New action plan to implement bushfire framework review  

UDIA WA has welcomed the state government’s release of a Bushfire Framework Review Action Plan this week that should bring a more common-sense approach to bushfire planning in WA.

As part of the new action plan, a revised Map of Bushfire Prone Areas will be released that increases the minimum area of ‘declared bushfire prone vegetation’ from one hectare to four hectares within the metropolitan Perth Central sub-region.

Stage 2 of the action plan will see a new mapping methodology/standard developed following research undertaken by CSIRO. It is anticipated that this will result in the release of a revised map of bushfire prone areas in August 2020, with subsequent policy changes announced in late 2020.

View UDIA’s Member Alert on the plan here.

Download the new Action Plan and the full Buti Review here.

Infrastructure WA Board appointed

Final appointments to the newly established Infrastructure WA (IWA) board were announced on Monday.  Chaired by John Langoulant AO, the Deputy Chair has been confirmed as Nicole Lockwood (current Chair of the Westport Taskforce) along with members Terry Agnew, Kerryl Bradshaw, Andrea Sutton and Wayne Zekulich.

There are also four board members appointed to represent the Government – the Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Under Treasurer, the Director General of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Director General for Transport.

UDIA welcomed the appointments as another step toward more strategic planning for Perth’s future growth, including the development of a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy here.

SAPPR Review Panel

Several UDIA WA representatives met with the SAPPR Review Panel today to discuss funding options should the Government decide to proceed with the Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel Regions. UDIA greatly appreciates the opportunity to engage with the SAPPR Review Panel and looks forward to providing further feedback as the Panel finalises its recommendation.

Environmental Approvals and the Planning System

UDIA and Strategen JBS&G hosted a boardroom luncheon with David Caddy, Chairman of the WA Planning Commission and Glen McLeod, Board Member of the EPA to discuss environmental approvals and the planning system today.

UDIA thanks David Caddy and Glen McLeod for providing their insight into current and emerging environmental and land use planning issues and we look forward to working with both government agencies in developing effective solutions to these challenges. UDIA would also like to thank Strategen JBS&G for hosting this event.

HILDA report reflects long commute times and lower wage growth  

A recent report by The Melbourne Institute entitled the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA) shows that overall, Australians are still adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of life and economic conditions post mining boom.

The report provides an insight into the lives of Australian residents and what has changed in terms of employment and wage conditions, household demographics and a range of other lifestyle factors between 2002 and 2017.

One aspect of the report looks at where people live and work and how commute times have changed over the study period.  In Australia, 18% of people commute more than 2 hours per day and the average commute time has increased by 23% to one hour over the last fifteen years.

In Perth, the commute time has risen 18.7% to 59.3 minutes.

In terms of wages, Perth residents enjoyed a relatively high median income compared with other capital cities, however, we have experienced a substantial decline since 2015.  There has also been an increased casualisation of the workforce, meaning less stable employment conditions.

Download the full report here.

Building news – guide to standards and tolerances released

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Building and Energy has developed a Western Australian guide to standards and tolerances 2019 for use by builders and building owners as a reference for acceptable standards of workmanship in residential building construction.

The guide is intended to address areas that are not prescribed under legislation or under a home building contract and aims to help builders and owners prevent domestic building disputes by agreeing on the appropriate standards and quality of workmanship when they enter into the building contract.

Download the new guide here.

First home owner grants on the rise

According to the latest data from the WA Department of Treasury, while the number of First Home Owner Grants (FHOG) paid fell slightly for the month of June, the quarterly figures show an increase of 7% in grants paid for the June 2019 quarter.

Hopefully this trend will continue into the new financial year with the temporary adjustment to Keystart eligibility criteria coming into effect on July 1.

The data can be viewed here.

Building approvals increase in WA

Building approvals data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics continues the trend of positive property market news, reflecting a 5.6% increase in the total number of building approvals for WA houses in the June 2019 quarter.

The value of building jobs for new houses also increased 6.6% in the June quarter to $860.7 million, but this is 7.3% lower than at the same time the year prior.

Lakelands station funding

The state government has made further calls on the federal government to commit to the funding required to build the proposed Lakelands train station through METRONET.

Lakelands station as been on the table for several years, with funding committed to a business case however more substantial funding is required for the construction.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has said that the Federal Government need to commit funding if they want the McGowan Government to deliver the station.

$10 million of the total cost of $75 million was allocated to build the station in the Federal Budget and the Federal Member for Canning announced a further $25 million during the election campaign.

We value your feedback!

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

  • EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.
  • DWER issues paper ‘Waste not, want not: valuing waste as a resource’ out for comment (here). Submissions close Wednesday 4 September, 2019.
  • Draft State Planning Policy 3.6 – Infrastructure contributions (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.

Site security update

After recent increased burglary and theft activity in the Hammond Park, Treeby and Piara Waters areas Pact Site Security investigators installed several GPS tracking devices into assets on members sites.

At 0545 hrs on 31/07/19 GPS activation alerted investigators to theft of a hot water unit In Pavarotti Vista, Hammond Park. Investigators tracked the stolen property through several new subdivisions before stopping at an address in Darling Downs. Whilst liaising with Police the property left the address and was eventually tracked to an address in Huntingdale.

Police attended and arrested 2 adult males with a search of their vehicle recovering a total 3 stolen hot water systems stolen from 3 separate building sites in Pavarotti Vista. All property recovered and returned to builders and inquiries continuing into offenders previous activities.

More news @

Homelessness Week 2019

Homelessness Week is a national week to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face, and the action needed to end homelessness not just manage it.

As part of Homelessness Week, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck will participate in an event hosted by Shelter WA to develop corporate and community action in building more supply of affordable housing and well-designed cities in WA.

The purpose of this event is to create an opportunity for the community sector, government, property sector, and broader corporate sectors to collaborate on how we can end homelessness in Western Australia.

The event will be held on Tuesday 6 August from 9am and more details can be found here.

As part of Homelessness Week 2019, there is a fundraiser to ‘Get Someone Off The Street’ where every $4,500 raised gets someone into a home.

Every contribution will go toward RUAH’s ’50 Lives, 50 Homes’ program, which will get someone experiencing homelessness off the streets and into a home where they can access wraparound services to enable them to build a safe and secure future. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Visit here to donate.

RBA discusses low wage growth

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s recent annual conference focused on ‘Low Wage Growth’ and considered possible causes, consequences and international perspectives on the issue.

Discussion covered issues including the possible effect of non-standard employment and other changes to work arrangements on wage growth; the effect of declining union coverage on wage outcomes in Australia; the possible role of changes in firm market power; and international perspectives on the relationship between productivity and wage growth.

Several interesting papers were presented at the conference and copies can be downloaded here.

Energy efficiency scoping study

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is investigating possible changes to the National Construction Code’s (NCC) energy efficiency provisions, with a focus on residential buildings in the 2022 edition of the NCC.

This work is to be carried out in consideration of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council’s Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings (the Trajectory). The Trajectory proposes incremental changes to the NCC to reduce the operational energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions of buildings.

To commence this process, the ABCB has produced a scoping study for public comment. The study outlines a possible approach and scope for this project, with a particular focus on NCC 2022.

The scoping study has now been released for public comment and can be read or downloaded from the ABCB Consultation Hub here.

The consultation period is open until Sunday 8 September 2019.