The Shire of Dalwallinu is located 250 km north-east of Perth in Western Australia’s
area of 7,187 square km and supports a population of approximately 1,767 people. It is
serviced by 1,939 km of roads, of which 449 km are sealed (W.A. Local Government
Directory, 2003-2004). The Dalwallinu townsite is the administrative centre for the Shire;
other localities include Kalannie, Wubin, Pithara and Buntine.
The area experiences a Mediterranean climate with an average annual rainfall of
averaging from the high twenties, and mild winters, with maxima in the mid teens. Mean
daily maximum and minimum temperatures and rainfall statistics are shown below.
Figure 1 – Mean daily maximum and minimum temperature (
C) and rainfall (mm) in the
Shire of Dalwallinu, based on climate averages from the Dalwallinu weather station 008039
(commenced 1912; Last record: 2003).
of the Shire. There are 8,917 hectares of A-Class Conservation Reserves in the Shire,
representing 1.24% of land area. Other local industries include bulk fertiliser services,
shearing, gypsum mining, Ostrich farming and cedar blind manufacture (Shire of
82.3%, or 595,418 ha of the Shire is located within the Intensive Land-use Zone (ILZ),
Mean monthly rainfall - mm
Mean daily maximum temperature - deg C
Mean daily minimum temperature - deg C
with some horticulture, intensive livestock production and resource protection. The
Zone (ELZ), which is dominated by grazing and mining activities (Shepherd, Beeston &
Hopkins, 2001). These zones are illustrated in Figure 2.
Figure 2- Land-use zones in Western Australia (Department of Agriculture WA, 2004).
Tourism plays an important role with the area's spectacular natural resources being a
Dalwallinu is the first town on The Wildflower Way, a well-known
wildflowers is between July and October. Each year thousands of wildflower enthusiasts
and nature lovers make the journey to enjoy the rare and beautiful sight of flowers
literally carpeting the countryside. Other salient features of the area include the Old
Courthouse Tourist Information Centre, Wubin Wheatbelt Museum, The Old Well and
Based on WA Herbarium records, over 900 species of plants have been recorded from
the Shire of Dalwallinu. These include 108 species of Acacia, 48 species of Eucalypt, 48
species of Grevillea, 34 species of Melaleuca, 20 species of Eremophila and 23 species
of Verticordia, see Appendix 4.
The unique flora seen in the remnant bushland on roadsides rival horticultural varieties
low nutrient status of the Western Australia soils and a low annual rainfall with long dry
Threatened and priority fauna observed in the Shire of Dalwallinu, based on information
have been recorded or sighted throughout the Shire,
Photography by A. Carr, M. Hancock, M. Seale & S. D. Hopper. Photo used with the permission
of the WA Herbarium, CALM (http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/help/photos#reuse).
Within the Intensive Land-use Zone (see Figure 2), the Shire of Dalwallinu retains 12%
tenures, from nature and crown reserves to privately owned bushland. Flora and fauna
living in these isolated remnants require connectivity throughout the landscape to find
nesting sites, food, shelter and to breed. As a consequence, the presence of native
vegetation in transport corridors is of vital importance. The presence of bush corridors to
connect these areas is paramount to the survival of our native flora and fauna. A
comparison of remnant vegetation in Dalwallinu and with surrounding Shires can be
seen in Table 1.
Percentage of Vegetation Cover
Area (Ha) of Vegetation Cover
National Objectives and Targets for Biodiversity Conservation 2001-2005
Australia, 2001) stated that vegetation associations represented by less than 30%
remnant vegetation cover are considered ecologically endangered and in need of
protection and restoration wherever they are located. There are 9 vegetation
associations below the 30% target of vegetation coverage and 2 with less than 10%
remaining in the Shire of Dalwallinu, see Table 2. National targets for biodiversity
conservation (2001-2005) state the need to have protection measures in place for those
vegetation associations that are below 30%. Vegetation associations with less than 10%
are considered endangered whilst those between 10-30% are considered vulnerable and
those between 30-50% are considered depleted (of the pre 1750 extent).
Photo by B. M. Hussey
Since the settlement of Western Australia by Europeans, large areas of native
settlements, and other development. The fragmentation of the more or less continuous
expanse of native vegetation communities by clearing has resulted in the isolation of
plant and animal populations which have become severely disadvantaged by becoming
isolated within a mosaic of man-made biogeographical islands of small native vegetation
remnants. These are typically unreliable for sustaining wildlife due to food shortages,
disease and reduced genetic diversity caused by a diminishing gene pool. Nevertheless,
the presence of native vegetation along roadsides can often assist in alleviating this
isolation effect by providing connectivity between bush remnants, thereby facilitating the
movement of biota across the landscape.
Remnant vegetation includes more than just trees, comprising a diverse mix of trees,
valuable food and shelter for local biodiversity.
Existing native vegetation generally requires less
maintenance if left undisturbed.
