Aaron Organ – Director / Principal EcologistAdelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, GeelongPh (07) 3221 3352, Mob. 0425 873 159
 Biodiversity offset policies (Statecomparison) Key Issues Brief examples Solutions Concluding thoughtsOverview
6Hierarchy Development proposals need to demonstrate:◦ Avoidance of impacts◦ Minimisation of impacts◦ Mitigation of impac...
7 Queensland Government Environmental Offset Policy (2008)(QGEOP) – overarching framework for environmental offsets inQLD...
8 A biobanking statement obtained for developmentassessed under Parts 4 or 5 of the EP&A Act, alsoPart 3A applications P...
9 Two types of biodiversity credits – species creditsand ecosystem credits Small number of projects have been finalised(...
10 Victoria’s policy on native vegetation is the document, Victoria’sNative Vegetation Management – A Framework for Actio...
11 NSW - no assessments for threatened species when usingBioBanking NSW - consent authority includes the conditions of t...
12 Inaccurate advice - overestimating or understatingecological values Currently high expectation of level of survey eff...
13 Poor negotiation between broker and landowner Duplication of offset process Security of offset site prior to commenc...
Problems Understating the impact Overstating the impact Messing up offsetsNo problems Pre-empting problems Working wi...
 Ornamental snakes and geneticfragmentation◦ Vulnerable EPBC Act / NC Act◦ Why genetic fragmentation is difficult to caus...
16
 Clearing of vegetation prior to offsets andecological equivalence◦ Automatic scores of 100 for cleared vegetation◦ The v...
18
19I’m concerned about the costs and delays for my mining,energy and infrastructure projects, what are the solutions? Get ...
20 Are offsets hear to stay – yes, they are. Increased complexity – although all Governmentsare attempting to streamline...
21 Use of spatial and satellite data to improve yourconfidence in potential offset sites prior to field Environmental lo...
22
23
Aaron OrganDirector / Principal Ecologist0425 873 159Adelaide - (08) 8372 7829 Brisbane – (07) 3221 3352 / Geelong – (03) ...
Biodiversity Offsetting for Mining, Energy and Infrastructure Development‘How biodiversity offsets can potentially impact...
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Biodiversity Offsetting for Mining, Energy and Infrastructure Development ‘How biodiversity offsets can potentially impact projects and how to achieve offsets in a cost effective way’

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Biodiversity Offsetting for Mining, Energy and Infrastructure Development ‘How biodiversity offsets can potentially impact projects and how to achieve offsets in a cost -effective way’

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Biodiversity Offsetting for Mining, Energy and Infrastructure Development ‘How biodiversity offsets can potentially impact projects and how to achieve offsets in a cost effective way’

