Students from Buninyong Primary School Scotsburn campus have joined forces with Upper Williamson Creek Landcare Group to plant seedlings as the Victorian Government revegetates the roadside along the Midland Highway following recent safety improvement works.
Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle helped students plant 150 seedlings, taking the total number of trees replanted along the works zone this year to 750.
The trees will replace some of those removed to accommodate essential safety improvements undertaken between Buninyong and Clarendon to widen the road and install flexible safety barriers.
The trees selected for planting along the highway include Silver Banksia, Christmas Bush, Blackwood, and Golden Wattle. The species of trees were carefully chosen to ensure they were suitable habitat for wildlife, such as crimson rosellas, gliders, koalas, and possums.
The total number of trees being replanted along the works zone this year is 750 with a further 3,500 trees and bushes planned to be planted along this stretch of road in 2022.
More than 300 trees needed removal to make way for the Midland Highway safety improvement works. The vegetation from the native trees removed for the project was donated to a Ballarat wildlife sanctuary to help feed their koala population. At the same time, timber from the felled trees was also repurposed by local groups and organisations, including the Scotsburn Primary School.
In addition, 30 timber nesting boxes – custom-made by the Men’s Shed at St Andrews to suit different types of animals – were installed in trees along the route earlier in the year to encourage habitat back to the area.
This $23 million Midland Highway upgrade is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.4 billion investment into reducing road trauma, with major works on this 12km section due for completion in July once the centre barrier is installed.
A reseal will need to be applied to the old road surface, however these works require warmer temperatures and will be undertaken in summer. Final line marking and rumble strips will be applied after the reseal.
Safety improvements include installing flexible safety barriers and rumble strips to help lower the risk of head-on and run-off-road crashes – the two most significant causes of deaths on regional Victorian roads.
The project supports Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, which sets ambitious targets to halve road deaths and significantly reduce serious injuries by 2030 and sets us on a path to zero road deaths by 2050.
Quotes attributable Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle
“We’re improving safety along the Midland Highway, between Buninyong and Clarendon, with safety barriers, rumble strips and intersection upgrades to reduce road trauma and save lives – we know that one life lost on our roads is one life too many.”
“Whilst we had to remove some vegetation to deliver a safer road, we are now working with the community to plant 4,250 trees and bushes chosen as the best habitat for local wildlife.”