Nature Repair Market legislation introduced to parliament

Today the Albanese Labor Government introduced the Nature Repair Market Bill (2023) into the parliament.

In a world first scheme, landowners can be paid by a third party for protecting and restoring nature on their land. It will make it easier for business, philanthropists and others to invest in repairing nature across Australia.

The Nature Repair Market forms part of our Nature Positive Plan to protect more of what’s precious, repair more of what’s damaged and manage nature better for the future.

A recent PWC Report found a biodiversity market could unlock AU$137 billion to repair and protect Australia’s environment by 2050.

Examples of possible projects include:

  • Removing drainage ditches, excluding livestock and feral herbivores to restore a natural marsh which will create critical habitat for diverse native frog, fish, turtle and wetland bird species.
  • Indigenous Rangers undertaking feral animal exclusion, buffel grass removal, feral cat control and cultural burning in the Central Desert. The certificate generated for the project could support Indigenous Ranger working on country activities for many years.
  • Restoring a seagrass meadow permanently lost from historic poor catchment water quality, providing habitat for sea turtles, dugongs, marine fish and seahorses. Monitoring could be provided by local commercial and recreational fishers, who foresee increased local fish stocks.
  • The market will be regulated by the Clean Energy Regulator which will have monitoring and enforcement powers to ensure that projects are conducted in accordance with the rules. This includes monitoring, reporting and notification on the delivery of project activities and progress on the environmental outcome.

An independent committee will provide advice to the Minister about the methods that set the rules for projects.

Certificates, their status and ownership will be tracked via a public register.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:

“We want to leave nature better off for our kids and grandkids.

“The Albanese Labor Government is making it easier for people to invest in activities that help repair nature.

“We’re supporting landholders including farmers and First Nations communities to do things like replanting a vital stretch of koala habitat, repair damaged riverbeds, or remove invasive species.

“Creating a nature repair market with proper integrity and transparency, gives businesses and philanthropists a way to invest in nature with confidence.

“It will allow them to buy a quality product: verifiable, well-regulated nature repair certificates – so they can be sure their investments in protection and restoration have big environmental benefits – and those benefits are lasting.”