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Environmental Offset Estimator pays dividends for LCC

Published: 12 November 2015

Environmental Offset Estimator pays dividends for LCC

A tool that gives residents, developers and Council the ability to easily estimate the environmental cost of removing important vegetation has won a Planning Institute of Australia – Queensland Branch award for best improvement in planning processes and practices.

Created in partnership with Ozius Spatial and Parsons Brinkerhoff, the online estimator is part of a suite of interactive mapping tools that allows both Council and developers to estimate the cost of environmental offsets prior to lodging development applications.

Parks, Health, Environment and Sustainability Committee Chair, Councillor Trevina Schwarz (Division 11), said the estimator helped streamline applications while ensuring transparency for all parties.

"This free online tool allows developers from mum-and-dad investors doing small blocks right up to major urban developments access to the same information, and provides an estimated financial compensation owed for the proposed impact on the environment," she said.

"This should lead to better planning decisions and environmental outcomes, as developers are readily able to consider different clearing footprints to minimise the impact and cost of their proposed development.

"It's important that all parties can see the same information before lodging development applications - Council wants to provide certainty and transparency in development processes for all parties."

All funds raised through environmental offsets are used to further conservation, rehabilitation and other environmental work in the City of Logan.

Planning and Development Committee Chair, Councillor Cherie Dalley, (Division 8) said the new planning scheme has been positively received by planning professionals and the community alike.

"The new Logan Planning Scheme reflects the state's best practice in planning and development, and has been operational for several months now," she said.

"It's great to see innovations such as the offsets calculator being recognised by the industry."

To view the estimator, and find out more, visit the interactive planning map at http://www.loganinteractivemapping.com.au/