Vegetation & Biodiversity
Our vegetation maintenance program manages vegetation clearances and hazards for the safe operation and maintenance of the Melbourne railway network and around station precincts including around Metro managed electric lines across the Melbourne train network.
It is critical that Metro train drivers have clear line-of-sight for signals, crossings and the railway track.
The management of vegetation is also important for security and fire hazard management, particularly in sections of the network in high or hazardous bushfire risk areas.
We undertake maintenance five times a year. The types of works we do include rail reserve grass slashing, weed management, trackside weed spray, pruning of trees and vegetation to maintain clearances and station garden maintenance. We also do emergency works to respond to hazards from for example storm damage.
Trees are assessed to determine if they are dead or diseased and if so, are monitored, maintained or removed, as required. They are only removed if they present a risk to safety or operations.
Safety is our priority at all times. All vegetation maintenance work is prioritised on a safety critical basis.
Using goats for pesticide free vegetation management
In 2019 Metro Trains Infrastructure Vegetation team welcomed a small herd of goats to assist with weed clearing near Belgrave Station.
A half-hectare section of bushland at the end of the Belgrave line required a creative weed management solution to safely and effectively clear the area to manage the bushfire hazard and invasive weeds without the use of pesticides that could impact native plants and animals in the area.
A team of 10 goats from GrazeAway, known as the Puffing Billy Goats, were brought in to chew through the area and clear the weeds. After this successful trial, stage two will include revegetation works to plant indigenous plant species to inhibit any re-growth of those weeds.
Railway corridors contain parcels of land that have remained relatively undeveloped and in some instances retain areas of significant flora and fauna habitat.
Our maintenance and construction works are carried out to minimise harm to protected flora and fauna (and habitat), through the implementation of environmental management plans and compliance to environmental approvals.
Over and above being legally required to protect these flora and fauna species, we are committed to restoring the biodiversity values through delivery of a dedicated biodiversity management program in more than thirty ‘Biosites’ across the network
Protecting the Southern Brown Bandicoots
In 2018 Metro Trains played a leading role in bringing together bandicoot experts, Victorian agencies and land managers to develop the State’s first guidelines for managing habitat for the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Metro manages railway reserve areas of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat along the Pakenham line. Victoria has already lost the remarkable Eastern Barred Bandicoot through predation by cats, foxes and habitat loss so Metro Trains acted quickly to save the Southern Brown Bandicoot from extinction.
The guidelines were recently released for use across Victoria can be found on the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne website .