The Australian and Queensland governments have established the Reef Trust to strategically deliver funding to address high priority threats to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). A component of Reef Trust funds will be derived from the pooling of offsets funds to compensate for residual significant impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. This report investigates a number of technical issues in the delivery of offsets through the Reef Trust.
It assumes that the Reef Trust will align with the EPBC Act Environmental Offset Policy and Guidelines (hereafter EPBC Policy), and where necessary offers interpretation of the Policy and Guidelines for the marine environment. The EPBC Policy asserts that “Offsets must directly contribute to the ongoing viability of the protected matter impacted by the proposed action, and deliver an overall conservation outcome that improves or maintains the viability of the protected matter as compared to what is likely to have occurred under the status quo, that is if neither the action nor the offset had taken place”.
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