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Accredited Assessor under NSW Biodiversity and Conservation Act

Accredited Assessor under NSW Biodiversity and Conservation Act

The NSW Biodiversity and Conservation Act prescribes that all projects must assess the impacts on biodiversity. Subject to thresholds this assessment identifies the need to either provide or trade Biodiversity Offset Credits to account for the no net loss of biodiversity provision of the act.

The are a few key provisions that project planners need address:

  • Assessments can only be undertaken by Accredited Biodiversity Assessors. AEP has this resource on staff.
  • Projects approved by Local Councils under their Part 5 provisions have the choice opt in or out of the Biodiversity Offset Scheme
  • Private and other commercial developments are bound by the scheme
  • All projects regardless of size and relative impacts must address the 5 Part Test of significance set out in the Act
  • An Accredited Assessor will also determine the initial impacts and circumstances and provide advice on the need for the application of the BAM process and the provisions of the Act
  • Significant penalties apply for breaches of the Biodiversity and Conservation Act in NSW

The BAM and associated assessment and reporting processes have evolved considerably since inception. They now underpin the operation of what has become the commercial trading platform for credits under the Biodiversity Offset Scheme.

Access Environmental Planning is actively engaged as both and advisor and as a Accredited Assessor support this import function of Environmental Assessment.

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Cultural Heritage Assessment and Management is a Key Function of Access

Cultural Heritage Assessment and Management is a Key Function of Access

The application of thorough due diligence in the survey for and the management of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage is an essential element of all environmental planning. There is a requirement to undertake and demonstrate due diligence in the survey and assessment of sites when considering Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.

It is critical that any assessment or survey be undertaken and documented by a person with extensive experience, knowledge of and preferably tertiary qualifications relating to cultural heritage. It is important to note that you do not necessarily need an archaeologist for the application of the due diligence process. However, an archaeologist may well be required for the development of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report (ACHAR) and an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit in NSW (AHIP).

On 1 st July 2020 the responsibility for compliance in NSW was moved to Heritage NSW. This department has its own dedicated compliance unit and is proactively inspecting sites where cultural heritage is likely to be an issue.

Cultural Heritage Assessment is a component of Access Environmental Planning core business. We are currently engaged on several assessment projects and dealing with ACHAR and AHIP projects.

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Access Environmental Planning<br>Works In Environmentally<br>Sensitive Locations

Access Environmental Planning
Works In Environmentally
Sensitive Locations

A large component of our work and advice is delivered within fragile environments. These include sensitive riparian zones, fragile dry and semi-arid areas, areas with steep topography and places rich in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. A sensitive location may not just be referring to physical environmental factors. It can also include local politics, personal belief systems and often a divided or even hostile community.

The Access Environmental Planning highly skilled and experienced team provides exceptional quality and comprehensive outcomes in its work in sensitive locations. Our progressive and final reporting is readily accepted by government agencies and has been regularly acknowledged as being a benchmark for the provision of detail and quality in document presentation.

This standard is evidenced by consistent engagement by Local Government, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the private sector

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