From the CEO

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

In May 2020, UDIA WA released a media statement from which I quote:

UDIA WA is calling for the Premier to use the National Cabinet process to influence the Morrison Government in implementing a time limited, direct stimulus for housing construction and then support it with a supplementary measure at the State level. We urgently need a strong stimulus measure across the country to fill the pipeline and retain jobs, supported by the State via a number of options which could include a time-limited grant or stamp duty exemption.

UDIA WA was not alone in calling for stimulus. We were aligned with the other relevant industry bodies – all consistent in the ask for a targeted stimulus to support the development and construction industry through what we believed would be catastrophic circumstances due to the impact of COVID-19. The McGowan Government listened to the very clear and consistent asks of industry and promptly responded.

To now park the blame of the current challenges facing housing construction squarely at the feet of the Premier (see the front page of today’s West) is ill-considered and conveniently forgets the unprecedented situation we were all in at the time. No precedent to follow. No pandemic survival guide for the development and construction industry. Back then, we were ‘all in this together’. How quickly we forget that and seek to lay blame when there are unintended consequences that are difficult to resolve.

Could we have done things differently knowing what we know now? Absolutely. Faced with the same circumstances and looking down the barrel of potential economic catastrophe without knowing how WA would fare in the pandemic battle, would we have made the same decisions? Yes indeed.

It’s worth a reminder that when we stick together and work collaboratively, we can achieve far more than when we divide and conquer. We are all in this together and Premier – on this we have your back just as you have ours. And we are committed to finding solutions together.

Request for HomeBuilder Program Extension

In response to member concerns highlighting a developing problem with HomeBuilder that could undermine supply of housing if not addressed, UDIA WA assisted UDIA National in drafting a letter to Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Housing; Homelessness; Small Business.

The request to the Minister articulates the case for a 12-month extension to the 30 April 2023 deadline for submission of all required qualifying documentation.

With the supply chain delays, COVID-19 shutdowns, and construction company failures having delayed residential development projects across the Country many purchasers will be impacted without an extension.  If they default on purchases, this could further impede projects that are supplying housing to other Australians.

An extension would recognise that these challenges have been outside anyone’s ability to control and unfairly impact housing supply.

Those who purchased during the unprecedented and extremely uncertain COVID pandemic, assisted Australia’s economic recovery. By creating their own new home, they have helped make grouped dwellings, townhouses and apartment projects viable – supporting creation of other housing supply.

UDIA believes it would be unfair for these Australian home buyers (who were eligible for this program and have arranged borrowings on that basis), to be financially penalised through no fault of their own. Further, the potential failure of these settlements will exacerbate impacts on developers and deepen construction industry concerns, as lenders impose higher funding barriers and housing stocks decline further.

UDIA National is seeking a meeting with Minister Collins MP to discuss this matter further.

Share your feedback on Planning Scheme Regulations for EPA referrals

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is seeking stakeholder feedback on draft planning regulations and a discussion paper relating to referral of planning schemes to the EPA. The proposed regulations are intended to streamline EPA assessment to focus on matters that may have a significant impact on the environment.

Currently, all local and regional planning schemes must be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for a determination on whether the scheme should be assessed under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).  In most cases, new or amended planning schemes do not have a significant impact on the environment and are not assessed by the EPA.

Section 48AAA will be inserted into the EP Act by proclamation of Section 56 of the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020.  It will enable the making of regulations to limit the planning schemes referred to the EPA.

UDIA WA will be making a submission as part of the key stakeholder consultation process.

We are inviting member feedback by COB Wednesday 22 March, particularly around any critical issues/concerns in relation to the proposals in the draft regulations and related challenges being experienced by industry.

Please send your feedback to

For more information, click here for the Consultation Draft and here for the Draft Discussion Paper.

Katie’s last day

UDIA WA bids farewell to Katie Liew, our outgoing Policy and Research Officer who is leaving us today.

Katie has been with us for the past year and has become an integral member of the team, getting to know many of our members through her engagement at committees and events.

We wish Katie the best of luck in her future endeavours.

UDIA WA is hiring

Given Katie’s departure, UDIA WA is on the search for a new Policy Officer to join our dynamic team based in the heart of Subiaco.

This role is responsible for working with the Executive Director – Strategy and Policy to support policy work underpinning UDIA WA’s advocacy agenda to support our vision.

This spans across the strategic pillars of Economy, Liveability and Environment and encompasses industry-relevant issues relating to land use planning, built form, infrastructure, climate action, urban water, industry workforce, and regulation and tax.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Coordination of UDIA WA Committees and Standing Advisory Groups.
  • Undertaking policy development and assisting with drafting submissions and publications.
  • Coordination of the EnviroDevelopment program in WA, including engaging with perspective applicants and processing applications, for presentation to the EnviroDevelopment National Board for assessment.
  • Compilation and analysis of data and information relevant to the WA property and development industry.
  • Responding to policy-related member queries and supporting research activities.

In addition to working in one of Perth’s most vibrant precincts, you would get the opportunity to join a strong team and you can get to know our office dog Gracie very well.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Submission on the Nature Repair Market Draft Bill

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has recently consulted on the Draft Bill.  UDIA WA contributed to a joint UDIA National and Property Council of Australia (PCA) submission.

