When the layout of a project has been finalised, it is overlaid on the vegetation map to determine the area of each habitat zone that would be removed. The combination of the area removed and its score results in a ‘habitat hectare’ value for the vegetation to be removed.
The aim of the net gain analysis is to determine the offset target to compensate for the loss of native vegetation from the development footprint, as per the requirements of the Victorian planning provisions. The net gain analysis provides two results:
The habitat hectare value of the vegetation being removed, and
The habitat hectare value of the required offset targets.
The habitat hectare value of the offset target will usually be greater than the value of the vegetation proposed to be removed.
When would I need to undertake a net gain analysis?
A net gain analysis needs to be undertaken as soon as a development plan has been finalised and if native vegetation removal is unavoidable. Interim net gain targets can be provided for draft development plans, however the responsible authority will want to see a final net gain analysis prior to assessing a planning permit application for vegetation removal.
How do I go about undertaking a net gain analysis?
A net gain analysis can only be undertaken by a botanist that has been certified by DEPI to undertake net gain analyses and habitat hectare assessments. Please contact us if you wish to speak to a specialist about this.
What is the next step after a net gain analysis?
During the net gain analysis it will be possible to determine the offset target that needs to be met to comply with the state policy. An offset site will then need to be selected to meet the net gain target. BL&A can assist in locating offset sites through a number of avenues. Determining if a site meets an offset target is described in the next page.