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9.4 Other development codes

9.4.1 Biodiversity offset code

9.4.1.1 Application

(1) This code applies to assessing a material change of use, reconfiguring a lot, building work or operational work if:
(a) assessable development where this code is an applicable code identified in the assessment criteria column of a table of assessment for an overlay (section 5.10); or
(b) assessable development where a neighbourhood plan code requires the provision of biodiversity offsets to compensate for the loss of significant native vegetation on land within the neighbourhood plan area; or
(c) impact assessable development, to the extent relevant.
(2) When using this code, reference should be made to section 1.5 and section 5.3.3.

Note—Where this code includes performance outcomes or acceptable outcomes that relate to biodiversity offsets, guidance is provided in the Offsets planning scheme policy.

Note—Where additional offsets are required under another statutory mechanism, refer to the Offsets planning scheme policy for guidance.

Note—Where this code includes performance outcomes or acceptable outcomes that relate to:

9.4.1.2 Purpose

(1) The purpose of the Biodiversity offset code is to secure and assess the suitability of biodiversity offsets, being the actions proposed to counterbalance unavoidable, negative impacts resulting from development, as part of development on land identified on the Biodiversity areas overlay map or development in a neighbourhood plan area.
(2) The purpose of the code will be achieved through the following overall outcomes:
(a) Development secures biodiversity offsets that adequately compensate for the loss of land within the High ecological significance sub-category or General ecological significance sub-category of the Biodiversity areas overlay, adequately compensate for the clearing of non-juvenile koala habitat trees on land within the Priority koala habitat area or the Koala habitat area sub-categories of the Biodiversity areas overlay or adequately compensate for the clearing of significant native vegetation in a neighbourhood plan area.
(b) Development ensures that the extent of the biodiversity offset secured reflects the biodiversity significance of the clearing site to be lost within the Biodiversity areas overlay sub-category or the neighbourhood plan area.
(c) Development ensures that the identified receiving site is comparable with the biodiversity significance of the clearing site.
(d) Development ensures that the restoration and management of the biodiversity offset on the receiving site creates a functional and structurally diverse ecosystem.
(e) Development ensures that the biodiversity offset is provided at the receiving site before the vegetation loss at the clearing site.
(f) Development secures the biodiversity offset in perpetuity for the long-term benefit to Brisbane’s biodiversity.

9.4.1.3 Assessment criteria

The following table identifies the assessment criteria for assessable development.

Table 9.4.1.3.A—Criteria for assessable development
Performance outcomes
Acceptable outcomes
Section A—Applicable for all biodiversity offsets
PO1
Development ensures that where all actions to protect ecological features, koala habitat trees, significant native vegetation and wetlands have been implemented, a biodiversity offset is provided.
AO1
Development provides a biodiversity offset through either:
(a) a monetary payment to the Council on trust to fund the undertaking of works or activities to counterbalance the unavoidable impacts of the development on the natural environment calculated in accordance with the following:
(i) the Council's fees and charges;
(ii) the offset ratios specified in AO2.1, AO2.2 and AO2.3; or
(b) works on private land which deliver one or more of the following outcomes:
(i) the protection of existing, remnant vegetation including any vegetable growth and material of vegetable origin, whether living or dead, including trunks, branches, stems, leaves, fruits and flowers (or otherwise intact habitat) which is under immediate threat from development:
(ii) restoration of degraded habitat to re-establish an intact regional ecosystem that would have occurred on the receiving site prior to clearing;
(iii) restoration of cleared land to re-establish an intact regional ecosystem that would have occurred on the receiving site prior to clearing.
PO2
Development ensures that the size and scope of the biodiversity offset provides a net ecological benefit and adequately compensates for the loss of strategic and intrinsic ecological values within the Biodiversity areas overlay.
AO2.1
For development within the High ecological significance sub-category, the extent of land to be protected and/ or restored as the biodiversity offset is determined in accordance with Table 9.4.1.3.B.

Note—Refer to the Offsets planning scheme policy for more information about calculating the extent of the biodiversity offset receiving area.

