Morning mail: offset profits ‘seriously concerning’, India suffers, singing fish

Morning mail: offset profits ‘seriously concerning’, India suffers, singing fish

The Guardian

.

.
.
.

Wednesday: Government consultant made millions from environmental offset. Plus: two more Aboriginal deaths in custody

Good morning. Today we have more on the ongoing Covid crisis in India and a conservation offset controversy on home shores. Plus news about a singing fish and (not quite) explosive sex toys.

An environmental consultant who holds interests in a property that made more than $40m selling conservation offsets to governments is part of a consortium that has made tens of millions of dollars more. Steven House is a former director of Eco Logical Australia, a firm that advised governments on major projects in western Sydney. He is also a director of Meridolum No 1 – a company that had made more than $40m selling offsets for infrastructure projects that Eco Logical, which employed two of Meridolum’s directors, provided offset advice on. The directors denied any suggestion of wrongdoing or conflict of interest and said they had made the appropriate declarations. But House holds interests in two other properties that sold a further $66.8m in offsets for developments in western Sydney between 2017 and 2019. The transactions involving these two properties are “deeply concerning and undermine public confidence in the whole offsetting system”, according to Chris Gambian, chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Continue reading…