Works within a road reserve

Road reserve


You'll need a permit to do work on a Council managed road reserve. 

Check out the above links for more information.

What is a road reserve?

A road reserve is the public land outside the private property boundary and generally consists of a nature strip/roadside, drains, verge, shoulders and roadway.

Working within Council Road Reserve

A works within road reserve permit must be obtained prior to any works being undertaken on Surf Coast Shire Council controlled road reserves. This is to ensure that Council's road reserves are protected and reinstated to their original state after works have been carried out.

This permit is required if works are being undertaken within Council's road reserves such as:

  • stormwater drainage and pit installations
  • vehicle crossing construction and modification
  • pathway and kerbing replacement
  • water supply and sewer connections
  • installation of public utilities
  • road work
  • tree planting/removal or structures on nature strips/road reserves.

How do I apply for a works within road reserve permit?

  1. For conditions of consent to do works within a road reserve contact Coordinator Development Engineering on (03) 5261 0600.
  2. Complete a Works within a Road Reserve application form and forward it to Council for approval.
  3. (If you'd like to be added to Council’s approved contractor database, complete the Contractor Details form)

Once your application has been submitted it will be assessed by a Council officer. Once we assess your application we may issue you a permit or as for more information about the proposed works. Please note:

  • Your permit only becomes valid when you pay the associated fee. We can calculate the permit fee only after a detailed assessment of the proposed works.
  • It is likely that any permit issued shall also contain specific conditions which must be adhered to.
  • If you need on-site advice or assistance with the completion of your application, please contact Council on (03) 5261 0600. 
  • If you receive your permit and have paid the prescribed fee you may start the works.


The Road Management Act 2004, regulations and codes of practice can be found on the VicRoads website.

VicRoads Road Management Act regulations and codes 

Non Council roads

Council cannot issue a permit to work in a road reserve on a road that is managed by VicRoads.

All enquiries for a works with road reserve permit on a VicRoads road should be directed to Vic Roads 13 11 71 or via the VicRoads website.

Council cannot issue a permit to work in the road reserve or on land managed by other agencies such as Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Parks Victoria or DELWP or on Private Roads. Permits for works undertaken on land managed by these agencies should be directed to the relevant agency. 


Public liability insurance generally provides financial protection to both the public and the responsible persons conducting works in the event of an incident resulting in damages or injury to third party assets or persons.

The minimum policy coverage for persons/companies conducting works within the road reserve of $10 million is required.

Applicants are advised that proof of cover in the form of a certificate of currency is necessary before the application can be filled out on your behalf. 

Site plans

You will need to include a scaled location map showing the location of utility assets, which road and which part(s) of the road reserve is/are affected, proposed depth of cover, clearances and offsets to other road and non-road infrastructure.

Types of site plans:

a) Technical/Engineering drawings shall be required for projects which impact upon/include road, drainage, building and all other major assets within your works project.

b) Drawings originating from sources such as Google Maps. Plans of this nature may be allowed for simple or minor works projects, if you are unsure if this style of plan will be acceptable please contact Council for clarification. 

Dial Before you Dig

You will need to undertake a “dial before you dig” enquiry.

Dial Before you Dig

A copy of all asset plans (Dial Before You Dig plans and information that you've collected) will need to be included with your application. Include all below and above ground asset plans that you have obtained from Dial Before You Dig.

Note asset locations for water and sewer must be obtained directly from Barwon Water. It's the responsibility of the applicant to locate these assets and services. 


The fees for a “Works within Road Reserve” permit are set with the Road Management Act and are indexed annually.

For Vehicle Crossings (including culverts) fee as at 1 July is $190.00.

For all other works fees as set by VicRoads and listed below The current fees can be found on Vic Roads website.

As at 1 July 2020, 1 fee unit = $14.81. Please refer to the table below for guidance on what fee is applicable:

Works, other than minor works Minor Works

on roadway, shoulder or pathway

(see note 1)

NOTon roadway, shoulder or pathway

(see note 2)

on roadway, shoulder or pathway

(see note 1)

NOT on roadway, shoulder or pathway

(see note 2)

Municipal roads, speed limit over 50 km/hr

(see note 3)

43.1 fee units ($638.31) 23.5 fee units ($348.04) 9.3 fee units ($137.73) 6 fee units ($88.86)

Municipal roads, speed limit under 50 km/hr

(see note 3)

23.5 fee units ($348.04.60) 6 fee units ($88.86) 9.3 fee units ($137.73) 6 fee units ($88.86)


1. Conducted on, or on any part of the roadway, shoulder or pathway

2. Not conducted on, or on any part of the roadway, shoulder or pathway

3. Municipal road or non arterial State road 

The fee for the consent of your works project will be determined from the fees schedule according to the extent of your works.

An invoice for payment will be issued separately in conjunction with the approved permit.

Payment options

Payment can be made:

  • at the Council offices, 1 Merrijig Drive Torquay by cash, credit card or cheque

  • by mailing a cheque to Surf Coast Shire Council, PO Box 350, Torquay 3228

  • by credit card over the phone on (03) 5261 0600. 

Contractor Responsibilities / Conditions

There are a number of conditions which must be adhered to by contractors undertaking works within road reserves. These should be read and understood prior to submitting an application for a permit.

