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7 February 2019

Industry Issues 07-02-2019

Royal Commission into finance sector makes waves

The Federal Government released the highly anticipated final report from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry along with a formal response entitled Restoring Trust in Australia’s Financial System on Monday.  

The Commission’s report makes 76 recommendations including recommended amendments to legislation and focuses on five key areas including:

  • Regulation of financial services
  • The role of Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
  • Responsible lending practices
  • Staff remuneration
  • Insurance and superannuation industries

UDIA WA sent a media release outlining some of the main issues from a WA perspective on Monday. If you missed it you can view here.

UDIA National have also provided a comprehensive outline of how the actions and recommendations impact on the development sector more broadly, particularly in relation to the National Consumer Protection Act and the Household Expenditure Measure.

View the details here.

National Construction Code 2019 previews released

All three volumes of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 previews have been released by The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and are available to download from NCC online.

A number of new amendments in the 2019 edition of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2019 have a 12 months transition within the BCA itself these transitional periods run concurrently with the 12 months transition in the Building Regulations 2012.  This means no provision in BCA 2019 will have a transitional period that is greater than 12 months.

The ABCB will be delivering presentations in Perth to inform practitioners about changes in BCA 2019. Half day sessions will be running at Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre from 9.30am to 12.30pm on 19 February 2019 and 20 February 2019. For more information on the Perth seminars

Further information on the release can be found on the ABCB website.

NCC 2019 will be adopted from 1 May 2019.

New strata legislation information sharing

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck presented a rundown on how the new strata legislation will impact on the development industry in Western Australia at the recent Strata Community Association (SCA) WA conference.  Other presenters during the session included Landgate’s Sean McFarlane and property analyst Gavin Hegney.

Tanya’s presentation focused on how the Strata Titles Amendment and Community Titles Acts could change the way strata projects are managed and developed into the future.  The potential changes were provided in the context of current market conditions and pinpointing which local government areas are likely to see the biggest increase in medium and high density development in the coming years.

The presentation also highlighted potential transitional issues as we move to new schemes, particularly as some developers have reported being in a holding pattern until the new regulations are released.

UDIA and Main Roads meet

UDIA CEO Tanya Steinbeck participated in a positive meeting with Managing Director of Main Roads Peter Woronzow to discuss working with industry moving forward.  Peter said that he is open to increasing the level of engagement with industry, particularly around issues and challenges with the approvals process.

Peter will also be presenting at the UDIA WA State Conference in Bunker Bay, which will be held from Wednesday 27 February – Friday 1 March 2018.  Limited places still available, register here.

Local government catch ups

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck has been meeting with local governments around the Perth Metro Area over the last couple of weeks to discuss a range of issues impacting on urban development and the relationship between industry and government.

These meetings have proven to be very positive and will assist in shaping UDIA policy moving forward.  Local government meetings to date have included City of Wanneroo, City of Armadale, City of Gosnells, and City of Belmont.

UDIA is keen to work positively with all levels of government.

Environmental issues on the agenda

UDIA WA President Nick Allingame, CEO Tanya Steinbeck and Environment Committee Chair Darren Walsh met with Environmental Protection Authority Chair Tom Hatton and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Anthony Sutton on Monday.

A key outcome from the meeting is the review of Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 20 on the protection of naturally vegetated areas through planning and development.  This bulletin was part of the EPA’s old policy suite (which was superseded by the EPA policy review in Dec 2016). However, the EPA is open to revising it and including an updated version in the EPA’s current suite of impact assessment policies and guidance.

The EPA would also like to see developers consider local government biodiversity plans as part of the design and approvals process.

Other key issues that were raised from a UDIA perspective include vegetation clearing and cumulative impacts, and a recent increased focus by the EPA on smaller land parcels. EPA advised that they were waiting on SAPPR to assist in providing more clarity around environmental approvals.

We value your feedback

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members.  We encourage you to forward any feedback to these items to policy@udiawa.com.au

Draft Position Statement for Tourism land uses within bushfire prone areas (here). Submissions close 20 March, 2019.