  1. 1. Aaron Organ – Director / Principal EcologistAdelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, GeelongPh (07) 3221 3352, Mob. 0425 873 159
  2. 2.  Biodiversity offset policies (Statecomparison) Key Issues Brief examples Solutions Concluding thoughtsOverview
  3. 3. 6Hierarchy Development proposals need to demonstrate:◦ Avoidance of impacts◦ Minimisation of impacts◦ Mitigation of impacts Residual (unavoidable) negative environmentalimpacts from a development are subject to offsetsIntroduction
  4. 4. 7 Queensland Government Environmental Offset Policy (2008)(QGEOP) – overarching framework for environmental offsets inQLD. Four specific offset policies support the QGEOP:1. Policy for Vegetation Management Offsets;2. Mitigation and Compensation for Works or ActivitiesCausing Marine Fish Habitat Loss;3. Offsets for Net Benefit to Koalas and Koala Habitat (2010);and4. Queensland Biodiversity Offsets Policy (2011). Each policy specifies the manner in which offsets can beprovided (i.e. a land based offset and/or a monetarycontribution).Offset Policies - Qld
  5. 5. 8 A biobanking statement obtained for developmentassessed under Parts 4 or 5 of the EP&A Act, alsoPart 3A applications Precludes the need for additional assessment ofimpacts to threatened species Limited implications under the TSC Act - voluntaryoffset scheme (no requirement to source anyoffsets using the scheme or register offsets underthe scheme) Methodology highly complexBioBanking and Offset Scheme - NSW
  6. 6. 9 Two types of biodiversity credits – species creditsand ecosystem credits Small number of projects have been finalised(offsets have been achieved in other ways) Cost of offsets and funding for management ofoffset sites are negotiated Offsite offsets are managed by landowner not thedeveloperBioBanking and Offset Scheme - NSW
  7. 7. 10 Victoria’s policy on native vegetation is the document, Victoria’sNative Vegetation Management – A Framework for Action (2002) Primary goal is the reversal of decline in extent and quality ofnative vegetation i.e. Net Gain BushBroker Scheme administered by Department of Sustainabilityand Environment Offsets need to be quality ‘like for like’ Net Gain calculator, 10yr OMP (although needs to bepermanently secured) Currently being reviewed (incorporate risk and proportionality,increasing options to offset on site or pooling multiple smalloffsets at larger sites through over-the-counter offset schemes)Net Gain - Victoria
  8. 8. 11 NSW - no assessments for threatened species when usingBioBanking NSW - consent authority includes the conditions of the biobankingstatement in the development consent – differs to Vic where it statesan approved Offset Management Plan (OMP), Qld Offset AreaManagement Plan (ceases when mapped as remnant native veg.) Vic - emphasis on vegetation offsets, minimal focus/process andoptions for threatened species offsets Qld - lack of empirical data on species distribution and accuracy ofRE mapping (large State), offsets cannot be remnant vegetation Qld - exemptions for certain projects, also and doesnt apply to allvegetation communities or species (typically only State significantbiodiversity values)Main differences between the States
  9. 9. 12 Inaccurate advice - overestimating or understatingecological values Currently high expectation of level of survey effortfor offset analysis Project size and complexity (multiple values acrossa larger area) Poor communication and negotiation withregulatorsProject Risks - ‘the issues’
  10. 10. 13 Poor negotiation between broker and landowner Duplication of offset process Security of offset site prior to commencement Land based offset requirements restrictive Complex and evolving legislation and policies Practical management of offset site(s) (inperpetuity)Project Risks - ‘the issues’
  11. 11. Problems Understating the impact Overstating the impact Messing up offsetsNo problems Pre-empting problems Working with regulators
  12. 12.  Ornamental snakes and geneticfragmentation◦ Vulnerable EPBC Act / NC Act◦ Why genetic fragmentation is difficult to cause forsuch a species◦ Whole reason for the project being a ‘controlledaction’ under the Act◦ Project delays, conditions placed on approvalleading to additional costs◦ Large habitat offsets required
  13. 13. 16
  14. 14.  Clearing of vegetation prior to offsets andecological equivalence◦ Automatic scores of 100 for cleared vegetation◦ The vegetation would have only scored ~60 ifproperly surveyed◦ No vegetation in offset area scores >70◦ If surveys had been completed (with a realisticscore) the total offset liability would have been less
  15. 15. 18
  16. 16. 19I’m concerned about the costs and delays for my mining,energy and infrastructure projects, what are the solutions? Get the right advice early Locate and secure offsets prior to the lodgement of EIS/DA Look for legal precedents associated with offset requirements(ratios, areas) Don’t be afraid to work with regulators Get the lawyers involved (ensure you check the finer detailsunder the State and Commonwealth conditions of approval) Ensure specialist botanists and zoologists undertakeassessments and review the draft conditions (peer review ofreports) Issues with combined offsets from the clients perspective(timing, compliance) Don’t try and circumvent the process!Solutions
  17. 17. 20 Are offsets hear to stay – yes, they are. Increased complexity – although all Governmentsare attempting to streamline the process Difficult for regulators to validate the offset areas(rely on their consultants and spatial data) Harder to locate offsets – habitatrecreation/revegetation Practical management – who manages and auditsthe offset (compliance). Developer often doesn’thave the desire or expertise to manage the offset inthe short term and in perpetuityFuture Considerations
  18. 18. 21 Use of spatial and satellite data to improve yourconfidence in potential offset sites prior to field Environmental loss is immediate –restoration/rehabilitation outcome is not as certainand has inherent difficulties Early investment by Government - lack of funding? Large offsets can be facilitated in a coordinated way(strategic approach)Future Considerations
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  21. 21. Aaron OrganDirector / Principal Ecologist0425 873 159Adelaide - (08) 8372 7829 Brisbane – (07) 3221 3352 / Geelong – (03) 5221 8122 /Melbourne – (03) 9377 0100www.ehpartners.com.au
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