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Green Offsets Strategy

Consistent with emerging NSW environmental offsets policy, SCM has prepared a report entitled, Newnes Plateau Conservation, Restoration, and Enhancement Project (NPCREP), to provide the basis for ensuring that the net environmental result of the development is positive.

NPCREP involves the adoption of nine offset objectives, designed conformably with the NSW Government's developing green offsets policy. This will provide a framework for the execution of the projects described in the NPCREP paper, and will enable relevant government authorities to gauge the success of the strategy. Sydney Construction Materials intends to work with these government authorities to ensure that the final result is a net gain for the community and the environment.

Sydney Construction Materials will mitigate the impact of the Newnes Junction development through the provision of both on-site and off-site offsets. On-site offsets are described above in the other categories in the Environmental Management section. Off-site, three separate offset projects will be undertaken:

1. The first project involves the rehabilitation of a nearby area of Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp, an important plant community in the region, and a potential habitat for endangered fauna species.
2. The second project involves the rehabilitation and on-going management of a scenic and historically significant area of vacant Crown land - the Dargan's Creek Reserve.

(The final objective of projects 1 and 2 is to have them classified as Reserve Crown lands to ensure their long-term management and protection.)

3. The third project involves the establishment of a native plant nursery to provide plant stock for the extractive operation's rehabilitation, and to supply the local community with a variety of native flora.

Sydney Construction Materials will provide upfront funding for these offsets, and will continue to fund them for the duration of the development. It is proposed that the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority become the Scheme Manager, holding and disbursing the funds, and using its standard project reporting process to report to the Company, the Department of Planning, the Department of Natural Resources, the NSW Environment Protection Agency, and other relevant stakeholders.

The implementation of this strategy will provide a benchmark for environmentally friendly extractive operations that are capable of delivering significant environmental, economic, and social gains to the wider community.

Further details of the Sydney Construction Materials Green Offsets Strategy can be found in Newnes Plateau Conservation, Restoration, and Enhancement Project (Sydney Construction Materials, 2004) (2,359 kB pdf) in the Supplementary Information section under Project Credentials.