Project BioD

Interesting Development in Australian Environmental Offsets

On the 18th October 2012, the Environmental Consultants Association (WA) hosted a one day workshop to clarify the recent offset policy developments at the State and Federal level, OEPA and SEWPaC expectations, the roles of various stakeholders and the preferred negotiation process.

Naomi Arrowsmith – OEPA Manager Strategic Policy discussed the ‘Outline of the application of offsets through part IV of the Environmental Protection Act and discussion of the draft EPA guidance.’

Contrary to the emphasis on direct offsets in the federal government’s offsets assessment (“…direct offsets are mandatory and must fullfil 75% of the total offset requirements, http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/pubs/epbc-reform-offset-guide.pdf) biodiversity conservation and preservation as the primary outcome of offsets is stressed in the revised guidelines.

The most interesting changes outlined in the guidance document were:

1. Choice of offset approach is focused on outcome rather than a preference for “direct offsets”

2. Offsets can be: Surveys or research

The entire presentation is here.

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