Latest episode of The Urbanist Live featuring Paige Walker

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck recently spoke with Mirvac General Manager Residential Development WA Paige Walker for the latest episode of The Urbanist Live podcast series.

In this episode Tanya and Paige discuss a variety of topics including innovation, diversity, the state of the current apartment market and the impact of the recently finalised Perth City Deal as well as providing an insight into Paige’s career journey.

Our thanks go to Paige for providing us with the opportunity to share her extremely useful thoughts through our podcast.

Listen to the fifth episode here.

Paige was also recently featured on the front cover of The Urbanist, as part of an article that focuses on innovation and the importance of implementing a culture of innovation in your organisation.

For more information, click here.

Meeting with Minister for Environment Steven Dawson and DWER

This week, UDIA met with the Minister for Environment, Hon Steven Dawson MLC and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Director General, Mike Rowe to discuss a range of issues relevant to the development industry.

Topics discussed included the status of the SAPPR, the establishment of an EPBC State-Commonwealth Bilateral Agreement, DWER performance and the State Climate Change Policy.

UDIA thanks the Minister for taking the time to discuss industry issues and looks forward to further engagement with DWER on these important matters.

Modern Methods of Housing Construction Working Group: Strategic Workshop

On Wednesday, UDIA hosted a strategic planning workshop with members of the Modern Methods of Housing Construction Working Group

UDIA National’s Darren Cooper did an excellent job facilitating the session that built upon UDIA’s previous research (here) to further explore issues and opportunities associated with modern forms of construction.

UDIA greatly appreciates the time taken by members of the working group to provide feedback and thanks Darren for facilitating the session.

UDIA Submission – Local Planning Schemes

Last week UDIA lodged a submission with the Western Australian Planning Commission in relation to the Proposed Amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.

Within the submission UDIA stated its support for the proposed amendments to the LPS Regulations and the intent of the changes to remove unnecessary red tape, streamline the approvals process and improve consultation processes, however we highlighted that more can be done to improve the Regulations and satisfy the objectives that the amendments seek to achieve.

One of the concerns raised in the submission was that a number of key actions in identified in the ‘Action Plan for Planning Reform’ that should be incorporated into the Regulations have not been included in the proposed amendments. In particular, actions such as the targeted reduction in timeframes for lower risk proposals, the introduction of a pre-lodgement advisory service, and a 10-business-day timeframe for additional information requests for single house applications are not included in the proposed Regulations.

Many of the reform initiatives contained in the Reform Action Plan have long been identified and included in previous rounds of planning reform. The failure to incorporate all relevant reforms in the proposed amendments raises legitimate concerns about the Government’s commitment to adopting these reform measures. Furthermore, the amendments introduce increased levels of risk and uncertainty regarding the status of structure plans.

To read the submission in full, click here.

UDIA WA Diversity Sundowner

UDIA WA is very proud that we have recently implemented a new Diversity & Inclusion Policy and we have put together an accompanying Online Toolkit specifically designed to assist our member organisations in developing their own policy.

The toolkit will be officially launched by Tiffany Allen at our upcoming Cultivating Diversity & Inclusion event wherein RAC WA’s Diversity & Inclusion lead Eva Zellman will also share her extensive knowledge and advice for organisations looking to meaningfully address diversity and inclusion.

Join us for sunset drinks and canapes overlooking the spectacular Elizabeth Quay as we progress this extremely important conversation.

See here for more information.

Last chance to feature in the Land Report

Time is running out for anybody wishing to feature in the upcoming edition of the UDIA WA Land Report with the deadline for advertisers to book their spot coming up on Monday 5 October.

The next instalment of the Land Report is set to run in The West Australian on Saturday 24 October creating an important opportunity for our members to showcase their projects to an audience of 381,000 readers.

Following the Federal and State government housing incentives there has never been a greater focus on land and this edition of the Land Report will include exclusive data from the September quarter UDIA Urban Development Index that is sure to highlight the incredible demand that we have been experiencing.

The audience, made up of landbuyers and homebuilders, will have access to a wealth of information provided by the UDIA and the team of real estate journalists at The West Australian.

For more information, click here.

UDIA WA set to have lunch with the Premier

Last week UDIA WA released details of a new event at the end of November when we will be having Lunch with the Premier.

This will be an ideal opportunity to hear directly from Premier Mark McGowan as we gear up towards the State Election next year.

The timing could not be better to hear from the man himself on the State Government’s election platform, particularly in relation to development industry issues including market stimulus measures, planning reform and red tape reduction along with infrastructure planning and investment.

UDIA WA will launch our highly anticipated State Election campaign directly to the Premier so that he can respond in the context of one of the most socially, economically and politically challenging periods in recent history.

Guests will also have the opportunity to pose questions during the interactive Q&A discussion with the audience using

For more information and to register, click here.

Our thanks go to our event sponsors Pindan and Wormall Civil.

Want to be in the next edition of The Urbanist?

Opportunities are now available for members to advertise in the upcoming edition of UDIA WA’s exclusive member magazine, The Urbanist.

The magazine is already building a strong readership due to the high quality, informative articles that it features.

This edition will focus on the upcoming State Election and the implications for the urban development industry. Articles will cover the planning and housing policies of the Government and Opposition, the best-case scenario for the industry, economic expectations for WA over the next four years and much more.

There are a limited number of advertising spaces available within this edition, so we encourage you to book your exclusive position early.

To view all of the advertising opportunities with UDIA WA, click here.

Funding the future with UDIA WA

November will see the exclusive launch of UDIA WA’s latest review into Development Contribution Plans in the Perth and Peel Region at our Funding the Future Industry Breakfast.

