From the CEO

It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.

Whilst some adapt better than others to the obstacles thrown at us in life, there is no doubt that the rates of mental illness, domestic violence and homelessness have been going in the wrong direction for some time and our ability to continue to thrive in today’s economic and social environment is diminishing.

Housing supply in this country and many others around the world is on life support. Due to a lack of preventative medicine that should have been administered over the last few decades, we are now seeing the severe consequences and there is no magic pill.

Everyone knows that prevention is better than cure, yet you only have to look at which approach receives the lions share of government funding across the vast majority of sectors and services to see why we are now ailing.

When we are unwell or injured, we proactively avoid doing anything that will potentially exacerbate our condition and make the problem worse. Not so it seems in policy & regulation that impacts housing supply. This week, the ABCB opened consultation for 2025 changes to the National Construction Code. WA hasn’t even ingested the 2022 changes yet, let alone consider the prospect of another round of what is essentially being pitched as preventative medicine to address defects in apartments among many other things.

The Regulatory Impact Statement for the waterproofing provisions proposed indicates that the changes would deliver a net societal benefit for Class 2 buildings (apartments) of $1.02 billion which is largely derived from avoided rectification costs. This is estimated to be well in excess of the construction costs associated with meeting the proposed waterproofing requirements for these buildings.

To achieve this however, it is noted that there will need to be a very significant increase in the construction costs to meet the new proposed waterproofing requirements (between 4 and 5 times the current estimated costs). Ouch.

So whilst we see the oxygen being pumped into social housing which is no doubt desperately needed, the other 97% of housing supply that needs to be delivered by the private market to hit our housing targets is gasping for air.

If we want a sustained, healthy housing market, we need a systemic approach. Band-aiding the symptoms won’t fix the problem this time. Lives literally depend on us getting this right. So lets not make it any worse.

Award nominations open tomorrow!

UDIA WA are delighted to share that our 2024 Awards for Excellence Nominations officially open tomorrow!

Our highly regarded awards program has been running for close to 30 years in Western Australia and over that time, has recognised a plethora of iconic urban development projects that have shaped communities in Perth and the regions.

The categories that form part of the awards program have evolved in line with the industry, now spanning from high and medium density apartment and townhouse living, urban renewal, through to the more traditional residential developments in newer areas.

This year we have also taken the opportunity to expand the program even further, introducing two new categories in ‘Local Government Authority of the Year’ and ‘Team of the Year’. These new categories allow us to recognise the efforts of a broader range of excellence across our industry.

Keep an eye on your emails tomorrow for links to the Nomination Kit for this year along with details of how you can enter.

Policy Team in Action

On Wednesday afternoon, the UDIA WA CEO and Executive Director and our Environment & Climate Action Chair, Jason Hick, met with the acting EPA Chair to discuss both the EPA’s and industry’s respective priorities.

In addition, the opportunities to facilitate an improved regulatory framework that benefits all stakeholders was discussed, as well as regional planning for key corridors to provide a more strategic framework for balanced land use and environmental decision-making.

UDIA looks forward to continuing to work with the EPA and industry to process actions to ensure greater efficiencies and streamline environmental assessment and approvals.

On Thursday morning, the first of the May Committee meetings kicked off with the Advocacy & Thought Leadership Committee discussing a range of topics mainly centred around the strategic direction of the UDIA committee priorities and UDIA’s approach moving into the 2025 state election cycle.

The discussion and input of the Committee was incredibly helpful in guiding the Policy Team in finalising the respective documents. We look forward to continuing the May committee meetings next week.

The National Housing Pipeline – get involved

On Wednesday we were pleased to release details of three new National Housing Pipeline (NHP) Outlook Forums covering Perth’s South, North and Central Regions.

Presented by nbn, these forums will unpack the residential development pipelines by corridor and explore the constraints and opportunities for delivering desperately needed housing choice for each region.

Overall, these Outlook Forums are focused on the 15-year residential development outlook for the 3 Sub-regions of Perth and will bring together a broad array of stakeholders involved in the urban development process across the regions for an interactive workshop.

These events will also feature a broader discussion around LGA and sub-regional scale housing targets and the interventions, commitments and reforms required in order to reach these State and Federal Government housing targets.

This is an opportunity to provide direct input into resolving blockages preventing supply with a particular focus around key growth nodes in the sub-regions including infrastructure and servicing constraints and planning challenges.

If you are involved in planning, designing, developing or selling housing or related infrastructure in Perth, then these NHP forums are for you.

For more information and to find the registration link, click here.

UDIA WA Reconciliation update

UDIA WA has been working toward the publication of our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the assistance of our RAP working group. 

We are excited to advise that the first draft of our RAP was lodged for certification with Reconciliation Australia earlier this year and we are now working through the first round of feedback.

