Effectiveness of environmental offsets in environmental impact assessment: practitioner perspectives from Western Australia
Environmental offsets are positive mitigation measures implemented during environmental impact assessment (EIA) approvals to compensate for unavoidable negative environmental actions. Through interviews with 29 practitioners experienced with offsets, this study investigated the level of support for environmental offsets in Western Australia, implementation of the mitigation sequence and achievement of 'net environmental gain' and 'like for like' in practice. In-principle support for the use of offsets was almost unanimous. However, the practical workability of 'like for like' was questioned along with claims that offsets failed to deliver net benefits. Greater guidance and follow-up will be necessary if practice is to live up to expectation.
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