Local Government Act Review, submissions closing 31 March, 2019. More information here.

Building approvals take a dive

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that building approvals for WA houses fell 9.6% in the December quarter to sit at 3,066, 9.0% below levels at the same time in 2017.

Approvals for dwellings (excluding houses) were also down a significant 48.0% in the quarter to 495, and fell 67.2% from the corresponding quarter in 2017.

In 2018 WA building approvals for houses fell 10.6% from the previous year and to just 51.7% of house approvals at the height of the boom, but far improved on the 25.8% drop in numbers seen in 2016.

Approvals for dwellings (excluding houses) similarly fell 34.1% in 2018, back to similar numbers as those seen in 2011.

UDIA represented on PEF board

We are pleased to advise that UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck has been appointed to the Property Education Foundation (PEF) Board. PEF promotes property education through providing scholarships to tertiary students and working with education providers to deliver quality property education.

UDIA is pleased to assist in engaging with students interested in a career in the property industry and encouraging more young people to consider property as a fantastic career choice.

Supporting The Big Issue – tomorrow!

Don’t forget to head down to Wexford Street in Subiaco at 11am tomorrow (Friday 8 February) to purchase a copy of The Big Issue from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck.  Tanya is participating in The Big Issue’s ‘CEO Selling Week’. The Big Issue magazine is sold on streets around Australia by people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage.

CEO Selling is an initiative held during International Vendor Week, it is an annual event that celebrates vendors who are working hard to change their lives.

Tanya will be selling The Big Issue alongside street vendor Malcolm. Every magazine sold helps a homeless or disadvantaged person who are proudly working to earn a meaningful income.

More information about The Big Issue here.

Subi East vision unveiled

Minister Rita Saffioti has unveiled early concept images of the proposed Subiaco East Redevelopment area following a 12 month consultation period.

The images provide a broad vision for the 35.6 hectare area that includes the old Subiaco Oval and heritage buildings on the old Princess Margaret Hospital site.

Feedback can be submitted at http://www.haveyoursay.landcorp.com.au/subieast from Monday, February 4 until March 1, 2019.

WAPC welcomes new board members

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) has appointed four new board members including UDIA Urban Water Committee Member Helen Brookes as a coastal planning and management representative.

Other new members include Belinda Moharich (Deputy Chairperson); Paddi Creevey OAM (regional representative); and Ciara Clarke (urban and regional planning professional).

More details here.

First metro driverless train success

Australia’s first driverless metro train has passed its first full test, travelling along the entire length of Sydney’s $8.3 billion Metro Northwest railway line.

The train arrived at Chatswood Station’s Metro platforms, having travelled 36km from the new Tallawong Station in Sydney’s northwest as part of the intensive testing process.

Sydney Metro Northwest, formerly the North West Rail Link, is the first stage of Sydney Metro and will be the first fully-automated metro rail system in Australia. More information here.

Steering group for Victoria Quay plans

A senior steering group chaired by Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk has been established to oversee plans to develop Fremantle Port’s Victoria Quay precinct.

The group also includes high-level representation from Fremantle Ports; Landcorp; the City of Fremantle; Department of Transport; the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce; Tourism Western Australia; Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage; Westport Taskforce; and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The steering group’s brief includes examining the range of land uses in identified ‘precincts’ on the site, the needs of the working port and how to better link the Fremantle central business district to Victoria Quay, across the rail line.

Houseandland joins forces with Joust

UDIA member houseandland.com.au has recently taken a majority stake in Joust, an app where lenders can compete for business in real time by offering lower rates until a winner is determined.

The aim is to encourage competition among lenders so that home buyers and owners can make sure they are getting the best deal on their mortgage.

More details here.

National Congress edging closer

There are over 400 delegates registered to attend UDIA National Congress on the Gold Coast from Tuesday 26 March 2019.  There is a fantastic program including international thought leaders Richard Florida, Michael Marks, Joel Kotkin, Gea Sijpkes, Susan Pinker, and Stephen Scheeler sharing their insights on a range of issues relevant to development.

Check out the program here.