Biodiversity Offsets Scheme

The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme creates a transparent, consistent and scientifically based approach to biodiversity assessment and offsetting for development that is likely to have a significant impact on biodiversity.

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) commenced on 25 August 2017. The Act is a key pillar of the NSW Government’s framework for biodiversity assessment and management, together with the land management framework established in the Local Land Services Act 2013 (as amended by the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016).

The BC Act, together with the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017, outlines the framework for addressing impacts on biodiversity from development and clearing. It establishes a framework to avoid, minimise and offset impacts on biodiversity from development through the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.

The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme also establishes Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements (BSA), which are voluntary in-perpetuity agreements entered into by landholders to secure offset sites. Visit the Biodiversity Conservation Trust for more information.

See an overview of how the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme operates.

To help potential participants understand whether or not they will enter the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is developing a tool that guides individuals through the different assessment and approvals pathways.

Transitioning to the new Biodiversity Offsets Scheme

There are arrangements in place to support a smooth transition from the former legislation to the new framework established under the BC Act.

See Transitional arrangements for more information.