Development WA / Department of Communities Land Development Partner Briefing Session

Last Friday, DevelopmentWA and the Department of Communities gave an update to UDIA members on the progress to date and the process moving forward regarding the transfer of Communities’ development arm to Development WA.

UDIA greatly appreciates the update provided by both government agencies and together with our members, look forward to continuing working together to build positive community outcomes.

UDIA meet with Treasurer’s office

Earlier today UDIA met with HIA and the Western Australian Treasurer’s office to discuss the administration of the Building Boost housing stimulus announced at the start of June.

The introduction of the stimulus measures initiated a spike in the WA land market that led to record land sales in the June 2020 quarter.

UDIA will keep members informed on any updates or information generated from the meeting.

UDIA on the search for new talent

Tomorrow is the deadline for anybody wishing to apply for the Executive Manager Business Development role at UDIA WA.

The position forms part of the leadership team and directly contributes to the UDIA’s strategic outcomes, which include growing the revenue of the organisation to deliver a wide range of valued services to the property development industry and achieving strong member support, satisfaction and retention.

If you know of someone who would be the perfect fit for the UDIA WA team, please send them this link for more information.

Our thanks go to Longreach Recruitment for managing the recruitment process.

One Subiaco breaks ground

Last Friday UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the highly anticipated ONE Subiaco project being developed by Blackburne.

The project is being built on the site of the old Pavilion Markets and will comprise a vibrant ground floor open to the community with 245 residences including a mix of apartments and penthouses built above it.

Among those also in attendance Premier Mark McGowan and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti were on hand to support the project as part of the State Government’s efforts to revitalise Subiaco. The project also complements the State’s Subi East development.

Construction of ONE Subiaco will be undertaken by Multiplex and will create and support 1,650 jobs and a pipeline of work with hundreds of direct and indirect jobs once the project is built.

Innovation at the heart of the conversation

UDIA WA are proud to announce details of our latest Industry Luncheon that will investigate Innovation and Best Practise in the urban development industry.

This not to be missed event will feature a focused look at the way in which advances in the energy, water and technology sectors are opening up opportunities for the development industry to deliver more innovative and sustainable outcomes.

With increasing pressure to ensure sustainability features in homes are commercially viable, demonstration projects are vital to highlight real world challenges and opportunities for innovation.

Covering both built form and land development sectors, hear from the best (and get insights on who is doing what) in the areas of design, construction, sustainability and innovation outcomes.

Our thanks go to event sponsors Department of Communities, Parcel Property and JDSI.

For more information, click here.

Planning Committee out of session meeting

UDIA’s planning committee held an out of session meeting this week to discuss three key policy and legislation items currently undergoing public consultation, the R-Code Interim COVID-19 Review,  Proposed Amendments to the Local Planning Schemes Regulations, and Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for school sites.

Further feedback from members is welcome on all three items and can be provided to UDIA at As with all our policy submissions, once finalised these submissions will be available to members via the UDIA WA website.

Lunch with the Minister sells out!

Next Friday’s industry luncheon featuring Minister Rita Saffioti is officially sold out with 400 attendees set to hear the latest on the Medium Density Design Code.

This event will be a critical opportunity to hear about how the new code will provide more guidance and certainty around delivering medium-density product and help improve consistency in decision making across local government in relation to medium-density housing.

Our thanks go to event sponsors CLE Town Planning & Design, JDSI, James Hardie and Western Power and we look forward to what will be an insightful and informative luncheon.

Latest EnviroDevelopment newsletter released

On Tuesday the second edition of the National EnviroDevelopment Newsletter was released to members providing a roundup of key ED-related articles designed to inspire and inform.

The newsletter features six case studies from across the country, including several from WA, highlighting some of the excellent work being undertaken.

To view the latest newsletter, click here.

Streamlined environmental approvals a step closer

On Wednesday September 2, Federal Environment Minister Susan Ley introduced a new Bill to Parliament as part of legislation to move to a ‘single-touch’ environmental approvals process.

In introducing the Bill the Minister says it will make minor technical amendments to pave the way for States to take a key role in approvals.

The introduction of the Bill follows a National Cabinet meeting on 24 July, at which the State Premiers agreed to streamline the environmental approvals system.

The aim is to reduce the Commonwealth assessment and approval times for major projects by half, from an average of 3.5 years to 21 months.

Western Australian economy resilient in the face of COVID-19

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released earlier this week, found Western Australia’s economy managed to grow 1.1% in the 2019-20 financial year, despite the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Western Australia was the only State in the country that experienced growth, which according to the State Government is a result of WA’s hard border and a strong COVID-19 response.

Not only was the 1.1% growth, the highest in the country for the 2019-20 financial year but it was also the strongest result for the State’s domestic economy in seven years.

