Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has moved an amendment to strengthen the integrity of biodiversity offsets which the Government intends to permit under the Nature Repair Market Bill 2023. Please see attached for full speech.
“I hold concerns about the effectiveness of the current proposed Nature Repair Market in protecting our environment and not simply being used to greenwash harmful activities,” Mr Wilkie said. “For this Bill to be effective, the Governments needs to strengthen the ability of the Market to operate in a way which genuinely supports restoration and addresses the extinction crisis.
“My amendments seek to ensure that should offsetting be permitted under the scheme, then the integrity of such biodiversity offsets is strengthened. They do so by clearly defining a biodiversity and including clear limits on the use of offsets to ensure that certificates can only be used for offsetting if they are like for like with the harm they are offsetting.
“Genuine efforts to protect, improve and restore our unique biodiversity are welcome, and the Government should provide supports and incentives to landholders to protect and restore biodiversity and habitat. But the Nature Repair Market cannot do this alone. It must be backed up by critical reforms which strengthen the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act; by a strong National Environmental Protection Agency; and by greater public funding for conservation and environmental management.”