BioBanking enabled 'biodiversity credits' to be generated by landowners and developers who committed to enhancing and protecting biodiversity values on their land through a BioBanking agreement.
The biodiversity credits could then be sold, generating funds for the management of the site. Credits could be used to offset the impacts on biodiversity values that occur as a result of development. The credits could also be sold to those wanting to invest in conservation outcomes, including philanthropic organisations and government.
New legislation and offsets scheme
The BioBanking Scheme has been replaced by the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) which commenced on 25 August 2017. The BOS is also a market-based scheme that operates in a similar way to BioBanking however there have been a number changes including:
- replacement of the BioBanking Assessment Methodology (BBAM) with the Biodiversity Assessment Methodology (BAM)
- replacement of BioBanking Agreements with Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements
- establishment of the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT).
Existing BioBanking agreements
Existing BioBanking agreements remain in place and are managed under the BC Act as Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements. The BCT have taken on the ongoing management of BioBanking agreements, including administration of annual reports, application for variations and annual payments.
Applications for BioBanking agreements that were submitted before 25 February 2018 will continue to be processed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment under the repealed TSC Act before being passed to the BCT for ongoing management. No new applications for BioBanking agreements or statements can be accepted.
Unsold biodiversity credits generated through a BioBanking agreement under the repealed TSC Act remain valid under the BC Act. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is developing a process to determine the equivalence of TSC Act biodiversity credits with BC Act credits and will publish the details soon.
Transitional arrangements provides further scenario based information on the change to the BOS.
For forms and fees relating to existing agreements, visit Offsets scheme fees and forms.