We’re familiar with the weird habit some people have of mowing nature strips, but sparing patches of Gazaneas? These are a weed, but at least they have a pretty flower. But wheel cactus?
FOBIF has made enquiries to Vicroads about mysterious recent clearing of vegetation from the Castlemaine Maldon road. An area a few hundred metres long has been mown to the ground, and vegetation pushed towards the road edge, where it would be a nice receptacle for a passing idiot’s cigarette butt. One feature of the clearing effort is that the mower has spared a stalk of the cactus, one of the more unpleasant weeds in our region.
Vicroads, the responsible authority, has disclaimed any responsibility for the works, and has referred us to the shire council. We haven’t heard back from them at the time of writing, but note that the shire roadsides management policy is no longer available on the council website.
It’s probably fair to say that roadside vegetation is not appreciated in our community. Certainly that’s FOBIF’s impression after our experience of the Fryer’s Ridge Road works.There are dozens of roadside management strategies for state and local government authorities; ironically, one of the better ones is the one produced by Vicroads, the destroyer of several hundred ancient trees on the Western Highway. The problem is not lack of knowledge: it’s getting wide acceptance of the knowledge, and good practice based on it.
Post script: for more sad roadside tales, see David Griffith’s response to our ‘scalping story’.