AO2.2
For development within the General ecological significance sub-category or where clearing significant native vegetation in a neighbourhood plan area, the extent of land to be protected and/or restored as the biodiversity offset is determined in accordance with Table 9.4.1.3.C.

Note—Refer to the Offsets planning scheme policy for more information about calculating the extent of the biodiversity offset receiving area.

AO2.3
For development within the Priority koala habitat area sub-category or Koala habitat area sub-category (and not within the High ecological significance sub-category or General ecological significance sub-category), the biodiversity offset involves the planting of five koala habitat trees for each non-juvenile koala habitat tree removed.

Note—Refer to the Offsets planning scheme policy for more information about calculating the extent of the biodiversity offset receiving area.

Section B—Applicable to biodiversity offsets not involving monetary payment to Council
PO3
Development ensures that comprehensive and adequate information is provided in support of the design, delivery and achievement of the biodiversity offset.

Note—Guidance on the preparation of a biodiversity offset feasibility proposal and biodiversity offset management plan is provided in the Offsets planning scheme policy.

AO3
Development implements a biodiversity offset feasibility proposal and a biodiversity offset management plan that has been prepared in accordance with the Offsets planning scheme policy which identifies how the receiving site will be protected, restored, maintained and secured.
PO4
Development ensures that the receiving site for the biodiversity offset is chosen to provide a benefit to biodiversity through the protection or restoration of land with strategic ecological value.

Note—Guidance on selecting receiving sites for the biodiversity offset is provided in the Offsets planning scheme policy.

AO4
Development ensures that:
(a) the receiving site for the biodiversity offset is located within the High ecological significance sub-category or consolidates an existing area of the High ecological significance sub-category immediately adjacent; or
(b) where it is not possible or practical to locate the receiving site in or adjoining an area of the High ecological significance sub-category, the receiving site is located on land in the following order of preference:
(i) in the Biodiversity interface area sub-category;
(ii) in or immediately adjacent to the Priority Koala habitat area or the Koala habitat area sub-categories;
(iii) in or immediately adjacent to an area protected for biodiversity purposes;
(iv) in an area determined by the Council to be suitable for use as a receiving site for the biodiversity offset.

Note—A neighbourhood plan may identify locations suitable as receiving sites for biodiversity offsets.

PO5
Development ensures that the receiving site for the biodiversity offset is managed and restored to create a functional and structurally diverse ecosystem.

Note—Guidance on undertaking a biodiversity offset, the restoration of a regional ecosystem and undertaking a biodiversity offset associated with the Koala habitat area sub-category is provided in the Offsets planning scheme policy.

AO5.1
Development ensures that the receiving site is restored with native flora species that would have formed part of the regional ecosystem which occurred on the site pre-clearing.
AO5.2
Development ensures that the biodiversity offset replicates or translocates the ecological features of the clearing site.
AO5.3
Development ensures that where the clearing site is within the Priority koala habitat area sub-category or the Koala habitat area sub-category, the species planted at the receiving site includes a suitable mix of koala habitat trees.
PO6
Development ensures that the biodiversity offset is provided prior to any vegetation clearing and maintained to ensure its success and long-term benefit to biodiversity.

Note—Guidance on the successful implementation and maintenance of biodiversity offsets is provided in the Offsets planning scheme policy.

AO6.1
Development ensures that the biodiversity offset is provided prior to any vegetation clearing.
AO6.2
Development ensures that:
(a) restoration works on the receiving site are maintained for a minimum of 5 years;
(b) if necessary, failed plantings are replaced.
PO7
Development ensures that the receiving site for the biodiversity offset is provided with ongoing, long-term protection.

Note—Guidance on mechanisms to secure long-term protection for biodiversity offsets is provided in the Offsets planning scheme policy.

