Environmental offsets

What is an environmental offset?

Environmental offsets video transcript

An environmental offset is where we ask a property owner to compensate for the environmental impacts of their development. They may need to plant more trees on their property or make a financial contribution to help revegetate other land.

When is an environmental offset needed?

We may require an environmental offset when you remove or clear native trees, plants and vegetation in areas of environmental significance.

Environmental offset policies

Our environmental offsets policy is part of the Logan Planning Scheme 2015 (Policy 3 – Environmental management).

The policy identifies three types of environmental offsets:

  • Restoration offsets. These usually apply to smaller developments. The impacts of development can be offset by planting trees on another area on the same lot.
  • Proponent driven offsets. These usually apply to larger developments where
    • there is no option to plant trees on the same lot, and
    • the developer prefers to revegetate other land that we approve as an offset.
  • Financial settlement offsets. These can apply to any development where
    • there is no option to plant trees on the same lot, and
    • the developer prefers to pay an amount of money for us to revegetate other land.

Always aim to avoid or reduce clearing of native trees and vegetation before you consider an environmental offset.

Other offset policies

Logan Planning Scheme 2015 (Policy 5 – Infrastructure) permits stormwater quality offsets in some circumstances. Developers can make a financial contribution instead of treating their stormwater on site.

Environmental offset polices exist at all levels of government:

  • The Australian Government may require an offset under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act.
  • Queensland Government has a Queensland Environmental Offsets Policy.

How we calculate environmental offsets

We calculate offsets by:

  • the size, in square metres, of native vegetation cleared in the primary vegetation management area
  • the number of native trees and native habitat trees cleared in the secondary vegetation management area.

To estimate your offset requirements, use our online tools:

  • Environmental offset estimator (in Logan PD Hub). Use the estimator to check if an offset applies to proposed clearing. Note: exemptions are not automatically excluded from the environmental offset estimate.
  • Ecological significance map (in Logan PD Hub, Interactive mapping tool). Review our areas of ecological significance map. Darker colours on the map show areas of higher ecological significance. Clearing in these areas will attract higher offsets.

Sites larger than 5 Hectares

Queensland Government will assess offsets for sites larger than 5 Hectares. They only assess offsets for smaller sites if clearing takes place independently of a development.

Queensland Government koala protection amendments

On 7 February 2020 the Queensland Government introduced the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation 2020.

This change in legislation affects how the Planning Regulation 2017 manages and reduces the impact of development on koalas and their habitat.

It changes how we map and assess proposed vegetation clearing involving koala habitat.

Due to these changes, you should not rely solely on the offset estimate report.

If your development requires vegetation clearing, please call us on 07 3412 3412 or email us at Council@logan.qld.gov.au for advice.

Find out more about the South East Queensland koala conservation strategy (Department of Environment and Science).

Exemptions from paying an offset

Environmental offsets will not apply if you:

  • build a new dwelling house or dual occupancy on an existing lot and clear no more than 4000m2 of native vegetation
  • clear vegetation which needs referral under the Planning Act 2016
  • clear vegetation which is exempt under the Biodiversity areas overlay code.

Reducing the cost of an offset

You may be able to reduce the costs of an environmental offset if you:

  • plant new trees on another part of the property
  • redesign or move the proposed clearing site to an area of lower ecological significance
  • redesign the proposed clearing site to keep as many trees as possible, where clearing individual trees
  • reduce the size of the proposed clearing site
  • move the proposed clearing site to avoid biodiversity or koala corridors and wetland or waterway buffers.

How we use funds collected as environmental offsets

We use offset funds exclusively to purchase and rehabilitate degraded land to:

  • replace environmental values lost during development
  • increase and improve koala and other significant species habitat
  • improve connectivity between broken and isolated areas of vegetation
  • support environmental initiatives aligned to our River Recovery Program
  • increase our green space and provide opportunities for eco-friendly recreational activities.

To find out more, see our list of environmental offset sites in Logan.

More information

Find out more about offset calculations: