When is an environmental offset not an environmental offset?

When they are not commensurate!

The author sat in on a meeting with Boggabri Coal in 2011, and heard that the offsets required by the NSW Govt for the clearing of critically endangered Grassy Box Woodland (GBW) in Leard Forest had been set at six times the area impacted by the mine, however, the offsets acquired (and approved) were ‘derived grasslands’ ie. where the GBW had been completely cleared (leaving only grassland with a seedbank in the soil). All physical scientists know that eucalypts will not regenerate without intervention, such as fire (heat); smoke; sclarifying (scraping the seed with a knife). So there is little or no chance of natural regeneration on the derived grasslands.

Now Ecologist Phil Sparks has drawn this conclusion from his investigation of other offsets put in place by Boggabri Coal. Continue reading