Northern Territory Offsets Framework

The Northern Territory’s environmental regulatory framework is designed to promote the avoidance, mitigation and management of impacts on the environment associated with developments and other activities.

Developments that may have a significant impact on the environment are assessed in accordance with the Northern Territory’s Environment Protection Act 2019 (EP Act) and Environment Protection Regulations 2020 (EP Regulations). The EP Act requires that developments implement a hierarchy of:

  • avoid significant impacts wherever possible
  • where significant impacts cannot be avoided, mitigate those impacts to the greatest extent practicable, and
  • where significant impacts cannot be avoided or mitigated, offset the impacts.

Although the EP Act provides a regulatory provision to apply offsets, offsets cannot be used to make an unacceptable impact acceptable. Not all development projects are acceptable, and the use of an offset will not always be considered a suitable option.

To support the use of offsets under the EP Act, the Northern Territory has adopted a Northern Territory Offsets Framework.

The Offsets Framework comprises of a number of related but separate guidance documents, including the NT Offsets Principles, Offsets Policies, Technical Guidelines and Administrative Guidelines.

NT offsets principles

Administrative Guidelines

Offsets Register

NT Greenhouse gas emissions offset policyNT biodiversity offsets policy
Greenhouse gas emissions technical guidelinesBiodiversity technical guidelines

The Framework’s guidance documents will facilitate implementation of the Territory-specific target-based offsets model. Development of the Framework’s components is being undertaken incrementally.

Last updated: 09 July 2020

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