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?

To obtain a permit you will need to complete an application form and forward it to Council for approval. Following assessment of the application, a permit may be issued, or alternatively further information or clarification of the proposed works may be requested.

It is important to note that any permit issued by Council only becomes valid upon payment of the associated fee. The permit fee can only be calculated following detailed assessment of the proposed works so as to allow accurate classification within the defined fee structure i.e.minor or major works. It is likely that any permit issued shall also contain specific conditions which must be adhered to.

Please make sure you have read Council's Works within Road Reserve conditions of consent(PDF, 124KB) prior to completing a permit application. 

If you need on-site advice or assistance with the completion of your application, please contact Council on (03) 5261 0600. 

Once your application has been submitted it will be assessed by a Council officer. If you receive your permit and have paid the prescribed fee you may commence 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 2 July is $175

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 2017, 1 fee unit = $13.94. 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 ($612.90) 23.5 fee units ($334.20) 9.3 fee units ($132.20) 43.1 fee units ($85.30)

Municipal roads, speed limit under 50 km/hr

(see note 3)

23.5 fee units ($334.20) 6fee units ($85.30) 9.3 fee units ($132.20) 6fee units ($85.30)


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

Contractor Details form(PDF, 117KB)


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