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Biodiversity offsets scheme commencing for local development western Sydney

On 25 November 2019 the biodiversity offsets scheme will commence for local development in western Sydney.


The biodiversity offsets scheme was established by the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 as part of the land management and biodiversity conservation reforms. The scheme provides a robust framework to avoid, minimise, and offset the impact of development on biodiversity. This helps ensure development is ecologically sustainable by encouraging developers to reduce their biodiversity impacts and providing funding to landholders for conservation.


As part of the commencement of the scheme in August 2017, a transition period was provided which delayed commencement of the scheme for local development in high growth areas declared as interim designated areas (IDA). The Western Sydney IDA includes the local government areas of Camden, City of Campbelltown, City of Fairfield, City of Hawkesbury, City of Liverpool, City of Penrith, and Wollondilly.


The Western Sydney IDA will be ending soon. From 25 November 2019, the biodiversity impacts of new local development applications or modifications in western Sydney will be assessed under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. All affected councils have been notified of these changes and provided with detailed guidance on how to implement the biodiversity offset scheme.


The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is keen to engage with stakeholders to ensure the biodiversity offsets scheme is providing a streamlined process for proponents and delivering good environmental outcomes. We are happy to meet to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the biodiversity offsets scheme. 


The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan

The NSW Government is developing a strategic conservation plan for western Sydney to help protect the area’s important biodiversity for the long term and support delivery of the Western Parkland City. The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) is one of the largest strategic conservation planning exercises being undertaken in Australia.


The western Sydney community and developers will be well informed about opportunities for development certainty under the CPCP. Engagement with local communities and key stakeholders on the CPCP is critical to achieving the best outcomes for the environment, and the current and future communities of western Sydney.


If you have any further questions about these issues, please contact Michelle Chung, Director, Markets and Water Policy Branch on 9995 6396 or at michelle.chung@environment.nsw.gov.au.


Michelle Dumazel,

Executive Director PolicyPolicy, Strategy and Science








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