision support tools, introductory training slides = CREMF Tools Provides flexibility for self assessment and adaptation to specific council needs Funding applications for up to $50,000 to support improved, strategic management of roadside environments 5 Why Should Council Manage and Protect the Natural Values of Roadsides?

Legislation and regulations Manage risk of non compliance Cost/benefit Cost savings in integrated site management Reduce conflicting management responses Improve service delivery Community values (starting point of IP&R) Wildlife habitat, conservation of rare vegetation Scenic amenity, shade, recreation Heritage assets

Infrastructure provision + local identity + tourism 6 Schematic Representation of Managing Roadside Environment within the IP&R Framework 7 Natural Asset Management Applying an asset based approach is the key to this framework Built asset = road infrastructure Natural asset = plants, animals and soil and water systems Natural assets appreciate with management over time, built assets depreciate (more slowly with management)

Arguably natural assets cannot be replaced To be maintained or enhanced natural assets need to be valued and resourced in the same way as built assets 8 CREMF Tools: Natural Asset Management See CREMF report Section 2.5 Council guide towards developing a Natural Asset Register Natural Asset Register: Rockdale (now Bayside Council) Natural Asset Service Planning: Blue Mountains 9 Stakeholders CREMF

Council Roads and Maritime Services Adjacent Landholders Potential cost saving collaborations. Road Reserves Local Land

Services Community Rural Fire Service Consultation required. Contractual arrangements may apply. 10 Internal stakeholders Elected Representatives

Executive Asset Manager Property Manager(s) Planner(s) Engineer(s) Environment officer(s) Operations/Depot CREMF Define key position

responsible for internal consultation and sign off for RVMP. Identify collaborators & collaboration points to align maintenance works for max benefit. 11 CREMF Tools: Collaboration See CREMF report Section 3.1 Steps towards internal collaboration Council collaboration: Mid Coast Council cost savings in road maintenance & weed management Collaborative weed management across agencies: Snowy Valley Council

12 CREMF Tools: Community Engagement See CREMF report Section 3.3 Council Guide Increasing community awareness of roadside values Community Roadside Management Handbook: Campaspe Council (Victoria) 13 Legislation Potential breach of legislation is a key risk for councils & can be costly. EG. Garrett v Freeman

& Garrett v Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Large range of legislation relating to the management of roadsides which a council must be aware of and demonstrate compliance with. 14 CREMF Tools: Legal Obligations See CREMF report Section 4 Legislation Guide for Council staff relating to roadside environmental management (Table 5) See CREMF Tools SEPP Infrastructure Flowchart: Decision support tool REF template

Ecological Assessment of Council Roadside Activities Introductory training slides Site Management Checklists and Safeguards Introductory training slides 15 Roadside Assessment Purpose is to identify important roadside values such as vegetation type, condition, fauna habitat, heritage etc. minimise council risk (legislation breach) of inadvertent damage from routine maintenance works Inform infrastructure planning and design to avoid high value natural assets or minimise impacts

16 CREMF approach 1. Rank roads for investigation Desktop analysis/existing information 2. Field surveys Rapid Assessment Methods = new standard Assigns Conservation Score 3. Asset database (assign ID) 4. Link to Strategic Planning & Works Schedule LEP, RVMP, road design as applicable 17 Rapid Roadside Assessment Method Developed by

consultants EcoSure, on behalf of LLS and LGNSW Designed to be a rapid windscreen assessment Includes an embedded conservation value assessment matrix 18 CREMF Tools: Roadside Assessment See CREMF Section 5

Field Reference Maps: Tweed Shire Council Prioritisation Approaches: Hawkesbury & Blacktown See CREMF Tools Case Study: Data driven approach: Wingecarribee Shire Council Note Training on Rapid Assessment Methodology under development 19 Strategic Planning in CREMF DCP clause Planning Guidance Policy Statement Roadside Environmental Management Policy Community Strategic Plan Community Values

Operational Plan Environmental Impact Assessment, Safeguards Roadside Vegetation Management Plan Delivery Plan Other higher level plans may also apply, e.g. Weed Management Plans, Threatened Species Recovery Plans, Regional Strategies 20 Strategic Planning: Adopted Policy Roadside Environmental Management Policy A statement which underpins how roadside environmental management issues will be dealt with in the organisation Addresses consistency across multiple Council responsibilities Identifies key position responsible for implementing the

policy Identifies relationship to other plans & policies Adopted by elected representatives Provides internal & external guidance 21 Strategic Planning: Roadside Vegetation Management Plans A form of LGA wide biodiversity strategy focused on natural assets in roadside reserves across the LGA Must include link back to the Community Strategic Plan and relevant council policies Identify management objectives and actions Feed into: Natural Asset Management Delivery Plan

