Review of the BioBanking Scheme

The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 commenced on 25 August 2017 visit Biodiversity Offset Scheme.

The information on this page only remains relevant for savings and transitional arrangements under former legislation and policy. Visit Biodiversity Offset Scheme Transitional Arrangements for more information.

The Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) and associated Regulation require a review of the operation of BioBanking and the BioBanking Assessment Methodology (BBAM).

Review report

The BioBanking review has been finalised and the Minister for the Environment has released the BioBanking Scheme: Statutory Review Report. The report contains forty-two recommendations for improving the operation of the BioBanking Scheme and the effectiveness of the BBAM. Recommendations centre on:

  • increasing participation rates
  • making it more practical and attractive for landowners and proponents to use the scheme
  • ensuring strong and credible environmental outcomes
  • revising and updating the BBAM.

View the main findings and recommendations or download the Statutory Review Report, PDF 415KB for more information.

BioBanking Assessment Methodology 2014

The review has recommended replacing the existing methodology with the BioBanking Assessment Methodology 2014 (BBAM 2014), PDF 1.5MB.

The BBAM 2014 came into effect on 1 October 2014.

The BBAM 2014 builds upon the experiences of OEH and stakeholders in applying the BBAM and other methodologies, including the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology and the Biodiversity Certification Assessment Methodology. It is also closely aligned to the Framework for Biodiversity Assessment, which is the methodology that underpins the Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects. It marks a key step in helping the Government to achieve its NSW 2021 goal of increasing consistency in offsetting practices. 

Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects

The recently released Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects clarifies, standardises and improves the process of biodiversity offsetting for major project approvals in the NSW planning system. Submissions received during the consultation for the BioBanking Review were used to inform the development of the Offsets Policy. The Offsets Policy incorporates those elements of BioBanking that were identified as strengths of the scheme, and addresses the concerns with the scheme as they relate to major projects.

The Framework for Biodiversity Assessment (FBA), PDF 1.27MB is the assessment methodology that underpins the Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects. The BBAM 2014 has been developed alongside the FBA to ensure consistency, where possible. The gain in biodiversity at an offset site will be calculated in the same way under BioBanking and the Offsets Policy, as the FBA will direct proponents to use the BBAM to calculate biodiversity gain at an offset site. This will ensure landholders who enter into BioBanking agreements can participate in both the Offsets Policy and BioBanking. 

Biodiversity legislation review

The review does not make any recommendations that require legislative amendments. This is because a comprehensive review of the legislative and policy framework for the management of native vegetation, threatened species and other protected native animals and plants is currently underway. As BioBanking forms part of the legislative and policy settings for the management of biodiversity, the scheme will be considered as part of the NSW biodiversity legislation review.

Review process

On 10 May 2012, a review of the BioBanking Scheme and the BioBanking Assessment Methodology commenced in accordance with requirements under the TSC Act.

The aim of the review was to identify the strengths and challenges of the BioBanking Scheme and evaluate ways of improving it to ensure it achieves credible environmental outcomes and is practical to use.

A summary document, PDF 60KB, discussion paper, PDF 350KB and revised BioBanking Assessment Methodology, PDF 764KB were prepared to initiate comments and opinions on the scheme during the review.

Public input to the BioBanking review was very constructive and OEH values the considered submissions made by stakeholders. A total of 50 written submissions were received and key stakeholders provided further input via nine targeted stakeholder meetings. Individual submissions are available on the website. Some confidential submissions have not been made available at the request of the individual or organisation.

OEH prepared the report BioBanking review: Summary of submissions, which presented the issues raised in the written submissions as well as key messages received from stakeholders throughout the consultation process. 

Page last updated: 28 August 2017