As a property owner you have an important role to play in reducing bushfire risk by the way you design, develop and maintain your property. Council has developed a video and the Landscaping your Surf Coast Garden for Bushfire(PDF, 2MB) booklet to help.
The management of roadsides within the Surf Coast Shire is split between Council and Regional Roads Victoria.
Regional Roads Victoria manages major roads within the shire such as the Surf Coast Highway, Great Ocean Road, Hendy Main Road, Deans Marsh – Lorne Road and the Princes Highway. For these roads, contact Regional Roads Victoria if you have any queries around road condition, weeds, pest animals, remnant roadside vegetation and wildlife.
Council manages the other roads within our shire, adding up to roughly 1500kms of road verges. Well-managed roadsides contribute to road safety, fire prevention, flood management and the protection of the environment. Council manages road reserves with all of these things in mind.
With regard to the environmental values of Council managed roadsides, during 2019 and 2020 Council updated the assessment of native vegetation on our road reserves. The original 1997 roadside assessment report is below along with the methodology used to update the assessment of vegetation condition and extent. Contact Council for further information regarding Council managed roads.
The collection of firewood on public land and roadsides is both restricted and controlled for environmental protection and safety reasons.
The Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action (DEECA) allows seasonal collection of firewood for domestic use from different locations in Regional State Forests. It is important that you check DEECA for details as substantial penalties apply if you do not follow the DEECA firewood collection rules for public land. Contact DEECA directly if you require further information 136 186.
Regional Roads Victoria and the Surf Coast Shire do not permit firewood collection from the roadsides they manage due to traffic management requirements and the environmental value of vegetation along roadside verges. Penalties apply for collecting firewood from roadsides within the Surf Coast Shire.
Foraging on Council owned or managed land
You are not allowed to remove native plants from Council owned or managed land for any reason such as foraging for food, cutting firewood or the collection of flowers. Native plants, including their seed, roots, tubers, leaves and flowers, provide vital habitat and food for our native animals and are protected by law. For more information see Council’s Local Amenity Law and the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Note that fines apply for the removal of native plants from Council land.
Information on growing your own bush foods in your garden can be found on sites such as the Australian Plants Society (Victoria) and CERES .
Caution: Council may use herbicides, insecticides and inorganic fertilisers on land it owns and manages. Plants on Council owned or managed land may be affected by the use of these products.
All native seaweeds are protected in Victoria, whether in the ocean or washed up onto beaches. Seaweed provides an important habitat for fish and other marine life. Even the seaweed on the beach is often providing shelter to some marine creatures. Penalties apply for collecting seaweed without a permit and from beaches within national parks.
The Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action (DEECA) can issue permits to collect limited amounts of seaweed from beaches outside of our national and marine parks such as the Point Addis Marine National Park and the Great Otway National Park. Please contact DEECA for further information: https://www.deeca.vic.gov.au/our-department/contact-us