Interim options for securing an offset site

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.

While biobanking agreements are the preferred mechanism for securing offsets, other conservation mechanisms may also be acceptable for projects approved prior to the commencement of the policy on 1 October 2014, or projects that were in a late stage of their planning approval process at this time. This recognises that conditions of consent issued prior to application of the new policy may not have been developed with the intent of using biobanking agreements. Interim mechanisms for securing offsets include:

  •  biobanking agreement (preferred)
  •  dedication of land under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act)
  •  Trust Agreements under the Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001
  •  a Property Vegetation Plan registered on title under the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

The suitability of these mechanisms will depend on individual circumstances.

A Conservation Agreement under the NPW Act can only be used in limited circumstances. These include:

  • where the Conservation Agreement is an existing proposal that has previously been agreed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, or
  • where the proponent received conditions of consent prior to 1 October 2014 and it can be demonstrated that other offset options are not available. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be supported by a biodiversity management plan.

At the conclusion of the transitional implementation period of the NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects, all projects will be required to use biobanking agreements as the sole mechanism for securing offset sites.

Page last updated: 28 August 2017