Introductory note. This Part provides for the establishment of a biodiversity banking and offsets scheme (referred to as the biobanking scheme).
The biobanking scheme has the following key elements:(a) the establishment of biobank sites on land by means of biobanking agreements entered into between the Minister and the owners of the lands concerned,(b) the creation of biodiversity credits in respect of management actions carried out or proposed to be carried out on or in respect of biobank sites that improve biodiversity values,(c) a system that enables those biodiversity credits, once created and registered, to be traded (including by being purchased by developers) and used as an offset against the impact of proposed development on biodiversity values,(d) the establishment of a biobanking assessment methodology, by order of the Minister published in the Gazette, for the purpose of determining both the number of biodiversity credits that may be created in respect of management actions or proposed management actions and the number of biodiversity credits that must be retired in connection with a development in order to ensure that it improves or maintains biodiversity values.
This Part provides for a procedure under which a person may apply to the Director-General for a biobanking statement in respect of a development proposal.
If a biobanking statement is issued, it will not be necessary for the development to be assessed in accordance with the threatened species protection measures provided for by Parts 4 and 5 of the Planning Act. However, the developer may be required to purchase and retire sufficient biodiversity credits to ensure that the impact of the development on biodiversity values is offset and to take other onsite measures to minimise any negative impact on biodiversity values.
Biobanking statements may also be issued in respect of projects proposed to be approved under Part 3A or Part 5.1 of the Planning Act.