Media Release: Offset Policy to reap the benefits of development
MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND HERITAGE
28 October 2010 OFFSET POLICY TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF DEVELOPMENT
Minister for the Environment Karl Hampton today announced the Northern Territory Governments draft environmental offsets policy.
“The Northern Territory is attracting major private sector investment, and the Henderson Government is committed to offsetting the impact of these major projects.” Mr Hampton said.
“Today I am pleased to announce a draft offset policy which will create a new industry with huge environmental, economic and social benefits to the Territory.
“Already companies like Conoco Phillips are offsetting the environmental impacts of their developments with cutting-edge projects such as fire abatement in west Arnhem land.
”This project is saving hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere every year whilst providing employment and investment in indigenous communities.
“A voluntary offset policy allows us to establish a menu of offset projects such as these, from which major investors can choose when they decide to invest in the NT.”
Mr Hampton said that offsets in now way provide a short-cut to environmental approval.
“The EIS Process deals with impacts of development that can and should be managed, environmental off-sets deal with the residual and unavoidable impacts of a development, allowing projects to be environmentally ‘neutral’.
“Companies undertaking major developments need to offset the unavoidable impacts of their development; this policy allows us to tell them how we would like them to do it.”
Mr Hampton said the policy would create a whole new industry in the Territory, with huge benefits.
“The NT has a competitive advantage in this market, as we can produce cheaper offset products and command higher prices for our products due to biodiversity and social benefits.
“I want to make it easy for developers establishing here to buy their offsets in the Territory – not interstate or overseas
“Not only can this policy address our problems of wildfire, weeds and ferals, it makes good business sense.” Mr Hampton said.
The policy can be viewed online at www.greeningnt.nt.gov.au
Contact: Patrick Hastwell 0427 017 803