The Queensland Government Environmental Offsets Policy provides an overarching framework for environmental offsets in Queensland. The policy provides a consistent and transparent approach to the use of offsets. It contains principles and guidelines for developing and applying more detailed ‘specific-issue’ policies for offsetting important environmental values such as vegetation or fish habitats.
Currently, offsets use in Queensland can be characterised as a compliance mechanism as they are required to meet development conditions. Developers will face higher costs if they need an offset and this provides a greater incentive to avoid and minimise impacts on areaswith significant environmental values. The paper canvasses opportunities to now move to develop efficient offset markets in Queensland.