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To create a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB)

Approval to clear native vegetation in South Australia usually comes with conditions. Often there is a requirement to ‘offset’ the removal of the native vegetation, usually by protecting a separate area of land for conservation.

The offset needs to provide a Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB), meaning it needs to provide an environmental gain over and above the damage being done to the native vegetation in the clearing activity.

SEB Policy and Guide

The SEB Policy:

  • sets clear rules and parameters for SEB offsetting
  • provides minimum requirements for establishing and managing an SEB
  • establishes a framework for Third Party SEBs and SEB Credit.

For more information on establishing an on-ground SEB, see the fact sheet on the seven (7) requirements of an SEB and infographic.

The SEB Guide:

  • outlines the process for assessing native vegetation including areas proposed to be cleared and areas proposed to be established as an SEB
  • determines the size of the SEB area required to offset a proposed clearance
  • calculates the amount to be paid into the Native Vegetation Fund to provide an SEB in lieu of undertaking on ground works. 

How to provide an SEB offset

1. Choose how you will offset

You will normally have the option to do one or a combination of the following:

 (a) Establish an ‘on-ground’ SEB area by:

  • re-establishing native vegetation elsewhere. For example, you could propose to revegetate or encourage natural regeneration in a particular area.
  • managing and enhancing an existing area of native vegetation. You could propose to remove and manage threats such as grazing, weeds and pests, or improve the vegetation through supplementary planting.
  • protecting an existing area of native vegetation by, for example, proposing to put it under a Heritage Agreement or Management Agreement to protect it from future disturbance.

 (b) Pay into the Native Vegetation Fund

2. Assess the vegetation

When preparing a clearance application, you will need to engage an Accredited Consultant to calculate the SEB offset area you must provide (if any).

The consultant will:

  • assess the vegetation to be cleared and, if you are planning to offset with an ‘on-ground’ SEB area, the vegetation proposed to be established as an SEB area.
  • calculate the SEB area required and/or the amount to be paid into the Native Vegetation Fund.

3. Seek approval

Your offsetting plans will be approved as part of your clearance application. Once you have submitted your application, the Native Vegetation Management Branch will contact you to discuss your proposed clearance and offsetting plans.

4. Deliver the offset

If your clearance application is approved, you can now deliver the offset.

If establishing an on-ground SEB area, decide how you will deliver it:

  • Do it yourself – establish a new SEB area or use credit that has previously been established.
  • Get someone else to do it – have SEB credit assigned to you or engage an Accredited Third Party Provider.


Management Plan Template - instructions

Management Plan Template - example

Management Plan Template

Management Plan Actions

Monitoring Datasheet

Get involved

Want to help deliver the SEB offsetting policy and guidelines? Express interest in becoming one of the following:

Contact the Native Vegetation Branch for more.

NRM Review and Price Guide

This price guide is available to assist landholders and clearance proponents to understand the market costs associated with undertaking natural resource management in South Australia.

The aims of the guide are to:

  • aid discussions and agreement between proponents in negotiating the costs for managing credit sites under the Native Vegetation Act 1991
  • provide price transparency for people who don't have a background in natural resource management on ground works.

Why do clearances need to be offset?

SEB offsetting is a way to support the development of infrastructure and growing populations in South Australia while making sure important plant and animal habitat is protected. SEB offsets are a mechanism to compensate impacts on the environment that can’t be avoided or minimised.

It achieves the following for the benefit of all South Australians:

  • Preventing further decline in vegetation, particularly in areas that have had high levels of clearance in the past
  • Maintaining threatened vegetation communities (groups of plants that together create unique types of habitat) and species
  • Ensuring that habitat for our native animals is maintained or replaced
  • Contributing to the long-term conservation of biodiversity.

SEB offsets operate in a similar way to offsets required under the Commonwealth’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

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