The findings of this in-depth review will provide insight into the scale, nature and detail behind challenges associated with adhering to the long-held principals of infrastructure contributions policy including the need and nexus, transparency, accountability, equity and certainty.

With the final revised State Planning Policy 3.6 Infrastructure Contributions nearing release, this event will provide an ideal opportunity to discuss and explore the key issues.

Our expert panel made up of Jeremy Cordina, Vice President – UDIA WA and General Manager (Land) – Parcel Property; Darren Cooper, Managing Director – Development Capital Management; Len Kosova, Director – LK Advisory; David Caddy, Chairman – WAPC will be on hand to discuss all of the key issues.

For more information, click here.

Our thanks go to our event sponsors LK Advisory and Parcel Property.

Western Australia’s Annual Report on State Finances released

Earlier this week Treasurer Ben Wyatt released the 2019-20 Annual Report on State Finances, which details the State was in a strong financial position for the first nine months of the 2019-20 year, prior to the impact of COVID-19 in the June quarter.

The 2019-20 Annual Report on State Finances report shows a fall in general government revenue and an increase in recurrent spending that is mainly due to the pandemic, including significant investment in frontline services and support measures for households and businesses. This has significantly reduced the forecast surplus for 2019-20 and increased net debt.

The $2.6 billion general government operating surplus forecast in the Mid-year Review has been reduced by $920 million to $1.7 billion.

Total public sector net debt increased to $35.4 billion at June 30, 2020, up from $34.5 billion at March 31, 2020.

Last financial year, the State Government spent $5.2 billion on infrastructure, with major investment in roads and public transport ($1.9 billion), electricity ($971 million), water ($635 million), and schools ($428 million).

More details about the State’s finances will be available in the Budget to be released on October 8, 2020.

Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct continues to grow

Western Australian developers Hesperia and Birchmead Property Group will partner to deliver a new residential and commercial project at DevelopmentWA’s Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct.

The project is anticipated to create 750 construction jobs, further boosting the 2,000 construction jobs to be created through the development of the neighbouring Medihotel and Stage 1A of the precinct.

The proponents plan to construct a 10-storey development on the 3,438sqm mixed use site, with the almost 17,000sqm floor area to include approximately 120 apartments and commercial opportunities.

Subject to approvals, construction is expected to commence in late 2021.

Work on Stage 1A of the precinct, which is also being delivered by Hesperia, will commence later this year and is scheduled for completion in early 2023.

Plans for Stage 1A were recently granted development approval and include aged care, a Medihotel, residential, commercial, medical and office facilities. The 80-bed Medihotel Murdoch will deliver a better experience for recuperating patients and free up hospital beds so more patients can be treated.

The 9.6ha Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct is adjacent to Fiona Stanley Hospital and St John of God Murdoch, and close to Murdoch University, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and South Metropolitan TAFE.

The precinct is a catalyst for the delivery of the broader Murdoch Activity Centre, which is set to become a vibrant hub of world-class research, jobs and public transport. On completion, it is expected to deliver up to 35,000 jobs, homes for 22,000 residents, and facilities for up to 44,000 students.

Dwelling approvals fall in August

The number of dwellings approved fell 1.6 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday.

Across the states and territories, dwelling approvals fell in Tasmania (-26.2%), New South Wales (-14.2%) and South Australia (-4.8%), however rises were recorded in Western Australia (+33.8%), Queensland (+8.1 %) and Victoria (+1.8%).

Approvals for private sector houses rose in Western Australia (+34.9%), Queensland (+13.9%) and South Australia (+1.4%), whilst declines were recorded in Victoria (-1.0%) and New South Wales (-0.3%).

The value of total building approved rose 18.1% in August, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of non-residential building rose 40.7%, with this rise driven by large public projects in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The value of total residential building also rose in August (+4.4%), which was partly driven by an increase in the value of residential alterations and additions (+7.0%), rising to the highest level since April 2016.

Job vacancies recover following largest fall on record

The number of job vacancies in Australia increased by 59% over the August 2020 quarter, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the ABS.

Job vacancies rose in the August 2020 quarter, following the largest fall on record in the May 2020 quarter, when vacancies decreased by 43%. By August, vacancies were around 9% below February.

Job vacancies in the private sector increased by 65% over the quarter, and by 22% in the public sector. Private sector vacancies were around 9% below February, and public sector vacancies were around 13% below.

In original series terms, increases in vacancies were seen in all states and territories following the large decreases last quarter.

WA recorded the biggest increase with a 91.4% rise in vacancies during the quarter to 32,200 jobs, up from 16,800 in May.

It is the highest level recorded in WA since November 2012. Year-on-year, vacancies rose 22% compared to the same period last year.

Private sector vacancies hit 30,200 in the August quarter, nearly double the 15,400 recorded in the May quarter.

Vacancies in the public sector rose to 2000, up from 1400.

When compared with February 2020, the largest percentage increases were in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory recovered less than the other states and territories, remaining 23%, 22% and 15% below February.

The three industries with the largest percentage increases in job vacancies in the August 2020 quarter were the three that saw the largest falls in May: Arts and recreation services; Rental, hiring and real estate services; and Accommodation and food services.

UDIA requests for feedback

UDIA is working on submissions and responses in relation to the following.  Members are encouraged to provide feedback and comments to inform our submissions to by the specified dates below:

WAPC Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for School Sites (here), closes 5pm 19 October – review has been an opportunity to improve strategic school site planning, address known issues on locational and physical site requirements for schools, and provide clarity and transparency on the methodology and application of developer contributions for public primary schools.