Roads, drains and paths

Council's role

Responsibility for roads and roadsides

Council roads and VicRoads roads

The majority of roads in the Shire of Nillumbik are Council’s responsibility. However, VicRoads is also responsible for a number of our major traffic and connecting routes.

It can be difficult to distinguish who is the responsible road authority but a simple check is roads coloured black or red in Melway are VicRoads’ Arterial roads.

Arterial roads maintained by VicRoads:

  • Eltham-Yarra Glen Road: Eltham (Main Road) to Christmas Hills
  • Fitzsimons Lane
  • Bolton Street/Sherbourne Road/Karingal Drive, Eltham
  • Bridge Street - Main Road to Bolton Street, Eltham
  • Wattletree Road, Eltham
  • Ryans Road, Diamond Creek
  • Heidelberg-Kinglake Road (includes Diamond Creek Road, Main Street, Chute Street, Main Hurstbridge Road, Scott Street, Caledonia Street)
  • Yan Yean Road - Diamond Creek Road to Doctors Gully Road, Yarrambat
  • Kurrak Road, Plenty
  • Kangaroo Ground–St Andrews Road
  • Kangaroo Ground–Wattle Glen Road
  • Kangaroo Ground–Warrandyte Road
  • Research–Warrandyte Road

VicRoads is responsible for both the maintenance of the road and the management of traffic on these arterial routes.

Council receives a lot of residents’ feedback regarding increasing traffic volumes and congestion on these main roads. It is not within Council’s ability or even Council’s role to try to solve these problems. However, we do make regular and strong representation to VicRoads and State Government regarding the problems experienced by Nillumbik residents.

Responsibility for the land on the roadside on an Arterial (VicRoads) road is more complicated. This depends on whether the road is in an ‘urban’ or ‘non-urban’ area.

Roadsides on arterial roads, Council's responsibility

The below list outlines which roadsides on arterial roads are the responsibility of Council.

In all cases Council is responsible for footpaths, and in some cases, for parking and parking control.

  • Diamond Creek Road, Greensborough and Diamond Creek - entire length
  • Chute Street, Diamond Creek - entire length
  • Heidelberg–Kinglake Road - between The Glen, Hurstbridge and Bambara Road, Hurstbridge
  • Heidelberg–Kinglake Road - between Marriot Lane, St Andrews and Buttermans Track, St Andrews
  • Scott Street and Caledonia Street, St Andrews - entire length
  • Ryans Road, Diamond Creek - entire length
  • Ryans Road, Eltham North - entire length
  • Wattletree Road, Eltham North - entire length
  • Karingal Drive, Eltham North - entire length
  • Sherbourne Road, Eltham - entire length
  • Bridge Street, Eltham - between Sherbourne Road, Eltham and Main Road, Eltham
  • Eltham–Yarra Glen Road, Eltham - entire length
  • Main Road, Eltham - entire length
  • Main Road, Research - entire length
  • Eltham–Yarra Glen Road, Research - between Research-Warrandyte Road, Research and Bells Hill Road, Research
  • Research-Warrandyte Road - entire length
  • Kangaroo Ground–St Andrews Road, Panton Hill - between Cherry Tree Road, Panton Hill and Haley Road, Panton Hill

Public Road Register

Council's Public Road Register is available for inspection at the Civic Centre during business hours. It contains a list of roads maintained by Council.

Maintenance of roads, drains and roadsides

Road Management Plan

Our Road Management Plan 2021(PDF, 1MB) outlines how we look after local roads in line with policy, overarching objectives and available resources.

Roads and drainage maintenance

Our Roads and Drainage Maintenance Team undertakes road maintenance such as repairing potholes, footpaths, road sweeping, installing and maintaining street signs, street furniture including bollards. A dedicated inspector identifies defects using the latest GPS technology.

If you notice that repairs are needed, please let us know by completing a Service Request.

Unsealed roads maintenance

Unsealed roads are graded annually, potholes are repaired and table drains are maintained.

Sealed roads

Sealed roads are swept on a six week cycle.

Street signs

Signs are maintained, and damaged or missing signs replaced.

Dead animal collection

We will collect and dispose of dead animals from roads and roadsides.

Drainage systems - roads and easements

The existing drainage infrastructure is maintained by repairs and cleaning.  We inspect roadside drainage pits annually and determine cleaning requirements. Cleaning programs include removing litter, debris, silt and other foreign matter from drains which could cause flooding and potential damage to property or persons.  Easement pits are maintained reactively.

Drainage pit lids

Damaged or missing pit lids are hazardous and are replaced as soon as identified or reported

Roadside Management Plan 2012 

Council manages and maintains approximately 1,200 kilometres of rural roadsides. 

Roadsides within the Shire have multiple values, including

  • providing safe and efficient function of the carriageway,
  • an alignment for utility networks,
  • opportunities for fire risk management,
  • as well as some unique ecological, cultural and recreational values. 

Our Roadside Management Plan (2012) identifies the unique value of roadsides within the Shire and responds to the management issues associated with maintaining these values, in a context of the proper function of roads and their reserves. 

The plan consists of three parts:

Part 1: Background and Policy(PDF, 4MB)

Part 2: Operational Guidelines(PDF, 1MB) and 

Part 3: Implementation(PDF, 277KB).