Remnants in transport corridors are also
original vegetation within extensively cleared
prone than introduced vegetation;
provide habitat for many native species of
provide wildlife corridors linking other areas of
animals. Currently, roadside plants represent
more than 80 per cent of the known populations
of 40 of the declared rare species, and three of
these are known only to exist in roadside
provide the basis for our important wildflower
tourism industry. The aesthetic appeal of well-maintained roadsides should not be
often contain sites of historic or cultural significance;
provide windbreaks and stock shelter areas for adjoining farmland by helping to
reserve per se;
are generally far less of a fire threat than annual weeds;
provide a benchmark for the study of soil change throughout the advancement of
pertinent to shrub species, as clearing and grazing beneath farm trees often removes
Approval of the local shire and a CALM permit are required prior to collection.
In a time of rapid change, where the demands placed on the natural resources are
and boundaries to ensure the sustainability and integrity of the natural biota ecosystem
processes, agricultural lands and service infrastructure.
Roadsides are the vital link . . . and a priceless community asset.
Uncertainty often exists in the minds of many with regard to the ‘ownership’, control and
legislative reference to activities within a transport corridor.
The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) has the legislative
important to note that all flora and fauna is protected under provisions of the Wildlife
addition to the general provisions relating to protected flora under the Wildlife
threatened under section 23F of the Wildlife Conservation Act.
The legislation pertaining to the management of road reserves is complex and includes
Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976
Bush Fires Act 1954
Conservation and Land Management Act 1984
Environmental Protection Act 1986
Heritage of WA Act 1990
Land Act 1933
Local Government Act 1995
Main Roads Act 1930
Mining Act 1978
Soil and Land Conservation Act 1945
State Energy Commission Supply Act 1979
Water Authority Act 1987
Wildlife Conservation Act 1950-1979
It is recommended that a cautionary approach be taken when working within roadsides,
or protection of heritage or conservation values present in the roadsides.
will require greater adherence to legislative requirements before
native vegetation is cleared. This legislation will provide for two types of permits which
will provide for permission to clear native vegetation, however they will have certain
conditions attached to them. For example, the road managing authority may be required
to prepare, implement and adhere to a roadside or specific tenure management plan.
Before any native vegetation is cleared it is incumbent on the project manager or land
manager to ensure that the proposed clearing is being carried out under the terms and
conditions of the pending legislation, as there are transitional provisions within it, which
are retrospective from 26
4.1 Collection of native plant material from roadsides
The Shire of Dalwallinu does not generally allow the collection of wildflowers or seed
from native plants within road reserves. Exceptions may be granted for special cases,
and for particular species. The council has no policy on this issue but has given
permission to the Environment Society to collect seed for revegetation purposes. Under
the Wildlife Conservation Act the Department of Conservation and Land Management
may issue a licence following Shire approval.
Collecting seed from a roadside may be the only option in cases where there are no
on the roadside flora. Collection of native plant material from roadsides:
further depletes the already scarce resource,
can detract from the integrity of the roadside,
reduces the amount of seed available for natural regeneration,
reduces the ability of the area to regenerate after disturbances such as fire, and
threatens roadside plant communities with the potential introduction and spread of
Declared Rare Flora (DRF) refers to species, or populations of native plants that are of
great significance and should be treated with special care when road and utility service,
construction or maintenance is undertaken. Populations of DRF along roadsides are
designated Special Environmental Areas (SEA's) and are marked out by yellow stakes
with an identification plate welded on. See figures 12 and 13.
It is the responsibility of the road manager to ensure these markers are installed, and
available from the Roadside Conservation Committee.
The DRF sites register in the Shire of Dalwallinu needs to be checked for the presence
management and planning of works within the roadside environment.
For more information regarding DRF it is advisable to contact the Flora Officer for the
the yellow stakes have been disturbed, it is advisable to contact CALM at least one week
Photography by S. D. Hopper & A. Doley. Photo used with the permission of the
WA Herbarium, CALM (http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/help/photos#reuse
As of November 2003, the Shire of Dalwallinu had 17 populations of DRF species on
Shire of Dalwallinu include:
Photography by S. J. Patrick & B. A. Fuhrer. Photo used with the
permission of the WA Herbarium, CALM
A flora road is one which has special conservation value because of the
may decide to declare a Flora Road based on the results of the survey
of roadside conservation value. Roadsides determined as having high
conservation value in the Shire of Dalwallinu include:
(Not a complete list, consult the 2004 Roadside Conservation
These, and other roads may be investigated further to see if
effect of drawing the attention of tourists to the high
conservation value roadside and it also alerts all that work in
the roadside environment that the marked section of roadside
requires due care to protect the values present.
In order to plan roadworks so that important areas of roadside
these areas. It is suggested that the Shire establish a Register
Attractive roadside drives are an important
drawcard in this, the "Wildflower State".
Declared Flora Roads will, by their very nature,
be attractive to tourists and would often be
suitable as part of a tourist drive network.
Consideration should be given to:
Promoting the road by means of a small
brochure or booklet,
Showing all Flora Roads on a map of the
Using specially designed signs to delineate
Roadsides are one of the most
Management objectives should involve disturbing the roadside flora as little as possible,
consistent with the provision of a safe and efficient roadway. The management of Flora
Roads should aim to:
Encourage natural regeneration.
The management techniques referred to in Section 7.0 of this report can be employed to
and supervised so that incremental widening does not occur at every pass of the grader.
Environmental assessments (pre-construction check-lists) should be completed prior to
should be undertaken in such a way so as to take into account the ecological needs of
the flora. Where rehabilitation is contemplated, local native species should always be