This growth was underpinned by strong business investment, which grew by 9.3 per cent, in part driven by the mining sector which was able to continue operating throughout the pandemic.

WA Government launches Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme

The State Government recently launched a new energy buyback scheme to support the uptake of batteries and electric vehicles.

The Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS) introduces payments for energy exported to the grid from eligible home batteries and electric vehicles with the State Government extending buyback payments to export from these sources in the same way as rooftop solar.

DEBS will apply to eligible households, schools and not-for-profits installing new solar panels or batteries, or upgrading their existing solar panel system (up to a five kilowatt maximum).

Under the new scheme:

  • Electricity exported between 3pm and 9pm will earn 10 cents a kilowatt-hour (kWh);
  • Electricity exported at other times will earn 3c/kWh.

Until November 6, 2020 DEBS customers will receive the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS) to allow Synergy and Horizon Power to complete software and technical upgrades.

The new pricing better reflects the cost of electricity at different times of day, with the 10c provided during the greater demand period when wholesale cost of electricity is high.

REBS customers will not be affected by these changes, unless they choose to switch to DEBS; install a battery which is not currently eligible for REBS; or upgrade their solar panel system.

For more information, see here.

Armadale Line to be transformed with removal of level crossings

Up to six level crossings will be removed on the Armadale Line as part of a business case submitted to Infrastructure Australia.

Under the jointly funded $415 million Federal-State plan, the Inner Armadale Line Level Crossing Removal project will remove three level crossings at Oats Street, Mint Street and Welshpool Road.

The project business case also examines and assesses the removal of a further three level crossings, at William Street, Wharf Street and Hamilton Street.

Removing these at-grade level crossings and replacing them with elevated rail provides a cost-effective solution to safety issues along the Armadale Line, while maintaining thoroughfares for motorists and serving as a catalyst for better design, placemaking and development opportunities around the train line.

It will also remove the dreaded boom gates, reducing the amount of minutes spent by commuters sitting at level crossings. Currently Oats Street boom gates are closed 233 times a day for up to 1 minute 33 seconds per closure meaning it is down for up to six hours daily.

The business case for this METRONET project will now be reviewed by Infrastructure Australia with procurement for the project expected to begin later this year.

NHFIC releases first research report on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

On Monday the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) released its first research report on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which provides a snapshot of key trends and insights for the Scheme’s first six months of operation.

Among the key insights the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme Trends & Insights report, which covers the six months to 30 June, found that one in eight of all first home buyers accessed the Scheme, key workers accounted for more than 1,800 (one in six) first home buyers using the Scheme and major cities attracted 62.3% of buyers under the Scheme while 37.7% purchased in regional areas.

According to the report, of the 10,000 places released for the six months to 30 June, more than half of the homes had settled (54.7%). Another 13.4% of Scheme applicants had signed contracts to purchase a home, and 31.9% had been pre-approved and were looking to buy.

Based on NHFIC’s analysis, the Scheme enabled first home buyers without alternative financial means to bring forward their purchase by an average of four years.

For more information and to read the report in full, click here.

Karratha-Tom Price Road officially named Manuwarra Red Dog Highway

During a trip to the Pilbara this week Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti officially announced the new name for the Karratha-Tom Price Road, which will now be called Manuwarra Red Dog Highway.

The name Manuwarra was proposed by the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.

Manuwarra translates to ‘heaps’ or ‘masses’ and is the Yindjibarndi name for the place known as Red Dog Gorge, which is located inside the Millstream Chichester National Park.

Red Dog refers to the famous kelpie who is well known for his travels throughout the Pilbara region in the 1970s and was immortalised in the 2011 film.

Government taking action to crack down on copper theft

In a bid to tackle the growing problem of copper theft in Western Australia the State Government is moving to regulate copper similar to other metals like gold and silver.

Unlike gold and silver, there is currently no requirement to record transactional information about the sale of copper, making it an attractive metal for criminals to steal and quickly make a profit from.

The problem has escalated in recent times, with thieves stripping copper wiring from homes and industrial sites, even targeting memorial plaques and sculptures to make a quick dollar.

Of increasing concern, Western Power reports significant theft of copper from around its live electricity network, leaving power poles and other infrastructure in a potentially unsafe state.

Under the Government’s proposed amendments, sellers of copper will be required to produce identification and licenced dealers in copper will be required to record all transactions and report details to police.

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:

R-Codes Interim COVID-19 Review (here), closes September 10th – Public consultation also opened today on revisions to the R-Codes state planning policy to expedite approvals for single houses, multiple and grouped dwellings, and smaller structures such as patios, carports, decks and sheds.

Proposed amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 here – DUE 18th September 2020

WAPC Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for School Sites (here), closes 5pm 19th 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.