Amendments to NSW’s biobanking bill will provide a state mechanism to enable biodiversity credits to be used as a security for major development activities instead of cash or bonds.
Temporary disruptions to biodiversity: Where impacts to biodiversity values will be of a temporary nature these amendments will provide for credits to be used as a surety instead of cash bonds to be held by the Minister for the Environment until the site has been rehabilitated. The minister said an example of a temporary impact on biodiversity would be where rehabilitation is proposed following the carrying out of a development such as mining.
Bigger impetus for site rehabilitation: Under these amendments, the retirement of credits for the development is deferred until rehabilitation is complete. Credits then would be released back to the proponent by the Minister for the Environment in line with the improvement to biodiversity values generated by the rehabilitation and then could be sold by the proponent to a third party. This gives the proponent an added incentive to restore the site.
Biobank sites stay on: The original biobank site at which the biodiversity credits were originally created would continue to be managed for conservation in perpetuity.
Reference: Parliament of New South Wales, Legislative As