Roads and roadsides

Report a road issue

The Swan Hill municipality has more than 3900 kilometres of road, both sealed and unsealed.

You can report an road issue to Council by submitting a service request. Road issues may include:

  • pot holes
  • asphalt in need of repair
  • safety barrier maintenance/repair
  • edge break or edge drop off
  • grading
  • line marking
  • street sweeping

Please note that Council does not maintain all roads - some roads are maintained by VicRoads. See the next section 'Who is responsible?' to determine if Council maintains the road you are reporting.

Report a road issue


Who is responsible?

The maintenance of roads and roadsides in our municipality is shared between Council, Department of Transport and Planning (DoT also know as VicRoads) and Department of Energy Environment and Climate Action (DEECA).

Council roads

Council is responsible for the operation and maintenance of public non-arterial roads. We ensure the local roads around our municipality remain safe, functional and well-maintained.

Our Register of Public Roads(PDF, 12MB) identifies which roads or parts of roads Council is responsible for. This document is also available for inspection at the Council office during business hours.

VicRoads / Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) roads

VicRoads / DoT are the manager of all regional arterial roads throughout the state. In Swan Hill, the arterial roads managed by RRV are:

  • Murray Valley Highway (southern entrance of Campbell Street to Curlewis Street Swan Hill, Curlewis Street Swan Hill, Stradbroke Avenue, Nyah and Bromley Road, Robinvale)
  • Mallee Highway (Murray Street Piangil and Larundel Street Manangatang)
  • Sea Lake - Swan Hill Road (McCallum Street, Swan Hill)
  • Donald - Swan Hill Road · Robinvale - Sea Lake Road (Wattle Street, Manangatang)
  • Hattah Robinvale Road
  • Tooleybuc Road

You can also view roads that are the responsibility of VicRoads by using their Map of Declared Roads.


In urban areas, Council often manages the roadsides and naturestrips of arterial roads. These roads may may also be addressed with a local road name (see above in brackets).

On these roads, Council is responsible for the verge and footpath from the back of kerb, or the back edge of the table drain, to the property boundary. Council is also the responsible authority for the area of pavement associated with the parking lane that do not provide for through traffic. Where Council is responsible for the parking area, it is also responsible for the kerb and channel.

For rural arterial roads, DoT are the responsible authority for the full width of the road reserve (property boundary to property boundary).

For rural arterial roads, DoT are the responsible authority for the full width of the road reserve.

Report an issue on a VicRoads / DoT managed road.

Other State Roads

River frontage, forrest access roads may be the responsibility of  or Parks Victoria. Some government roads have also been declared as not required for general public access and returned to the state. This allows adjoining land owners to obtain licences on the roadways for grazing.

These roads are listed in the Register of Public Roads(PDF, 12MB) with a classification of "Not Responsible".

Maintenance of roads and roadsides

Maintenance is a critical part of running of a road network. A functioning and well-maintained network supports safer and more reliable journeys for all road users, whether you’re driving a car or truck, riding a bike or crossing the street.

Maintenance is just one of the functions undertaken by Council to keep us all connected and moving around safely.

The maintenance program is developed keeping in mind the life cycle of the road, nearby infrastructure and road upgrades, changes to road function or traffic patterns and any major works that are taking place across the road network.

Our Register of Public Roads(PDF, 12MB) identifies which roads or parts of roads Council is responsible for.

Road Management Plan

The Road Management Plan (RMP) sets the management standards and policy for the Council's duties as the Road Authority.  The plan details the frequency that road assets are inspected and the standards to which they are maintained and repaired.

Road Management Plan(PDF, 3MB)

Our Public Roads Register identifies which roads or parts of roads Council is responsible for. 

Register of Public Roads(PDF, 12MB)

How does Council maintain these roads?

To make sure our roads are safe and efficient for all road users, we undertake regular maintenance activities as part of our annual maintenance plan.  A regime of scheduled and reactive inspections by Technical Officers to identify maintenance priorities is periodically undertaken.

With non-stop traffic and seasonal changes all year round, our roads need care throughout the year. Each road has a unique life-cycle, meaning different kinds of works are needed at different times. There are three main types of maintenance works: routine maintenance, periodic maintenance and rehabilitation.

Routine maintenance

These works fix minor defects before they become significant problems. Routine works include repairing potholes, cleaning gutters and drains, repairing damaged signs and clearing litter. 


Periodic maintenance


These cost-effective works help us to preserve our roads and avoid more expensive rehabilitation works. These works include road resurfacing (sometimes called resealing).

How does resurfacing help?

Our roads are made up of layers, with the road surface sitting on top of a structural ‘road pavement’ layer. When just the road surface is cracked or damaged, the pavement underneath may still be intact. When this happens, resurfacing the road can prevent further damage being caused to the underlying layer. This saves money and restores the road back to its original standard.


When the “road pavement” layer of a road is damaged, rehabilitation works help to restore the road back to its original standard. These works are more extensive, and they involve replacing both the pavement and road surface layers.


Roadsides and structures maintenance

We carry out regular inspections of roads and roadsides and we manage 3,000 km of road in the our network, and there are many competing demands on roadside maintenance, including, litter collection and vegetation management. Rubbish causing obstruction is dealt with immediately, everything else goes to maintenance.

