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.