Notification: Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

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Cunderdin-Quairading Road
Photo © Parks and Wildlife

Shire of Cunderdin: Cunderdin-Quairading Road

The Shire of Cunderdin upgraded the Cunderdin-Quairading Road during 2011 following the state government decision to close Tier 3 grain-freight railway lines which would result in increased grain freight traffic on local roads. 

The road works

The road works included formation works, shoulder works, drainage works, overlay and widening to:

  • clear grass, some small vegetation and minimal trees
  • reform and improve drainage
  • box out shoulders to a depth of 10 centimetres
  • overlay old pavement 10 centimetres
  • widen the pavement to 9 metres with a seal width of 7 metres

There were no declared rare flora or threatened ecological communities along the road. Graders, loaders and trucks were used for clearing and formation works. Where major clearing was required, such as removal of salmon gums, skid steers and a 3-tonne excavator was used to manoeuvre in places where the large plant equipment couldn't go.

Clearing was only to the extent needed. When applying to the Department of Environment and Conservation (now the Department of Environment Regulation) for a clearing permit, each tree or area to be cleared was recorded on a GPS, to minimise the number of trees to be cleared, and to preserve as many large trees as possible along the road, while creating a safe and effective road for users.

The amount and diversity of roadside vegetation was taken into account when widening the road, and where one side of the road was less diverse than the other, the road was widened on that side.

Agricultural weeds were cleared from undergrowth, and low vegetation was cleared on two s-bends to create a better line of sight, which reduced the need for a complete s-bend realignment and subsequent major clearing.

Other works along the Cunderdin-Quairading Road were carried out under exemption, as specified under Item 22 of Regulation 5 (and Schedule 2) of the WA clearing regulations (Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004) which specifies clearing within the road maintenance zones.

Although no conditions were placed on the permit, the shire undertook to plant trees and revegetate degraded areas and exhausted gravel pits annually to offset any essential clearing of native vegetation along roadsides.

This included planting low lying native shrubs along cleared road reserves to maintain aesthetics, for weed control, and to join vegetation corridors.

Achievements

While undertaking the Cunderdin-Quairading Road works, and planning future road works and maintenance, the Shire of Cunderdin has been able to:

  • protect and enhance the environmental values of road reserves
  • minimise the impact of road works on the natural environment of roads and road use
  • increase Shire staff and community awareness of roadside conservation
  • provide safe and efficient road access while balancing best practice environmental management
  • adhere to current Western Australian Clearing Regulations, and build working relationships between the shire and the Department of Environment Regulation
  • remove small shrubs and undergrowth on the left hand side to improve line of sight on an s-bend
  • leave large trees on the road reserve while removing agricultural weeds, clearing drains and re-forming batters and shoulders.