Information for developers

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.

Developers can purchase credits from biobank site owners or other owners of biodiversity credits. They can also participate in the supply of biodiversity credits by establishing a biobank site which manages land not suited to development for conservation purposes. These credits could be used by the developer to offset the impacts on biodiversity values for that development or other developments, or be sold on the market.

The 'List of wanted credits' allows developers to inform current and future credit holders (such as landowners and local councils) about the type, location and number of credit that they require.

Download a general introduction (09382bbdevelop.pdf, 444 KB) to how BioBanking works for developers.

A biobanking statement is a voluntary alternative to the current threatened species assessment of significance process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The biobanking statement application form can be dowloaded from the Forms page.

To obtain a biobanking statement the developer must meet the improve or maintain test for biodiversity values. A development is considered to improve or maintain biodiversity values if:

  • impacts on areas are counter-balanced by the retirement of credits in accordance with BioBanking offset rules
  • the impact of a development on biodiversity values both on- and off-site are minimised through on-site measures
  • areas important for biodiversity conservation which cannot be easily replaced ('red flag' areas) are avoided.

The BioBanking Assessment Methodology provides a clear and transparent framework for biodiversity assessments and calculating offsets in urban NSW. The offsets are measured in terms of biodiversity credits and are determined by the methodology.

If the development does not meet the improve or maintain test, the methodology and credit calculator can be used to help quantify biodiversity offsets for the development.

What are the advantages of BioBanking for developers?

The methodology provides a scientific, repeatable, consistent, and scientifically robust framework with the following benefits for the development industry:

  • greater certainty with respect to meeting their threatened species responsibilities in the development approvals process
  • an ability to identify any potential threatened species constraints (areas of high conservation value) and forecast the cost of the offset measures that will impact on the financial feasibility of the project prior to the purchase of land
  • less time spent in negotiations for offsetting the impacts of the development (under the current section 5A system) by the establishment of the biodiversity market for trading biodiversity credits
  • the cost and responsibilities of the offset managed by landowners wanting to manage their land for conservation through the purchase of biodiversity credits, thereby avoiding ongoing responsibilities of the offset by the developer.

Guide for developers

The Guide for developers (08527bbdevguide.pdf, 1.14 MB) is designed to assist the development industry to understand BioBanking and how it can help identify land that is suitable for development, use the methodology to assess impacts and offsets, and buy credits.

Page last updated: 28 August 2017