Planning permit applicants must include an offset statement in their application. The statement must provide evidence that a suitable offset exists and can be secured. The following information sheet describes how to write a suitable offset statement:
You must secure an appropriate offset before you can remove native vegetation. There are two options to secure an offset:
- buy a native vegetation credit from a third party, or
- establish a first-party offset site.
I want to buy a native vegetation credit from a third party
A third party offset is an offset site owned and managed by another landowner. The simplest way to meet your offset obligations is to buy native vegetation credits.
DEECA has released a search tool that can be used to search the Native Vegetation Credit Register for credit sites that match your offset requirement. NVCR registered brokers can help you and will complete and submit all the paperwork required to buy native vegetation credits from a third party.
The price of native vegetation credits must cover the costs to fulfil all obligations and commitments in an offset site owners security agreement and management plan. The minimum price to trade native vegetation credits must cover this cost. However, the price credit owners are willing to sell their native vegetation credits for can take into account other factors, including market value. Credit owners when determining the price they will sell their native vegetation credits for should use pricing information sheet below.
DEECA maintains online information about native vegetation credits traded in Victoria. You can check this list to see the prices of previous credit trades. This will help you understand the potential cost of buying native vegetation credits.
The roles and responsibilities in offset site establishment
DEECA has created a series of information sheets to explain the requirements of Brokers, Site Assessors, Credit purchasers, Credit Owners and offset establishment.
- Roles and responsibilities for native vegetation credit register broker (PDF, 194.2 KB)
- Roles and responsibilities for native vegetation credit owners (PDF, 221.9 KB)
- Roles and responsibilities for native vegetation credit purchases (PDF, 218.2 KB)
- Roles and responsibilities for DELWP (PDF, 542.0 KB)
- Roles and responsibilities for native vegetation credit register site assessors (PDF, 328.3 KB)
I want to establish a first-party offset site
Use the First party offset guide to help you establish your own first-party offset site. You can only use a first-party offset to offset native vegetation removal on your land.
Steps 1 and 2 of the guide are to determine if your site is eligible and if you can manage it to the required standards. The Management standards for native vegetation offset sites describes the standards for fencing, weed and pest animal control, planting and scattered tree protection.
Step 3 is to determine how much gain is available. The two options to complete the required assessment are summarised below.
An accredited native vegetation assessor completes again scoring assessment of the potential offset site in accordance with the Guidelines and Native vegetation gain scoring manual, Version 2. The Native vegetation gain scoring manual, Version 2 describes how gain is achieved and how this is calculated.
The gain calculator can be used to calculate the gain in accordance with the Native vegetation gain scoring manual, Version 2.
DEECA maintains an online list of accredited native vegetation assessors that you can contact. An accredited assessor can do the gain assessment and offset management plan for you for a fee.
Offset management plan
The accredited native vegetation assessor can develop the offset management plan, this will be tailored to the specific needs of the offset site.
Contact your local council planning department to discuss the type of security agreement preferred for their council area.
There are 3 options to secure the first party offset site, see step 2.2 and 2.3 of the First party offset guide for further information.
Below is a template section 173 agreement under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for first-party offset sites. The council and the landowner work together to develop this legal agreement. The landowner then registers the agreement on-title through the Land Titles Office.
The online NVIM native vegetation offset tool enables landholders to complete their own assessment and calculates again score that can be used to establish a first-party general offset site.
You can only use this tool to complete your assessment to provide a general offset. If you need to provide a species offset, you must use an accredited assessor.
Step 3 of the First party offset guide explains how to use the NVIM native vegetation offset tool.
Offset management plan
If your land is suitable to be a first-party offset, you need to develop an offset management plan. The plan describes how you will manage your offset and your reporting requirements. Security agreement
You can secure your first-party offset using a section 173 Agreement under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Before you consider this type of security, contact your council planning department. The council and the landowner work together to develop this legal agreement. The landowner then registers the agreement on-title through the Land Titles Office.
Step 4 is to check that it matches your offset requirement. If it does, follow steps 5 and 6 to prepare the package of information for signing. A First party general offset management plan and annual report template are available to help you.
Register the offset site on the Native Vegetation Offset Register
DEECA maintains details of first-party offset sites on the Native Vegetation Offset Register.
To register the offset site email a copy of the signed agreement and attachments required in step 6.3 of the First party offset guide to email@example.com.
To use the first party offset site for more than one approval to remove native vegetation, landowners:
- must register the offset site on the DEECA Native Vegetation Offset Register, and
- submit a completed Offset allocation form each time an offset requirement is secured.
Fees apply when you register a first-party offset site that will be used for more than one approval to remove native vegetation. Information about fees payable to establish an offset site is available here.
No fees apply to register a first-party offset site that will only be used to meet a single approval to remove native vegetation.
Page last updated: 14/02/24