Developers with an Offset Obligation
Developers or proponents can meet their offset obligation by retiring credits from the market or their own offset site or by paying into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund. More information about how paying into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund works is provided below.
Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act), a developer can transfer its legal obligation to meet an offset requirement to the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT). The developer can do this by paying the required amount into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund, which is managed by the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust. The proponent has then fully discharged its obligations to meet an offset requirement. This gives surety to the proponent that their offset obligation has been met. Payment into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund by developers and proponents enables them to meet their offset obligation, quickly and with confidence.
Once the BCT receives payment for the offset obligation, the BCT is required by the BC Act to use the funds received to secure the biodiversity offsets.
The BCT then secures offsets by pursuing one of several options which include:
- working with landholders, corporations, Councils and other landowners to source land with suitable biodiversity values that can meet the BCT’s acquired offset obligations. This includes establishing a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement with the landholder to generate credits, or
- purchasing and retiring existing biodiversity credits that are already available on the market, or
- using the payment to fund a Biodiversity Action related to the offset obligation. Rules will be developed about how this will work.
The BCT will also provide support to interested landholders in the setting up of Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements and administer those agreements and associated payments to landholders.
The overall role of the BCT in the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme is shown below:
The amount of money a developer is required to pay into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund to meet an offset obligation is calculated by using the Biodiversity Offsets Payment Calculator. The calculator will determine the payment required by the developer to discharge its offset obligation and include an administration fee for the BCT, for the sourcing, management and administration of securing and retiring the required biodiversity credits. The chart below explains in more detail how developers can meet their offset obligations if they choose to pay into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund.
The Biodiversity Offsets payment calculator is managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage and can be found at the following link.
Landholders interested in providing land to generate Biodiversity Credits
If you are a landholder, company or Council you may wish to consider providing your land to generate biodiversity credits. To do this, a landholder needs to enter into a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement, which is a voluntary Agreement between the Minister for the Environment and a landholder to permanently protect and manage an area of land to improve its biodiversity values. A Stewardship Site will generate biodiversity credits which represent the expected improvement in biodiversity that will result from the protection and management of the site. A landholder can sell the biodiversity credits to developers or to the BCT and the landholder will receive payments in return for doing management actions on the property.
For more information on exploring how to apply for a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement, please complete the enquiry form.