Work within a road reserve
When you need Council consent
If you carry out works involving digging up and/or reinstatement of a footpath, nature strip or roadway, you must apply for consent from the Coordinating Road Authority.
VicRoads is the Coordinating Road Authority for all freeways and many arterial roads. Council is the Coordinating Road Authority for other streets and laneways in the municipality.
You need to apply for consent from Council to dig in any part of the road reserve which is managed by Council. This is required when works impact roads, laneways, Council-managed car parks, nature strips or footpaths.
Works which need consent include excavations, trenching, core sampling, connecting services such as water, gas, stormwater, underground power connections. This also includes reinstatement of a Council asset.
If you are temporarily working in the road reserve, but not performing any form of excavation, you require a Temporary Road Occupation permit.
Please note that Work Within Road Reserve consent was previously known as a Road Opening permit.
Determining which authority is responsible for a road
You can search the Maps of Declared Roads for any road within Victoria and determine if it is a freeway, arterial road or a municipal road (shown as local roads). You can also contact Council to confirm if Merri-bek City Council or VicRoads is responsible for the road in which you intend to work.
If your works impact a Vicroads managed road you may require a permit from VicRoads. Please refer to the VicRoads Guide to Working in the Road Reserve for more information.
Does your project include changes to a bus stop?
If your project involves making temporary or permanent changes to a bus stop you must seek consent from the Department of Transport. This is in addtion to any permits issued by Merri-bek Council or VicRoads.
There are penalties under the Road Management Act for modifing, changing or relocating bus stop infrastructure without consent. Please refer to the Department of Transport guide Moving a bus stop as part of a construction project (PDF 49Kb) for more information.
The role of the works manager
When you apply for a Work Within Road Reserve consent, you need to specify the works manager.
A works manager is defined by the Road Management Act 2004 as the person or body that is responsible for conducting the works in, on, under or over a road.
Responsibility for reinstatement of the road reserve following the works defaults to the works manager, unless another party is nominated.
The Work Within Road Reserve consent applicant is often the works manager.
Lodging an application for Work Within Road Reserve consent (formerly Road Opening permit) incurs a fee, which is set by the Victorian Government.
See Work Within Road Reserve consent fees for current fees.
How to apply for Work Within Road Reserve consent
What you need
To obtain Work Within Road Reserve consent (formerly Road Opening permit) from Council, you need to provide:
- a Traffic Management Plan (prepared by a qualified representative as required by the Road Management Act 2004 and Road Safety Act 1986)
- a copy of your public liability insurance to the value of $10 million
- a copy of the letter to the affected residents advising them of the arrangements for the closure (i.e. sample letter template (DOC 23Kb),
- the date(s) and times the works will occur, and
- details of who to invoice for the consent (including ABN).
- Apply for Work Within Road Reserve consent through Council Online Services.
- As part of the online application process, the fee is paid online by Visa or MasterCard. See Work Within Road Reserve consent fees to determine your relevant code number and associated fee.
You can register as a user and sign in to Council Online Services before you apply. As a registered user, you don't need to re-enter your personal information and can keep track of requests and applications on any device.
What happens after you apply
A minimum of 4 working days is required to process the application.
Council assesses all applications for a Work Within Road Reserve consent based on traffic management principles set out in the Road Management Act 2004 Worksite Safety – Traffic Management Code Of Practice and AS 1742.3 - 2002 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
This, by no means, places any responsibility for the effectiveness of traffic management being implemented by an independent works manager or contractor upon Merri-bek City Council.
On-site auditing and infringements
Council Transport Engineers carry out random traffic management audits of works being undertaken on any Merri-bek road asset. Audits are conducted using the checklist as set out in the Road Management Act 2004 Worksite Safety – Traffic Management Code Of Practice.
Council issues engineering transport infringements to corporations or individuals for:
- conducting works in, on, under or over a road without written consent, under the Road Management Act 2004, or
- failing to notify Council that approved works within a road reserve, including reinstatement works, are complete.