Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1196..
Environment—biodiversity offsets policy
MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, the commonwealth biodiversity offsets policy requires governance arrangements to be in place which ensure offset sites are readily measured, monitored, audited and enforced. Given your department's role in managing offset sites and the fact there is no published ACT government offsets policy, would you please explain the governance arrangements in the ACT which ensure offsets are managed in accordance with the commonwealth policy?
MR RATTENBURY: Environmental offsets are designed to compensate for the adverse impacts of development on matters of national environmental significance, as Ms Lawder has touched on. This is work that is done across a range of ACT government agencies through the Economic Development Directorate which is often responsible for the development of the land, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate which sets the policy in this area and then TAMS as the operational agency which manages them.
As Ms Lawder noted, there is not a formal ACT government policy in place. That work is underway. But I should be clear that the commonwealth, in approving offsets, sets out certain criteria for these offsets. That is the criteria that the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate operates to.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Minister, could you please confirm that all offset sites in the ACT are delivering the proposed biodiversity outcomes?
MR RATTENBURY: The approval decision for an offset includes a range of matters that might be measured. So it is difficult to speak to Ms Lawder's question directly. Because there are a number of different sites and a number of different conditions, I would be happy to provide Ms Lawder with some of those details on notice.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Minister, why is the information on the data collection and monitoring of sites not publicly available, given the proponents are paying for it?
MR RATTENBURY: I will take that question on notice.
MR COE: Finally, minister, when will the ACT government offsets policy be available and published online?
MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, I will take that question as Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, as I have policy responsibility for the development of the offsets policy. The government is in the process of considering
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