Contractor responsibilities and conditions(PDF, 75KB)

Contractor Details form


Contractor/works managers must undertake reinstatement of affected infrastructure to Council standards and satisfaction.

If reinstatement work is not undertaken to Council satisfaction, Council may elect to reinstate or rectify any defects at the cost of the contractor/works manager.


Inspections may be conducted by the appropriate Council department officers, prior to, and on the completion of the works.

 Further enquiries can be made to Council on (03) 5261 0600.

Road management (works and infrastructure) regulations 2015 - reg 6

Meaning of minor works

    (1)     Minor works are any of the following kinds of works undertaken by a utility, a provider of public transport, a responsible road authority or an agent of any of these bodies—

        (a)     the installation, repair or maintenance of aerial cables or other overhead non-road infrastructure;

        (b)     works undertaken so as to enable a person to be provided a service by a utility;

        (c)     the repair or maintenance of—

              (i)     street lighting; or

              (ii)     bus stop infrastructure, tram stop infrastructure or other public transport related non-road infrastructure located on the roadside; or

              (iii)     tram tracks, including the roadway area between and on the outside of the tram tracks for which the relevant provider of public transport is responsible;

        (d)     the excavation of—

              (i)     any part of a road other than a roadway, pathway or shoulder; or

              (ii)     an area of a roadway, pathway or shoulder;


Regulation 6(2)(b) provides that if works under regulation 6(1)(d)(ii) also exceed 8·5 square metres, these works are not minor works.

        (e)     the use of an access hole for the purpose of accessing, repairing or maintaining infrastructure under a road;

        (f)     the installation, repair or maintenance of traffic control devices carried out in accordance with the Road Safety Act 1986 or any regulations made under that Act;

        (g)     the repair or maintenance of poles;

        (h)     the replacement or relocation of a single pole in an urban area (unless those works are part of works to replace or relocate 2 or more consecutive poles);

              (i)     the replacement or relocation of not more than 3 poles in an area other than an urban area (unless those works are part of works to replace or relocate more than 3 consecutive poles);

        (j)     the pruning of a tree or other vegetation;

        (k)     the removal of a tree or other vegetation in accordance with any Act other than the Act;

        (l)     any other works conducted for the purpose of repairing, inspecting, operating or testing an asset or for the purpose of a survey.

    (2)     If any of the works listed in subregulations (1)(a) to (l) also consist of, or include any of the following works, these works are not "minor works"—

        (a)     service extension works;

        (b)     the excavation of an area of a roadway, pathway or shoulder exceeding 8·5 square metres;

        (c)     works undertaken by a utility to decommission or remove, by excavating or filling any part of a road, non-road infrastructure (other than poles, aerial cables or other overhead non-road infrastructure)—

              (i)     that is located longitudinally within a road reserve—

    (A)     over a distance exceeding 100 metres in an urban area; or

    (B)     over a distance exceeding 300 metres in any other area; or

              (ii)     that is located under a roadway, pathway or shoulder and the works require the excavation of more than 8·5 square metres of that roadway, pathway or shoulder; or

              (iii)     that affects road-related infrastructure

Asset Protection Permit

Changes to the Council’s Local Law mean that any job for which you require a BUILDING PERMIT must now also have an ASSET PROTECTION PERMIT.

You must obtain an Asset Protection Permit from the Council before any work starts.

As well as building or construction, this includes:

  • demolition works
  • construction of swimming pools
  • removal of dwellings
  • dwelling additions and alterations
  • reblocking/restumping works
  • the use of cranes and scissor lifts on footpaths

How to Apply?

Asset Protection Permits can be collected from our customer service staff at Council Offices, 1 Merrijig Drive,Torquay (ph 5261 0600).

  • Download an application form. The application form can also be posted, emailed or faxed to you (call customer service on 5261 0600).

  • An application fee of $190 must be paid when the permit application is lodged at the Council Offices.

What Happens Then?

Council assets (eg. footpaths, drainage pits, kerb & channel, street trees, fencing) will be inspected before your building work begins, to assess and record their condition.

After your work is finished Council will inspect them again to determine if any damage has been caused during building works.

Why Introduce a Permit?

Asset Protection Permits have been introduced to reduce the amount of damage being caused to Council assets during construction/demolition work.

If damage is done, the cost of repairs to these assets will be paid for by the offending contractor, not Council's ratepayers.

Please note:

  • Council’s assets must not be damaged by the building works. Any damage may result in fines issued to the permit holder and/or builder.
  • If building works start without an Asset Protection Permit, infringement notices may be issued to the property owner and/or builder for failing to comply with the Council's Local Law.
  • In this situation, the Council will assume that there was no existing damage to public assets prior to the commencement of the building works.
  • Any damage to Council's assets by Service Authorities will be the owner's/permit holder's responsibility.
  • A minimum of three working days notice is required for all inspections.

If you intend to undertake any works within the Road Reserve, you will also be required to take out a Works in Road Reserve Permit.

For further information, please contact Council’s Asset Protection Officer 5261 0600

Can I be added to Council’s approved contractor list?

If you'd like to be added to Council’s approved contractor database, complete the Contractor Details form.