Eltham/Research area traffic investigations

In response to community enquiries and known traffic issues, Council will be undertaking a range of investigations into traffic and road safety in Eltham and Research. Traffic improvements and assessments are being carried out in the following locations:

  • Margaret Street, Research
  • Ingrams Road, Research
  • Cassells Road, Research
  • Allendale Road, Eltham
  • Zig Zag Road North, Eltham

Activities include traffic survey counters, safety assessments and improvement works to address speeding and potential 'rat running' in these areas.

For further information about the works occurring in these locations, see the project listings on our Projects and works page. Regular updates and further information will be added to the project pages as Council progresses with the assessments and/or works.

Private property works and resident responsibilities

Works within road reserve and easements

Works within road reserve and easements

If you want to carry out works within any of Council's road reserves or easements, you must first apply for an Infrastructure Works(PDF, 352KB) permit.These works may include:

  • vehicle crossings,
  • drainage connections 
  • landscaping.

Refer to the Vehicle Crossing Polic(DOCX, 140KB)y for guidelines on the installation or alteration of vehicle crossings.


Drainage on private property

Storm water and sewage systems on private property are the responsibility of the landowner. For sewage problems contact Yarra Valley on 13 27 62. For storm water problems contact a plumber.

Legal Point of Discharge 

To find a property's Legal Point of Discharge, you need to submit the Application for Infrastructure Information(PDF, 364KB).

The fee is $146.80. The information will be forwarded to you in 5 - 10 working days. 

Drainage Design Guidelines 

Please refer to our Drainage Design Guidelines(PDF, 2MB) for an efficient, environmentally sensitive and cost effective way to control stormwater runoff.

Drainage of unserviced allotments 

Please refer to Council's Drainage of Unserviced Allotments(DOCX, 575KB) document, which sets out Council's requirements for absorbing stormwater on site.

Driveways and vehicle crossovers

Infrastructure standard drawings 

Council provides standard drawings(PDF, 4MB) for the construction of roads and road infrastructure.

Gravel driveways 

Unsealed driveways may pose a hazard if the topping material washes onto the road or footpath during rain.

Residents must keep the footpath and roadway in a clean and safe condition if driveway material is washed onto these surfaces.

Vehicle crossover 

This is the technical name for the extension to the driveway which goes into your property or a commercial property from a road. A crossover may be concrete, asphalt or clay/concrete paving.

In some cases a crossover incorporates a pipe culvert to allow the passage of stormwater to pass by uninterrupted. This forms part of the vehicle crossover.

As a crossover (and where present the pipe culvert) is part of a property’s driveway, it is your responsibility to maintain the crossover in a safe and serviceable condition.This includes keeping the pipe culvert clear of any debris. 

New or additional crossovers can only be installed with the approval of Council, using the Application for Infrastructure Works(PDF, 352KB) form.

Please also refer to Council's Vehicle Crossing Policy(DOCX, 140KB).

Footpaths, nature strips and roadsides


Council looks after the footpaths in the Shire, but residents are responsible for: 

  • footpaths damaged by vehicles accessing properties by means other than that of an approved vehicle crossover
  • footpaths damaged by tree roots coming from vegetation planted within a private property boundary 

Trees and the footpath 

Trees growing on private property which over hang the footpath are the responsibility of the resident.

Residents must keep all vegetation clear of the footpath itself as well as clear to a height of 2.5 metres above the footpath. 

Nature strips 

Nature strips are part of Nillumbik's Green Wedge environment. They complement the neighbourhood’s natural setting and are public land, not part of a residential property. 

Looking after your nature strip 

It is accepted practice that residents maintain the nature strip(s) abutting their property as an extension of their garden, with the exception of street trees which are maintained by Council.

Residents must not remove, lop or destroy any indigenous vegetation on nature strips or rural road reserves without permission from Council. 

Storing materials or parking on the nature strip 

You are not allowed to park on or store any type of vehicle or trailer or building materials on nature strips, as per Council's Amenity Local Law(PDF, 457KB).

Landscaping or planting on your nature strip or roadside 

You can landscape or plant on your nature strip or roadside if you have written permission from Council.


To obtain permission, write to Nillumbik Shire Council, Infrastructure Development,

For roadsides, include a map of the area that you would like to plant as well as a list of species. 


  • The nature strip in front of your premises or roadside adjoining your property must not be landscaped without approval from Council. Only plants listed in the Nillumbik publication Live Local Plant Local(PDF, 5MB) can be used.
  • Items such as rocks, logs and sleepers must not be used in landscaping on the nature strip or roadside.
  • Garden stakes or star pickets must not be used as temporary fencing or as a parking deterrent on your nature strip or roadside.
  • On roadsides, tree guards and stakes can be used to protect plants while they are establishing.
  • You must not install pavers or concrete or construct stone walls or similar on the nature strip or roadside.
  • For nature strips, all landscaping is to finish 800mm from the back of the kerb and, on the other side, must not encroach onto the footpath.
  • You must not prune or remove a street tree on a nature strip without Council approval.
  • You must not remove trees from the roadside. 

Removing vegetation from your roadside 

Learn what you can remove from your roadside.