With the assistance of Nani Creative, UDIA is also in the process of engaging a local aboriginal artist to provide the artwork for our final RAP publication.

Members who would like to join us on our journey can email Gemma Osiejak at to express interest in joining our RAP Working Group or to find out more information.

UDIA WA has developed our Reflect RAP to provide greater leadership to the broader urban development industry in respect to Reconciliation and more meaningful engagement with the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we operate.

Reconciliation Week is coming up from 27 May -2 June and UDIA WA will be participating in events hosted by Reconciliation WA during that week.  Members of the UDIA WA team will attend the breakfast event at Optus Stadium on Monday 27th May and our whole team, members of Council and our RAP working group will participate in the Walk for Reconciliation on Friday 31 May.

If you would like to participate in any of these events or other events being held by Reconciliation WA during that week, follow the link here.

Leveraging Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Sustainable Success

UDIA WA and Cerclos are pleased to present an exclusive member briefing that will enable you to meet your sustainability goals by leveraging Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

This comprehensive approach enables proactive identification and mitigation of environmental impacts at every project stage. By optimising resource use and driving sustainable outcomes, LCA empowers you to navigate evolving landscapes effectively, ensuring long-term success.

Join us to explore real-world examples from WA and discuss actionable steps for implementing LCA in your projects.

This session is free of charge for UDIA WA members only.

Spots are limited and RSVPs are essential. Registrations close COB Friday 17 May unless sold out prior. Register here.

AIM Leadership Briefing

Earlier today UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck led a leadership briefing to an international group of leaders visiting from Malaysia as part of their High Performers Leadership Development Program.

The session was organized by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) as part of a week-long tour for the international leaders discussing key topics around strategy, change management and leadership.

Call for nominations: Diversity & Inclusion working group

UDIA WA is establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group that will report directly to the UDIA WA Education, Connection & Excellence Strategic Committee and provide advice and oversight of the Institute’s performance in relation to diversity and inclusion.  The Group will be appointed for a 20-month term, commencing in May 2024 and ending in December 2025.

Overall, the group will provide a forum for discussion of diversity and inclusion related issues within the organisation and more broadly in the urban development industry, as well as provide advice in relation to UDIA WA policy, performance and activities in relation to diversity and inclusion.

If you are interested in nominating for this group, please follow the link here to the nomination form and more detailed Terms of Reference.  Any questions about the group can be directed to UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak:

Creating a green-blue Perth and Peel

Do you want to understand more about how we can help make Perth and Peel greener, cooler and more liveable into the future? Are you keen to enter the discussion on urban greening across Perth and Peel?

If so, Hydropolis 2024 might be the conference for you. This conference proposes to develop a shared understanding of what a green-blue Perth and Peel looks like and explore some of the issues associated with its delivery.

The conference will hear from industry experts as well as local researchers in urban greening across planning and development, environmental and community health, infrastructure delivery and operations, and maintenance and operation of local government assets and services.

Hosted by Stormwater WA (SWA), the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), and the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA WA), Hydropolis 2024 is a conference that provides an opportunity to drive meaningful collaboration across Perth and Peel.

It is designed for professionals involved in the planning and design of blue, green, and grey infrastructure, State and local governments, the development industry and other industry stakeholders. is a conference designed to include significant opportunities for industry discussions and allow participants to identify opportunities and constraints and propose practical actions and solutions.

Register here.

Receive assistance in taking on a student intern

Is your organisation planning on taking on a student intern? Recruit Curtin’s Internship Gateway Program (IGP) may be able to help.

Now in its fifth year, IGP offers industry partners the opportunity to connect with highly motivated science and engineering students through a facilitated recruitment process and subsequent internship placements.

At no cost to your organisation, the Recruit Curtin team will:

  • promote your internship opportunities to Curtin students
  • coordinate communications with eligible applicants
  • facilitate a speed interviewing event to help you meet more applicants in less time.

IGP is open to penultimate year, undergraduate students across many disciplines including agriculture, environment and sustainability, engineering and mining, chemistry, mathematics, computing and technology.

To be part of IGP, please express your interest before Friday 24 May 2024.

Join us for the CEO Sleepout

UDIA WA are pleased to share we will once again be forming a team, including our CEO Tanya Steinbeck, to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.  We’re calling for our members to support and join our cause on the night!

The event, which aims to raise vital funds and awareness to assist homelessness initiatives, takes place each year with CEOs from various organisations across WA sleeping out at Optus Stadium for a night.

UDIA WA has been involved with the event for the past few years taking a committed team of members helping to raise thousands of dollars each year and we’re looking to do the same this year.

If you would like to join the UDIA WA CEO Sleepout team, find more information here and click on ‘Join Us’ if you wish to be part of the team.  Otherwise you can also donate to the cause via the same link.