What is biodiversity offsetting?

When building roads, sometimes land available for wildlife (biodiversity) is lost and needs to be compensated for. If Roads and Maritime Services cannot provide enough compensation for biodiversity at the site of the development, then it may be ‘offset’ in a different place. This may include parcels of land put forward by landowners.

Biodiversity offsetting provides an opportunity for landowners to receive a guaranteed long-term income in return for managing some or all of their land for wildlife – by setting up conservation management areas for in perpetuity protection . The scheme is a voluntary process.

How is an offset site chosen?

Offset sites are chosen if they have the right sort of habitat and plant and animal species. A variety of native vegetation types are required under the program, including high quality eucalyptus forests, floodplain forests and mangroves. 

Preference will be given to larger areas of land to ensure greater biodiversity outcomes and better cost efficiencies, due to economies of scale. However, smaller areas of high conservation value will also be considered.

What are the benefits to landowners?

  • Guaranteed, long term funding
  • Control over long-term management of your land

If you have submitted an expression of interest and your land is considered suitable under the program, you will be contacted by Roads and Maritime to discuss your application and collect any further information you may have, such as surveys of threatened species and vegetation communities that have previously been carried out. Information collected will be assessed and you will be notified of the outcome.

What happens if my land is selected as a biodiversity offset?

Roads and Maritime will prepare a management plan in consultation with you to show how the site will be conserved and the costs associated. A legal agreement is signed to attach the conservation area to the title of your property and ensure the management plan is followed and the land is managed for conservation. This agreement must be signed by all of the registered landowners of the property.

Roads and Maritime pays the total Biodiversity Offsets payments to a fund, which then makes payments directly to individuals who enter into the program. You may also be eligible for a conservation management incentive which considers impacts to property value.