AO7
Development ensures that the receiving site for the biodiversity offset is legally secured and managed using one or more of the following mechanisms:
(a) application of a statutory environmental covenant under the Land Act 1994 or the Land Title Act 1994;
(b) dedication as a protected area under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 such as Nature Refuge;
(c) transfer to the Council's ownership (if approved for transfer by the Council);
(d) another mechanism approved by the Council.
Table 9.4.1.3.B—Biodiversity offset ratios for the High ecological significance sub-category
1. Will the offset be delivered by a financial payment to Council?
If the answer is 'yes', the ratio to be used is 1:5.5 (i.e. for every 1 unit of High ecological significant sub-category area lost, 5.5 units are replaced).
If the answer is 'no', start at a ratio of 1:6 (i.e. for every 1 unit of High ecological significant sub-category area lost, 6 units are replaced) and go to question 2.
2. Does the biodiversity offset involve:
(a) purchasing and protecting land supporting intact vegetation within or immediately adjacent to the High ecological significance sub-category which is in the Emerging community zone, a zone in the residential zones category, a zone in the industry zones category or a zone in the centre zones category; or
(b) purchasing, restoring and protecting cleared or degraded land in or adjoining the High ecological significance sub-category?
If the answer is ‘yes’, subtract 0.5 from the ratio and then go to question 3.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 3.
3. Does the biodiversity offset involve adding relevant ecological features to the receiving location?
If the answer is ‘yes’, subtract 0.5 from the ratio and then go to question 4.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 4.
4. Determine the appropriate biodiversity offset ratio, based on answers to questions 1–3.

Note—The ratio must be between 1:5 and 1:6.

Note—Delivering a lesser quantum of offset than that determined by this table will not achieve the requirements of the Biodiversity offset code.

 
Table 9.4.1.3.C—Biodiversity offset ratios for the General ecological significance sub-category
1. Will the offset be delivered by a financial payment to Council?
If the answer is 'yes', the ratio to be used is 1:3.5 (i.e. for every 1 unit of General ecological significance sub-category lost or for every 1 unit of Significant native vegetation lost, 3.5 units are replaced).
If the answer is 'no', start at the ratio of 1:3 (i.e. for every 1 unit of General ecological significance sub-category area lost or for every 1 unit of significant native vegetation lost, 3 units are replaced) and go to question 2.
2. Is the clearing site immediately adjoining an area of the High ecological significance sub-category?
If the answer is ‘yes’, increase the ratio by 0.5 and then go to question 3.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 3.
3. Is the clearing site within a Priority koala habitat area sub-category or Koala habitat area sub-category?
If the answer is ‘yes’, increase the ratio by 0.5 and then go to question 4.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 4.
4. Does the clearing site contain a planning scheme waterway corridor or wetland, or does it immediately adjoin a waterway corridor or wetland?

Note—Refer to the Waterway corridors overlay and the Wetlands overlay.

If the answer is ‘yes’, increase the ratio by 0.25 and then go to question 5.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 5.
5. Does the clearing site contain remnant vegetation?
If the answer is ‘yes’, increase the ratio by 0.25 and then go to question 6.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 6.
6. Does the clearing site contain any hollow-bearing trees, roost trees or stag trees?
If the answer is ‘yes’, increase the ratio by 0.25 and then go to question 7.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 7.
7. Does the clearing site contain significant vegetation communities listed in Table 8.2.4.3.B, significant flora species listed in Table 8.2.4.3.C, significant fauna species listed in Table 8.2.4.3.D or evidence of significant fauna use?
If the answer is ‘yes’, increase the ratio by 0.25 and then go to question 8.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 8.
8. Does the biodiversity offset involve:
(a) purchasing and protecting land supporting vegetation within or immediately adjacent to the High ecological significance sub-category which is in the Emerging community zone, a zone in the Residential zones category, a zone in the Industry zones category or a zone in the Centre zones category; or
(b) purchasing, restoring and protecting cleared or degraded land in or adjoining the High ecological significance sub-category?
If the answer is ‘yes’, subtract 0.5 from the ratio and then go to question 9.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 9.
9. Does the biodiversity offset involve adding relevant ecological features to the receiving site?
If the answer is ‘yes’, subtract 0.5 from the ratio and then go to question 10.
If the answer is ‘no’, go to question 10.
10. Determine the appropriate biodiversity offset ratio, based on answers to questions 1–9.

Note—The ratio must be between 1:2 and 1:5.

Note—Delivering a lesser quantum of offset than that determined by this table will not achieve the requirements of the Biodiversity offset code.

 
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