Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund

The Pilbara is one of Western Australia's most significant regions and is known for its mineral wealth and rich biodiversity.

There is a range of resource, infrastructure and agricultural projects underway and planned for the region.

Development projects approved under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 can require offsets when significant environmental impacts remain after rehabilitation.

In the Pilbara, the Environmental Protection Authority have been requiring proponents to pay offsets into a conservation fund since 2011 to offset their development impacts.

The Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund has been established to receive money from proponents.

So far, approximately $7 million is owing to the Fund and over the next 40 years approximately $90 million is expected to be received and expended on conservation in the Pilbara.

The Fund allows for multiple offset payments to be combined to deliver larger conservation projects or expand successful initiatives in the region to maximise the value of financial offsets.

This approach enables strategic landscape scale projects with much greater environmental benefits to be implemented, rather than multiple smaller activities that would otherwise occur.

Pest plant and animal control, fire management, erosion control, and on-ground works that improve native vegetation and or habitat for threatened species like ghost bat, greater bilby and Pilbara olive python will be delivered through the Fund.

Where possible, projects will build on local conservation programs like those already undertaken by natural resource organisations and Traditional Owner Ranger Groups to maximise conservation benefits and create local jobs.

For more information on the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund contact Clare Meredith at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on 6364 7816.