Operational Plan 22 CREMF Tools: Strategic Planning CREMF report Section 6 Roadside Policy: Hunter Central Coast Councils, Maitland Council, Tatiara Council (South Australia) Road Network Management System: Kyogle Council Guide to integrating roadside environment management in IPR Example clauses: Table 8 CREMF Tools RVMP Template with IPR links

23 Impact Assessment and Approvals NSW Roads Act 1993, Section 88 A roads authority may, despite any other Act or law to the contrary, remove or lop any tree or other vegetation that is on or overhanging a public road if, in its opinion, it is necessary to do so for the purpose of carrying out road work or removing a traffic hazard RMS recommend All roadside activities including construction/widening and maintenance require some form of environmental impact assessment 24 Commonly used environmental impact assessment documents:

Activities that are permissible without consent under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 Review of Environmental Factors (REF) under Part 5 of the EP&A Act Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) under Part 4 of the EP&A Act Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) where a development is defined as designated development or likely to significantly impact on the environment (refer EP&A Act S112) Referral or Controlled Action Under the EPBC Act. 25 Flags In general any works undertaken in sensitive areas should be referred for expert assessment if located in:

waterways areas of vegetation older than 10 years remnant vegetation with mature trees or hollow bearing trees areas of critical habitat or declared areas of outstanding biodiversity value (new BC Act 2016) wetlands or littoral rainforest areas under the new draft Coastal Management SEPP (replaces SEPP 14, SEPP 26 and SEPP 71) sandstone platforms in the Sydney Basin and other important geological features 26 SEPP Infrastructure 2007: Is an environmental assessment required for roadside works?

Not undertaking or inadequately undertaking an environmental impact assessment of proposed roadside works is a serious risk to Council ISEPP outlines the approval process and assessment requirements for infrastructure proposals identifies works of minimal environmental impact as exempt or complying development 27 Impact Assessment and Approvals: REF EP&A Act - Council obligations to consider impacts Consent/approval authority (Council) must adequately address a range of environmental, social and economic

matters associated with roadside construction and maintenance works Includes impacts on threatened species, populations, or ecological communities listed under the TSC Act and FM Act Preparation of an REF or EIS is the key mechanism through which Council can fulfil its responsibilities REFs can cover ongoing routine maintenance works or routine maintenance activities can be determined via assessment checklists An REF will identify and assess the likely impacts of an activity and specify strategies to avoid or mitigate impacts 28 CREMF Tool: Environmental Impact Assessment CREMF Tools Ecological Impact Assessment introductory

training slides Template REF ISEPP decision flowchart 29 On-ground Works: Improving Practice Leverage & adapt existing protocols, procedures and guidelines Staff support Maintenance/restoration of high biodiversity areas

Field data maps Example safeguards Example pre-construction checklist Roadside marker scheme for employees, contractors and the community Identify significant sites Link to appropriate management practices via RVMP 30 CREMF Tools: On-ground works See CREMF report Stockpile Management: Singleton Council (Section 8) Resource Compendium of existing reference materials Appendix E See CREMF Tools

1. Introductory Training Slides on Site Management Environmental Data 2. Introductory Training Slides on Site Management Checklists and Safeguards 31 CREMF Monitoring Suggested Parameters: Roadside monitoring

Demonstrate success Learn from experience Provides accountability Tracking environmental outcomes over time Program administration

Measure of weed control Measure of rehabilitation works Proportion of roadside activities with REFs Proportion of roadside areas with vegetation mapping Areas of significant roadside vegetation which are marked Number of community complaints regarding roadside environment Environmental conditions Changes to weediness over time Condition rating (Rapid Assessment Tool) 32 Monitoring Parameters

Program administration Measure of weed control Measure of rehabilitation works Proportion of roadside activities with REFs Proportion of roadside areas with vegetation mapping Areas of significant roadside vegetation which are marked Number of community complaints

regarding roadside environment Roadside monitoring Progress towards Key Directions in Community Strategic Plan 33 Monitoring & Review Environmental conditions Changes to weediness over time

Changes to site condition rating (Rapid Assessment Tool) Landscape goals accomplished Connectivity Protection of habitat Protected threatened species/ community Rehabilitation success/maturation

Roadside monitoring 34 This presentation has summarised the Council Roadside Environmental Management Framework. The Council Roadside Reserve (CRR) Project delivered by LGNSW and funded through the NSW Environmental Trust is available to Councils to develop and trial improvements to roadside environmental management. 35

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