From the CEO

Whilst I don’t like to identify as a sheep, I couldn’t help but follow the crowd and check out just how smart Chat GPT really is. So I typed in the question “How do we deliver sufficient affordable housing supply in Australia? Here’s what the AI bot spat out:

There is no one solution to delivering sufficient affordable housing in Australia, but some strategies that have been proposed include:

  • Increasing government funding for affordable housing programs
  • Encouraging private sector investment in affordable housing through tax incentives and other financial mechanisms
  • Streamlining planning and zoning regulations to allow for higher density housing and reduce development costs
  • Improving access to financing for affordable housing projects
  • Providing rental assistance and support for low-income households
  • Promoting innovative housing solutions such as modular construction and co-housing
  • Encouraging the development of affordable housing in areas with strong job markets and good transportation access.

Implementing a combination of these strategies may be the most effective way to increase the supply of affordable housing in Australia.

We couldn’t have written it better ourselves, or maybe we did and this is where Chat GPT has pulled its “intelligence” from. Regardless, what it hasn’t picked up on is the importance of an appropriate volume of stock across the housing continuum to keep a lid on house prices. UDIA WA has invested in a significant piece of research to develop a single source of truth around the ‘housing ready’ development pipeline in the next 10 years. I’m very excited for our first forum this afternoon where we will test our initial findings for the North-East Corridor and East Wanneroo DSP area.

Even more exciting is the results of our initial findings for Perth & Peel which will be revealed exclusively at our Industry Luncheon on February 17. This is a must attend for anyone interested in what we have found so far to be a realistic supply pipeline for residential development in the next decade. You won’t get the answer to that question from Chat GPT…

UDIA National Congress in Perth – don’t miss out!

With UDIA National Congress less than 2 months away and Early bird ticket prices set to close this month, now is the time to book for the ultimate learning and networking event in the Australian development industry.

This year’s event will see world class speakers including Mark Bouris AM, Peter Calthorpe, Amy Auster, Dr Sam Tsemberis, Eliza Owen, Mark McCrindle, Colin Keane and WA’s own cricketing hero Justin Langer among a host of other incredible names set to provide unmissable insights.

Starting with a welcome function on the rooftop of WA’s iconic Art Gallery AGWA and finishing with a celebration of the best of the best in Australia at the UDIA National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, there is plenty to get excited about for this year’s Congress.

Being held in Perth, this is THE time to get amongst the best and brightest from across the country. Click here for more information and to register.

Our thanks go to the 2023 National Congress Presenting Partner nbn® Australia for their support.

Policy Team In Action

This week saw the start of the latest round of UDIA WA Committee and Standing Advisory Group meetings with the Climate Action, Built Form, Urban Water and Land Use Planning Standing Advisory Groups all convening at the UDIA WA offices for their first meetings of 2023.

During these meetings the various groups and committees are reviewing the priorities and relevant actions within UDIA WA’s Policy Priorities for 2023 which is currently being finalised.

UDIA WA’s Development Ready Pipeline Project is also well underway with the first Outlook Forum taking place this afternoon, presenting the preliminary results from the sieve mapping exercise and the developer intention surveys.

The full project will be launched at our Industry Luncheon on Feb 17 with details to register for this event, here.   With housing supply one of the very top priorities on UDIA WA’s advocacy agenda this year, our luncheon is a must attend for those wanting to keep up to date with latest progress.

Check out our new and improved Member Experience

Last week UDIA WA released details of our new and improved Member Portal on our website including access to our Member Directory and we encourage you log in to access all the exclusive member information we have available if you have not done so yet.

UDIA WA’s new and improved Member Portal is now LIVE and available to ALL individuals who are an employee of a UDIA WA member organisation!

Simply click this link to access your login details.

The UDIA WA ‘member only’ section provides our members with exclusive access to the following content:

  • Our new and improved Members Directory, which includes contact details for all of our current members
  • Every edition of our thought-leadership magazine The Urbanist
  • Every edition of monthly data publication Urban Intelligence
  • Every edition of quarterly property market publication the Urban Development Index
  • Our Diversity Toolkit – designed to guide members through developing a Diversity & Inclusion policy
  • Our weekly Land Snapshot of land sales across Perth
  • And much more!

The new UDIA WA member portal has been developed based on feedback from members and to ensure an enhanced member experience.

To access the new member portal, click here or contact if you experience any issues.

Consultations on reforms under the EPBC Act

UDIA WA is encouraging members who will be impacted by the cost recovery for environmental assessments under the EPBC Act to complete the consultation survey before it closes on 13 February.

As part of the cost recovery for environmental assessments under the EPBC Act the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is looking to revise the charges currently applied and is considering full cost recovery. The current charges were last revised in 2016 and are set out in the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement.

A 100% cost recovery model is currently being proposed, which would result in a fee increase likely in the region of 7 to 10 x the current amount.  While some exemptions are being considered, the resulting increase could affect many projects.

For more information and to provide your feedback, click here.

Building Approvals

The total number of dwellings approved rose 18.5% in December according to the latest Building Approval figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier today.

While the 16,556 total dwelling units approved was an increase on the previous month, it represented a -3.8% drop on December 2021.

Of this figure 8,903 were private sector houses (-2.3% MoM, -11.7% YoY) and 7,091 were private sector dwellings excluding houses (+56.6% MoM, +2.9% YoY).

Western Australia recorded a 6.4% increase in building approvals in December with 1,141 total dwelling units approved.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total building approved across Australia rose 3.0% in December, following a 0.6% fall in November. The value of total residential building rose 6.6%, comprising of a 7.2% increase in new residential building, and a 2.7% rise in alterations and additions.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of non-residential building fell 1.7%, following a 2.2% increase in November.

Building on payment protections for subcontractors

This week the McGowan Government’s improved payment protections for building and construction subcontractors, with new trust account requirements and strengthened regulatory powers, are now in effect.

The second stage of the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021 implements an Australian-first retention trust scheme that applies down the supply chain, delivering on a key election commitment by the McGowan Government.

From yesterday, new eligible Western Australian contracts valued at $1 million or more for construction work or related goods and services, and under which retention money is withheld, will require a contracting party to deposit the funds in a separate trust account. The new requirement means better protections for subcontractor retention money in the event of insolvency on a project.

Greater powers enabling the Building Services Board to exclude people with a history of financial failure from starting or continuing a building service business also come into force today. In addition, building service contractors who fail to pay court and adjudication debts to subcontractors can now be denied registration or receive disciplinary action.

These latest measures build on other protections available under the Act that were introduced by the McGowan Government last year, which include more structured and transparent payment processes and an effective dispute resolution pathway to recover money.

The third stage of security of payment changes will come into effect in February 2024, with the retention trust scheme extending to applicable contracts valued at $20,000 or more, and new rules introduced to uphold fairer contracting practices.

Fact sheets, videos and other resources with more information on the new laws are available on the Building and Energy website here.

Certificate IV Course – Enrolments for February 2023 Intake Now Open

Enrolments for our next intake of the BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development course are now open.

BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development is the only nationally-recognised qualification of its kind that teaches the project management competencies unique to the property development industry.

The course has been written by UDIA NSW in partnership with its members and vocational education experts. The course teaches the critical skills of project management such as identifying project scope, managing time, cost and quality, contract negotiation, team engagement and stakeholder communication.

The qualification is delivered over 18 weeks through a blended method of online self-directed learning and regular tutorials. Upon achieving a competent result for all course units of competency, graduates will attain a BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development issued by our RTO, McMillan.

For more information and to register your place, click here.