Transport for NSW is commencing an Expression of Interest (EOI) program for property owners that may be interested in entering a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement on their land.
For those property owners interested in lodging an EOI, please complete and return the application form.
You will be contacted by Transport for NSW or its contractor to discuss your application, the biodiversity offset scheme process and next steps. Responding to the EOI is obligation free and does not commit you to anything.
Existing credit holders and those that have already undertaken the necessary ecological assessments do not need to respond via the EOI process and are encouraged to contact Transport for NSW directly.
Transport for NSW seek to minimise and avoid impacts on biodiversity from road and other infrastructure projects. When building roads, sometimes land available for wildlife (biodiversity) is lost and needs to be compensated for. When impacts cannot be avoided, Transport for NSW compensate for biodiversity by 'offsetting' in a different place.
The NSW Government Biodiversity Offset Scheme provides:
- a consistent biodiversity assessment process for development
- a rigorous and credible offsetting scheme
- an opportunity for rural property owners to generate income by managing land for conservation.
Under this scheme, property owners enter a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement with the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment and can then sell the biodiversity credits generated by their properties. The scheme is a voluntary process.
Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements provide an opportunity for property owners to receive a guaranteed long-term income in return for managing some or all of their land for wildlife.
EOI are sought from the following Local Government Areas on the Cumberland Plain including:
We are seeking properties with native vegetation (including Cumberland Plain woodland and open forest, Swamp Oak open forest on riverflats and Coastal freshwater wetlands) and native species (including Koala, Cumberland Plain Land Snail, Southern Myotis, Marsdenia viridiflora, and Dillwynia tenuifolia).
Cumberland Plain woodland
River flat eucalyptus forest
The EOI process offers suitable landholders the opportunity to have their land assessed for its biodiversity values, free of charge.
Transport for NSW will also support landholders financially to understand the legal and practical implications of entering a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement over their land.
In return, Transport for NSW will:
- expect landholders to sign an Exclusivity Agreement with Transport for NSW
- retain ownership of all assessment reports prepared
- discount the costs of preparing the assessment from the credit price.
Participating in the EOI process or signing an Exclusivity Agreement does not mean that landholders must enter an agreement to sell their credits to Transport for NSW.
EOIs will be progressed in the order that they are received and in accordance with Transport for NSW's offset requirement.
Biodiversity offset requirements for The Northern Upgrade and the M12 Motorway have been considered by TfNSW since the early stages of project development. Eco Logical Australia reports prepared in 2015 and 2016 estimated ecosystem and species offset credit requirements based on the strategic design and worst case scenarios for the project footprints. View or download these reports:
- Western Sydney Infrastucture Plan – Biodiversity Offset Requirements Stage 2/3 - June 2016) (PDF, 11Mb)
- Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan – Biodiversity Offset Requirements Stage 1 - November 2015 (PDF, 2.1Mb).
As The Northern Road upgrade and M12 Motorway projects have progressed through design development, the offset credit estimates have been refined to reflect the most up to date project footprints.
The latest M12 Motorway biodiversity offset requirements can be found in Chapter 6.2 of the M12 Motorway Amendment Report Submissions Report (Dec, 2020).
For more information about how Transport for NSW supports landholders to enter Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements please read - Selling Biodiversity credits to Transport for NSW Services Fact Sheet.
For more information about what's involved in entering a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement see the Biodiversity Conservation Trust webpage.
For more information and to lodge your EOI application please contact:
Phone: 1800 517 155