Roadside and structure maintenance is addressed in accordance with our strategic prioritisation system. As there are many road maintenance demands at any given time, work that has the greatest impact on improving public safety is given the highest priority. 

How we prioritise our works

To make sure we do the right maintenance at the right time, we use a strategic prioritisation system to identify the needs of each road. Based on this, we rate the urgency of works.

Maintenance scheduling

While we work to a planned maintenance schedule, our schedule is flexible and can change.

Sometimes, our works are rescheduled due to:

  • adverse weather conditions
  • coordinating with conflicting works or projects in the same area
  • prioritisation of works – for example, emergency works take priority over scheduled works
  • availability of budget and resources

When this happens, our maintenance team will reschedule and reprioritise any missed works to ensure they are completed at the earliest time possible. Where works cannot be completed immediately, we will implement alternative safety treatments to keep road users safe whilst we schedule works for delivery.

Working within the road reserve

A permit is required to perform any works in a Council managed road reserve (the public land outside the private property boundary).

Examples may include:

  • use a road reserve for any event, work or activity
  • works on footpaths and nature strips
  • installation or modifications of driveways outside private property
  • connecting stormwater drainage to the Council-owned drainage system

Conditions for works in roads(PDF, 235KB)

If your permit application concerns the installation of assets like irrigation pipes, electrical supply, water or sewage mains or other underground services to a property, you must also submit detailed construction plans to Council’s Engineering Services Department for prior approval.

Apply to work within the road reserve

All road works must meet the requirements of:


Events on roads

If you want to organise an event like a fun run, cycle race or street market on Council roads you must apply for a permit.

These are classed as ‘non-road activities’.

Apply to conduct a non-road activity on a Council road

All road closures must meet the requirements of:

Discontinuance and Disposal of Roads

Under the Local Government Act 1989, Council can discontinue roads and lanes and sell the land if Council considers it appropriate.

A lane is classified as a road for the purposes of the legislation. A right-of-way is another term often used for a lane on old plans of subdivision, emphasising that it gives people the right to travel over land that is not owned by them in order to gain access to their own property.

Council investigates requests from adjacent landowners for closure and purchase of roads in accordance with Council’s Discontinuance and Disposal of Roads Policy(PDF, 116KB).

What are roads?

Roads can include streets, rights of way (lanes), passages, bridges, footpaths, kerbing and public highways. Roads are created in several ways (included but not limited to):

  • as a requirement for planning approval in subdivision
  • declaration by a council or VicRoads pursuant to the Road Management Act 2004
  • by the introduction of a planning overlay reserving the land for public purpose
  • under common law where there is an intention by a landowner to make land a road


Who owns and controls roads?

  • Crown Land set aside as a road is known as a Government Road. The landowner is the Crown and councils may have the ‘care and management’.
  • A municipality can declare a Government Road to be ‘unused’ in consultation with Department of Energy Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and the responsibility transfers to them.
  • Land subdivided prior to 1988 often left roads in the name of the original sub divider. The Subdivision Act 1988 caused new sub divisional roads to become Council property. In 1993, the Local Government Act 1989 was amended and all freehold roads became Council property.
  • Arterial roads (highways and most main roads) are owned and managed by VicRoads or Regional Roads Victoria.

When can Council discontinue a road?

The Local Government Act 1989 enables Council to discontinue and sell a road under its control, where Council forms the opinion that it is not ‘reasonably required for public use’. In general, this means that Council will not close a road if it is being used as a public road and if its closure will unduly disadvantage adjacent landowners to the road. Council must be satisfied that the road is not required for community use or other public purpose at present or in the foreseeable future.

Appy for a road discontinuance

An application for a road discontinuance must be in writing and forwarded to Manager Engineering Projects and Assets. The application should include:

  • A copy of a plan clearly showing the extents of the road proposed to be discontinued and show any vehicular or pedestrian access points.
  • A copy of the title for the land to be (if required) consolidated into once sold.

What is involved in discontinuing a road?

When a road discontinuance request is received, Council officers assess the information provided and carry out preliminary investigations to gauge the suitability of the road for discontinuance and sale.

Details of the proposal are referred to service authorities for comment and consent to the proposal.

If, following these preliminary investigations, Council considers that the proposal for discontinuance and sale is feasible, the land will be allocated and valued in accordance with Council’s guidelines and procedures.

Before Council decides whether or not to discontinue the road and sell the land to an abutting owner/s, the proposal must be publicly advertised inviting submissions. Submissions are invited from the public and must be considered by Council in accordance with legislative provisions.

If, having considered any submissions, Council forms the view that the road is ‘no longer reasonably required for public use’, Council can resolve to discontinue the road and either sell or retain the land.

Notice of Council’s resolution is then published in the Victorian Government Gazette to give effect to the discontinuance. Council can then proceed to offer the land for sale to an abutting owner.

This statutory procedure is often a lengthy process and can take up to 18 months to complete.

How much will it cost?

Council has an obligation to dispose of public land in the best interests of the community and achieve the best outcome, both financial and non-financial for Council and the community.

Council will usually only sell land based on current market value in accordance with Council policy and the general principles of the Local Government Best Practice Guideline for the Sale/Exchange of Land 2008.

The purchaser will bear all costs , which can include survey, legal and planning costs.