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:

How to meet your offset requirement (PDF, 285.0 KB)

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.

DELWP accredited brokers can help you find out if credits exist that match your offset needs. They will also complete and submit all the paperwork required to buy native vegetation credits from a third party.

List of NVCR accredited brokers and site assessors (PDF, 64.6 KB)

DELWP 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.  

Native Vegetation Credit Register traded credits information (Excel, 1.3 MB)

I want to establish a first party offset site

Use the First party offset guide (DELWP 2018) to establish your own first-party offset site. You can only use a first party offset to offset native vegetation removal on your own land.

Once you have worked through steps 1 and 2 of the guide, you must assess the proposed first party offset site to determine how much gain is available. The two options to complete the assessment are below and described in step 3 of the First party offset guide:

First party offset guide (PDF, 1.9 MB)

An accredited native vegetation assessor completes a gain 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.

Native vegetation gain scoring manual, Version 2 (PDF, 1.6 MB)

The gain calculator can be used to calculate gain in accordance with the Native vegetation gain scoring manual, Version 2.

Gain Calculator (ExcelM, 776.5 KB)

DELWP maintains an online list of accredited assessors that you can contact. An accredited assessor can do the gain assessment and offset management plan for you for a fee.

VQA competency register  (PDF, 145.1 KB)

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.

Security agreement

Contact your local council planning department to discuss the type of security agreement preferred for their council area.

There are three 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.

Section 173 agreement template (DOCX, 63.2 KB)

The online NVIM native vegetation offset tool enables landholders to complete their own assessment and calculates a gain score that can be used to establish a first party general offset site.

You can only use this tool to complete your own 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.

Section 173 agreement template (DOCX, 63.2 KB)

Register the offset site on the Native Vegetation Offset Register

DELWP 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: native.vegetation.offsetregister@delwp.vic.gov.au.

To use the first party offset site for more than one approval to remove native vegetation, landowners:

  • must register the offset site on the DELWP Native Vegetation Offset Register, and
  • submit a completed Offset allocation form each time an offset requirement is secured.

Native Vegetation Offset Register offset allocation form (DOCX, 120.6 KB)

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 are available here:

Native Vegetation Offset Register table of fees (PDF, 408.7 KB)

No fees apply to register a first party offset site that will only be used to meet a single approval to remove native vegetation.