Dieback ‘Dos' when building a house on a bush block

There are many great bush blocks for sale in Roleystone. Many look very healthy with little or no evidence of dieback disease - some have hordes of healthy Banksias, a sure sign that the dieback pathogen is absent. The aim of the purchasers of these blocks must surely be to build their house and keep the surrounding bush healthy.....and it can be done if the building project is planned well and the following ‘Dos' are applied.


  • Construct the track to your pad in a way that will not direct water into the bushland.
  • Try to schedule activities that involve soil disturbance for low rainfall months when the soil is dry.
  • Minimise soil disturbance - keep machinery and vehicles out of the bushland.
  • Clean the soil off bobcats and other vehicles that enter the block.
  • You may feel silly asking the operator to brush or wash his bobcat but it is important if you want to retain your bushland.
  • Use mains water - not water from streams or dams.
  • Use fill material that has come from a non-dieback area.
  • Consider building a pole home - this will minimise soil disturbance and the need for fill.
  • Treat your vegetation with ‘phosphite' before starting the site works - this will increase the resistance of the plants to any dieback spores that do get through to the roots. 
  • Buy your garden plants from Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA) nurseries - many nurseries, even major ones, do not use intensive hygiene methods during production. See Nursery Warning for details.
  • Ensure that drainage does not enter your property from other areas e.g. roads, neighbours property.
  • Mow, slash or herbicide your firebreaks rather than ploughing or grading. If they need to be ploughed or graded then ensure that the machine is free of soil and mud.

So what should you do if your bush block does have dieback?

Your aim in this case is to have minimal impact of dieback on the vegetation, especially the Jarrah trees. The critical instruction is ‘do not wet up the site'. Jarrah does not like ‘getting its feet wet'. Dieback spores love wet conditions.

If your block is reasonably healthy then you should also abide by the ‘Dos' given above, but the most important one is to ensure that drainage water (from roofs, roads, driveways etc) does not end up in the bush you want to keep.