Abzeco have extensive expertise in sourcing offsets for permitted vegetation losses in bio-regions across Victoria.
Whether you are a developer requiring an off-site offset or a landowner wanting to maximise the use of your land while maintaining and enhancing biodiversity values and selling native vegetation credits, Abzeco offers a timely, flexible, end-to-end solution.
In Victoria, unless an exemption applies, the removal of native vegetation will require native offsets to be secured to meet planning permit offset requirements to compensate for the permitted removal of native vegetation. There are two options available to proponents to source native vegetation offsets:
- First-party offsets: if the landowner has eligible native vegetation on property they own, they can enter into a legal agreement to conserve and manage the native vegetation in perpetuity to generate native vegetation offsets (also referred to as native vegetation credits).
- Third-party offsets: proponents can purchase native vegetation credits (if they are available) from other landowners who have entered into a legal agreement to protect and manage native vegetation on their property to generate native vegetation credits for sale to third parties.
As our team are registered offset site assessors and maintain vegetation quality assessment (VQA) accreditation with DEECA, we can prepare and register a first or third-party offset site on your land.
Establishing native vegetation offset credit sites
First-party offset sites need to be secured by entering into one of three legally binding contracts (Landowner Agreeements):
- An agreement with the Secretary to the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) under section 69 of the Conservation Forest and Lands Act 1987 (Section 69 Agreement); or
- An agreement with Trust for Nature to register an offset covenant under the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972 (Trust for Nature Offset Covenant); or
- An agreement with a responsible authority (generally local Council) under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (a 173 Agreement).
Third-party offset sites need to be secured by entering into one of two legally binding contracts:
- Section 69 Agreement, or
- Trust for Nature Offset Covenant
Abzeco can assist you with the full range of services required to establish, manage and monitor first-party and third-party Victorian native vegetation offset sites which includes:
- Offset site assessments and preparation of offset site Assessment Reports;
- Net Gain calculations (to determine the number of native vegetation credits that can be generated at a proposed offset site);
- Negotiation with stakeholders including regulatory authorities;
- Preparation of feasible, realistic, achievable Offset site Management Plans;
- Preparation of Landowner Agreements;
- On ground works to implement 10 Year native vegetation offset management plans;
- Preparation of bespoke annual reporting templates;
- Undertaking annual site monitoring and reporting; and
- Project management.