This review examines the ecological effects of roads and utility corridors such as powerlines, pipelines, canals and railway lines on undisturbed habitat and native wildlife. Public concern about roads in natural areas is increasing, as shown by the public protests against forest roads in the Central Highlands of Victoria and the National Estate areas in the south-east forests of New South Wales. The Daintree Read through Queensland's tropical rainforest created an international protest and remains Australia's most notorious road. The original Very Fast Train (VFT) proposal favoured a route which would have divided the two major wilderness areas of the Gippsland forests in Victoria by creating a fenced impenetrable barrier to some wildlife. Planning authorities need to address the impacts of fragmentation of natural habitats by such developments.
Although it is difficult to draw conclusions from a comparison of studies covering different countries, species and habitats, areas of concern for wildlife conservation and management emerge, including increased mortality, divided populations and invasions of common species. There is a need for studies on the effects of these linear artifacts on Australian wildlife.