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Review of Queensland's Environmental Offsets Framework

The Queensland Government has undertaken a comprehensive review of Queensland’s Environmental Offsets Framework.

The aim of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of Queensland’s Environmental Offsets Framework since its introduction in 2014. The review provided an opportunity to identify what is working well and areas for potential improvement to ensure Queensland has a robust approach to environmental offsets that delivers conservation outcomes and supports economic development.

The Queensland Environment Offsets Framework – Consultation and Response Report

The Queensland Environmental Offsets Framework - Consultation and Response Report (PDF, 681 KB) (the Report) was developed in consultation with stakeholders, including Traditional Owners.

The Report sets out a vision and guiding principles for improving the offsets framework in Queensland.

Consultation process

The Report is the result of feedback received in response to the Review of the Queensland Environmental Offsets Framework (PDF, 2.91MB).

The Report combines the results of 23 meetings, 8 sector-specific workshops and 118 written submissions from stakeholder and community consultation undertaken in 2019. See a full list of stakeholders who provided feedback (PDF, 130 KB) .

Next steps

The Queensland Government is establishing partnerships that will deliver $34 million of offsets by mid-2021.

In response to feedback received through the consultation process, the Queensland Government is now implementing the findings through a two-stage approach.

Two-stage implementation

The Queensland Government’s response to feedback will progress in two stages focusing on 15 key areas of reform identified by stakeholders.

Focus area Key areas for reformStage
Environmental outcomes 1. Increase the supply of land for offsets 1 and 2
2. Streamline offset delivery processes 2
3. Improve monitoring, adaptive management and compliance 2
4. Prevent unachievable offset conditions 2
5. Clarify the scope of the framework 2
Alignment with best practice 6. Identify and deliver offsets in strategic locations 1 and 2
7. Align the offsets framework with conservation priorities 2
8. Align the framework with best practice principles for environmental offsets 2
How we measure offsets 9. Make it easier to do business with the Queensland Government 1 and 2
10. Consolidate requirements and clarify core terms 2
11. Maintain the value of offset funds over time 2
Security and transparency 12. Simplify requirements for legal security 2
13. Establish the foundations for an offsets market 2
Offset opportunities 14. Build and support relationships with First Nation people 2
15. Encourage delivery of co-benefits 2

Stage 1 – Delivered 31 December 2020

The first stage of reforms has resulted in improvements to guidance material; an increase in the supply of advanced offset areas and establishment of a new online form for landholders to register, free of charge, their interest in offset delivery. Work also commenced to develop methods to support offsets for wetlands and marine matters.

Stage 2 – commenced in 2021

The findings from the review are being used to develop regulatory and non-regulatory reforms that will improve and support the environmental offsets framework. These will be progressed in collaboration with key stakeholders through a multisector reference group and improved partnerships with First Nations people. The reforms progressed will help deliver positive environmental outcomes for species, ecosystems and landscapes, whilst supporting sustainable economic development.

Working in partnership with Queensland’s First Nations people

The Queensland Government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations people to achieve stronger outcomes. On 14 July 2019, the Queensland Government launched Tracks to Treaty – Reframing the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders. The future reforms will strengthen self-determination, economic development and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, businesses and communities in a partnership approach.

The reforms will also align with the Department of Environment and Science’s Gurra Gurra Framework 2020–2026, in recognising the unique connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to the lands and waters.

The Queensland Government will prioritise a co-operative approach to offsets delivery with First Nations peoples. This will further strengthen cross-cultural knowledge exchange and build mutually beneficial and innovative partnerships.

Please email offsetsreview@des.qld.gov.au if you require further information.