Biosis was commissioned by Lend Lease Bouygues Joint Venture (LLBJV) to prepare a Biodiversity Offset Package for the state significant NorthConnex project.  The NorthConnex project will see the construction of the long awaited link between the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga and the Hills M2 Motorway at West Pennant Hills (the Project).  The Project comprises the construction of two tunnels that will cover nine kilometres of two lane motorways in each direction, six interchanges, M2 motorway integration works and various ancillary compounds to support the works.

The Biodiversity Offset Package forms an integral part of the Project’s Flora and Fauna Management Plan which will guide construction and operation.  It will detail how LLBJV and NSW Roads and Maritime Services will offset ecological values impacted by the Project.  Potentially impacted values include two NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) listed threatened ecological communities, one threatened flora species, as well as suitable habitat for a threatened fauna population and native vegetation and structures that provide potential habitat for a number of threatened fauna species.  The Biodiversity Offset Package specifically applies to those areas where residual impacts have been identified and outlines the strategy for offsetting in accordance with the six principles outlined by the new NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects (October 2014).  The Package is being developed in consultation with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), NSW Roads and Maritime Services, Transurban and LLBJV, and is being prepared and reviewed by Ed Cooper, Jane Murray and Nathan Garvey of Biosis who are all qualified and licensed ecologists and  accredited BioBanking Assessors (under section 142B(1)(a) of the TSC Act).

The Biodiversity Offset Package for NorthConnex is a challenging and complex project.  It is being developed and delivered during the transitional period for the NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects, released by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in 2014 which outlines how offsets for Major Projects in NSW are provided.  The Biodiversity Offset Package for the Project needed to be updated and adapted to align with the policy, and is one of the first projects in NSW to be prepared using the new NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects.  An additional challenge is sourcing offsets for communities that are relatively rare in the landscape.  The Project presents a unique opportunity to provide additional protection and better management of offset areas.

For more information contact our Sydney office on (02) 9101 8700.