UDIA and PCA are strong supporters of the Government’s initiative to issue Australian landholders with tradable biodiversity certificates for projects that protect, manage, and restore nature. The initiative augments the Environmental Protection, Biodiversity and Conservation (EPBC) system and appears to be a necessary stepping-stone to ensuring there are sufficient, appropriate biodiversity offset projects in a well-regulated market.

At present, the initiative does not specifically certify biodiversity offsets and instead ensures there is a mechanism/register for trading biodiversity certificates with Government and organisations that (for example), are looking to augment their ESG strategy.

The creation of a register and market for biodiversity certificates that support projects aimed at conserving or restoring critical environments is supported. Ultimately, there is a future opportunity to use the Nature Repair Market initiative to dovetail into existing state biodiversity offset trading mechanisms or create a Federal model (which will also need to incorporate existing mechanisms). Properly designed, it would give developers a viable alternative option, in addition to the option of finding their own offsets.

It will be critical that industry continue to be involved with the development of this initiative (and any subsequent biodiversity offset approach), to avoid the mistakes created in the existing systems.

Specifically, existing models of biodiversity certification and offset mechanisms, have been undermined by complex approvals processes, immature markets, non-strategic site selection and slow take up, which in combination, degrade participation, undersupplies biodiversity certificates and over-inflates certificate prices.

The submission made recommendations to help avoid these problems, many could be implemented as part of the Bill architecture or regulatory framework. These included:

  • Defining rapid processes for certification acceptance.
  • Implementing appropriate KPIs to keep certification processes streamlined, efficient and timely, including a maximum timeframe of (say) 3 months to assess certificate applications.
  • Considering the appropriate capital gains tax (CGT) rules for both state and federal credit-generating projects to link the CGT to the point of credit sale, instead of the point of credit generation, and provide better guidance on CGT implications for landowners.
  • Not applying overly onerous requirements for applications, methodologies, project obligations, reporting, record keeping and monitoring to ensure momentum of biodiversity projects being certified.
  • Ensuring the program actively monitors for project bias in approvals and recognises (even prioritises), restoration of degraded (but not cleared areas) as well as cleared sites.
  • Ensuring projects are in accord with planned landscape scale biodiversity corridors accounting for and working with urban growth.
  • Defining strategic priorities for the habitat projects of greatest need (considering the environmental and development needs of areas), and incentivising/supporting their creation..
  • Actively promoting market making by the Regulator to build a portfolio of certificates that correlate with environmental and development needs. T
  • Clarifying and providing examples of how certificates can be used now and potential future uses as development offsets.

Urban Intelligence

Last Friday UDIA WA released the latest edition of our monthly Urban Intelligence report which includes a round up of the key stats and facts impacting the development industry.

This month’s report includes a feature article from UDIA WA Executive Manager Research Toby Adams on Perth’s housing affordability softening the impact of nationwide housing slow-down.

To read this month’s report, click here.

National Congress – celebrate at the Industry’s night of nights!

We are just over three weeks away from the 2023 UDIA National Congress set to take place in Perth.

National Congress is the ultimate learning and networking opportunity with world-class speakers and high-profile delegates from across the country coming together at the end of this month.

The event kicks off with an Opening Night celebration on the rooftop of the Art Gallery of WA, followed by two full days of plenary sessions, study tours and unrivalled networking opportunities before being closed out by the 2023 UDIA National Awards for Excellence Gala Event.

The Gala event provides the ideal chance to celebrate the very best in urban development across Australia with winners from each State vying to be named best of the best.

This year Peter Rowsthorn has been confirmed as the Gala Event MC ensuring the night and Congress will finish in light and entertaining fashion.

To find out more and to register, visit

State-of-the-art energy hub opens in Albany

This week Energy Minister Bill Johnston opened Western Power’s new $18.2 million energy hub which will service communities in the Great Southern region.

Western Power’s state-of-the-art facility, built by local Albany business Wauters Building Company, created around 70 jobs during construction and will provide improved operational efficiency.

Part of Western Power’s Depot Modernisation Program, the new facility is designed to meet the growing energy needs of the communities in the Great Southern region.

In collaboration with local Minang Traditional Owners, Western Power named the new depot Kinjarling Pindjarri which means Albany power and lightning. The building features external artwork by local artist Errol Eades. Madjitil Boodja (Magical Country) represents the colours of the Noongar season of Djilba (spring), and the vivid colours of country and spirit found in Minang Boodja (lower Great Southern).

Around 60 full time employees are based at the Albany Depot, with the new facility able to accommodate future growth as required.

The facility’s design focuses on a safe working environment, including single-flow traffic, the separation of light and heavy vehicles, as well as new technology including electric vehicle chargers in the visitor car park.

The new depot replaces the former 45-year-old facility. Construction began in May 2021 with some delays due to COVID-19 impacts, associated building cost pressures and supply chain challenges.

Part of Western Power’s Depot Modernisation Program, the new facility is designed to meet the growing energy needs of its customers in the Great Southern region.