Biodiversity offset plan assures balance in developing Western Sydney Airport
The approval of Western Sydney Airport’s $200 million Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan by the Department of the Environment and Energy provides for a comprehensive program of biodiversity offsets, and clears the way for earthworks to begin on the airport site.
Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, said the Western Sydney Airport site contains fragments of endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland and grasslands, and the Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan complies with one of the strict conditions included in the Airport Plan to offset this native vegetation.
“Today’s release of the Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan is a sure sign of the Australian Government’s commitment to responsible development, balancing economic development and ecological preservation,” Minister Tudge said.
“This will ensure that Western Sydney Airport and its jobs generation, commercial development and education opportunities will be delivered without detrimental impacts on the biodiversity values of the Cumberland Plain.”
The Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan was developed with input from a Biodiversity Experts Group on the best plant and animal conservation options.
The Australian Government is committed to achieving significant biodiversity gains in the region and is fully funding the offsets package through an investment of around $200 million. This represents the largest biodiversity offset program underway in Australia.
“The plan includes a welcome initiative to establish long-term conservation at the nearby Defence Establishment Orchard Hills, as well as seed propagation and the purchase of biodiversity credits,” Mr Tudge said.
The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is now calling for expressions of interest from vendors of biodiversity credits for plant communities and species associated with Cumberland Plain Woodland.
Expressions of interest close on 16 October 2018 and a formal procurement process will follow.
More information is available at www.westernsydneyairport.gov.au/offsets