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Alternative Waterwise Naturestrip Treatments Policy

LAST REVIEW December 2022
NEXT REVIEW December 2025


This policy aims to provide clear direction for Alternative Waterwise Naturestrip Treatments in  urban and rural settings. This policy is implemented through the Guidelines on Swan Hill
Rural City Council’s website.


Naturestrip: An area of public land between the property boundary and the back of kerb or table drain, excluding any public pavement. In most cases a naturestrip is grassed, however, they can be modified through an alternative waterwise naturestrip treatment in accordance with this policy.


This policy is applicable to all Swan Hill Rural City Council (Council) owned and managed naturestrips and roadsides in the Municipality, excluding naturestrips that incorporate the principles of water sensitive urban design such as swales, or those that form part of a drainage network that are required to be maintained in accordance with the design intent. No additional planting or works may be undertaken in these areas.

The management and maintenance (including planting and replacement) of urban street trees is Council’s responsibility and is specifically excluded from the provisions under this policy.


This policy provides guidelines for residents to implement alternative waterwise landscape treatments on the adjoining naturestrips and roadsides in the Municipality, whilst minimising the risk to the public.

Treatment options available to residents include:

  • Arid zone or indigenous native planting
  • Drought tolerant exotic plantings
  • Drought tolerant summer grasses
  • Mulching using compacted gravels (no larger than 10mm)
  • Mulching using fine grade organic materials
  • Approved artificial turf products

Residents planning to establish Alternative Waterwise Naturestrip Treatments will need to contact Council or access the Guidelines on Council’s website.

Conditions of approval:

  • All costs of establishment, maintenance and renewal are borne by the resident or landowner.
  • Council and service authorities reserve the right to access pre-existing assets and future assets. Disturbance resulting from access works will only be reinstated to a neat finish, where plants will not be reinstated.
  • Residents will be asked by Council to remove waterwise works that are inappropriate or not adequately maintained, or Council will remove naturestrip treatments at your own cost.
  • Council reserves the right to remove any unsuitable plantings in any naturestrip pavement or cut out parking area.

It is recommended that residents extend their house and contents public liability insurance to include naturestrip landscaping.

Related Policies

  • Swan Hill Rural City Council Register of Public Roads 2021
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council Road Management Plan 2021
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council Sustainable Living Strategy 2017-27
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council Urban Tree Management Plan 2020

Related Legislation

  • Local Government Act 2020
  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Road Management Act 2004
  • Road Safety Act 1986

Signed: Les McPhee (Mayor)
Date: 22/12/2022

For information on current legislation visit:

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