Biodiversity credits

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.

Creation of biodiversity credits and the public register

The number and class of credits that may be created from a BioBank site will be specified in the BioBanking agreement. The Chief Executive may create a biodiversity credit if satisfied that the relevant management actions have been, are being, or will be carried out in accordance with the BioBanking agreement.

Once created, the Chief Executive must register the credit on the biodiversity credits register. The register of biodiversity credits tracks the ownership and status of the credits, for example, whether they are retired or are in force. A credit remains in force unless it is cancelled or retired under the scheme.

Trading of credits

Anyone is able to buy credits subject to the regulations. A typical purchaser could be a developer seeking to offset their projects' impacts on biodiversity. Other buyers could be government bodies using the market to achieve conservation outcomes or philanthropic organisations using the scheme's robust structure to ensure the benefits of their endowments are maintained in perpetuity.

Ultimately, the market will determine the overall price paid for each credit. The landowner and credit purchaser will be free to negotiate any price as long as the Total Fund Deposit is deposited in the BioBanking Trust Fund.

To transfer credits to a new owner following a credit sale, the original owner of the credits must pay a fee and submit a completed "application to transfer biodiversity credits" form, available from Forms

Retirement of biodiversity credits

Biodiversity credits must be retired to offset the impact of a development on biodiversity values. This may be done to comply with the terms set out in a BioBanking statement or, in the case of State Significant Development or State Significant Infrastructure, to satisfy consent conditions under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Biodiversity credits can also be retired voluntarily, for example by philanthropic organisations.

In some situations a landholder may agree within the BioBanking agreement to retire the credits generated from the site. Until these credits are retired they are identified as "committed" on the BioBanking Public Registers. Committed credits are not available for trading.

To retire biodiversity credits, a fee must be paid  and a completed "application to retire biodiversity credits" form, available from Forms, must be submitted.

Information about credit holdings, transactions, price history and retirements is shown in the BioBanking Public Registers.

Page last updated: 28 August 2017