UDIA In Action

From hosting a huge Industry Luncheon with Premier Mark McGowan last Friday to launching the latest edition of The Urbanist (read it here) and another episode of our podcast The Urbanist Live (listen here), it has been a massive week for the team at UDIA WA.  So, we can’t wait to celebrate at our End of Year Sundowner starting later this afternoon at Nedlands Yacht Club!

During our luncheon with the Premier, UDIA WA was pleased to launch our highly anticipated #liveworkinvestWA State Election campaign (here) outlining industry’s recommendations for harnessing WA’s potential in the next four years and beyond.  The Premier also exclusively launched the draft Medium Density Residential Housing Code which UDIA has been advocating for over many years.

There was also time to welcome the announcement on Sunday from the Federal Government regarding an extension to their HomeBuilder stimulus measure. Under the amendment, applicants now have until the end of March 2021 to sign up for the scheme, however anyone signing a contract after 1 January 2021 will only be eligible for $15,000.

Medium Density Design Code launched

Last Friday Premier Mark McGowan exclusively launched the draft Medium Density Design Code at our Industry Luncheon.

We have welcomed the release of the new design code as it will provide a policy framework for the delivery of medium density housing in Western Australia and is out for comment until April 2021.

We are hopeful the new code will facilitate good outcomes and provide an effective and efficient framework to guide medium density design in Western Australia.

The delivery of medium density product is more important now than ever as we continue with the recovery from the pandemic and prepare for an anticipated additional 1.5 million people over the next 30 years.

Increasing housing choice and finalising the medium density code is a key element of UDIA WA’s #liveworkinvestWA State Election campaign that was launched directly to the Premier Mark McGowan at last Friday’s event.

To read our media release on the Medium Density Design Code launch, click here and for more information, click here.

To find out more about UDIA WA’s #liveworkinvestWA campaign, click here.

HomeBuilder extension

On Sunday, UDIA welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s decision to extend and partially redesign the HomeBuilder initiative to ensure housing construction remains a central pillar of Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The announcement follows extensive advocacy by UDIA National, including a submission in September recommending its extension and redesign, as well as an industry survey in October on the impacts of HomeBuilder and the consequences had there not been an extension.

The announcement includes several elements:

  • An extension of the scheme until March 31 2021 allowing building contracts to be signed up to this date;
  • A change in the size of the grant from $25,000 to $15,000 for all building contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, inclusive;
  • An extended deadline for all applications to be submitted, including those applying for the $25,000 grant and the new $15,000 grant. Applications can now be submitted up until 14 April 2021 (inclusive). This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 4 June 2020;
  • An extension to the construction commencement timeframe from three months to six months for all HomeBuilder applicants. This will apply to all eligible contracts signed on or after 1 January 2021 but will also be backdated and apply to all contracts entered into on or after 4 June 2020.

All the latest information is available via the Treasury website, here.

Whilst UDIA welcomed the announcement on Sunday, we are also urging the Government to maintain ongoing flexibility with the scheme on two primary areas:

  1. That as the Government continues to assess economic conditions and waits for the return of immigration and population growth, the potential for further extensions should be considered, and
  2. The timeframes and commencement criteria within HomeBuilder to help stimulate the fledgling townhouse and apartment sector activity need to be reviewed, as these product typologies need a very different set of timeframe criteria than renovations or new house and land packages.

A copy of UDIA National’s media release is available here.

Latest edition of The Urbanist released

The fourth edition of The Urbanist was released earlier this week focusing on the 2021 WA State Election.

Articles range from a head-to-head planning portfolio analysis, prospects for population growth, an Op-Ed from Premier Mark McGowan and an overview of a stunning mixed-use EnviroDevelopment project.

Key local contributors to this edition include:

  • Premier Mark McGowan
  • Planning Minister Rita Saffioti
  • Shadow Planning Minister Tjorn Sibma
  • Bernard Salt
  • Geoffrey Thomas
  • Professor Alan Duncan

To read this latest edition, click here.

In addition to releasing the fourth edition of The Urbanist, we also released the latest episode of The Urbanist Live, which sees UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and UDIA WA Director Policy & Research Chris Green discussing our newly launched #liveworkinvestWA State Election Campaign while also looking at some of the latest property market statistics.

To listen to this episode, click here.

This episode is sponsored by Landgate who are seeking feedback on the draft regulations that will support the Community Titles Act 2018. For more information on Community Titles, click here.

Australia ‘officially’ out of recession

Following an unprecedented 3.3% rise in Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the September quarter, Australia is officially out of the recession it fell into at the end of the June quarter.

Despite the rise over the quarter, GDP is still 3.8% down on the September 2019 quarter showcasing the economic recovery effort is far from over.

A key facet in the growth in the September quarter was the 4.9% rise in the Western Australian economy, which included an 11.7% boost in household spending and increased spending on hotels, cafes and restaurants, up 45.7%, clothing and footwear, up 47.4% and health spending, up 40.7%.

The Reserve Bank of Australia also met this week for its final Monetary Policy Board meeting for the year and unsurprisingly chose to keep its current monetary policies in place. As recorded during the November meeting, the Board reaffirmed that it will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range.

For this to occur, wages growth will have to be materially higher than it is currently. This will require significant gains in employment and a return to a tight labour market. Given the outlook, the Board is not expecting to increase the cash rate for at least 3 years.

State Climate Change policy

Earlier this week, UDIA WA was pleased to welcome the release of the Western Australian Climate Policy by the State Government, which outlines actions to create a low carbon future and create jobs in clean industries to support WA’s economic recovery.

Adapting to a changing climate and providing a consistent policy approach on the relevant issues is one of the key pillars of UDIA WA’s #liveworkinvestWA State Election campaign.

The policy underscores the government’s commitment to adapting to climate change and to working with all sectors of the economy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This policy looks beyond business-as-usual measures to highlight significant actions being taken in collaboration with industry and the community to boost the WA economy, prepare for climate change and achieve an aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Western Australian Climate Policy outlines the priority themes (below) and practical actions the State Government is taking to enhance climate resilience and support the low carbon transition.

  • Clean manufacturing and future industries
  • Transforming energy generation and use
  • Storing carbon and caring for our landscapes
  • Lower-carbon transport
  • Resilient cities and regions
  • Government leadership

For more information about the Western Australian Climate Policy, click here.

To find out more about our #liveworkinvestWA State Election campaign, click here.

Western Power Statement

The demand for materials continues to be higher than average for this period, mainly driven by the economic stimulus packages released by state and federal government.

Western Power is working closely with our supplier to mitigate the impact of this increase by:

  1. Implementing a second manufacturing shift throughout the entire production process.
  2. Increasing production staff.
  3. Processing powder coating non-stop through the December holiday period.

This measures however have not yet alleviated the capacity constraints therefore made-to-order items will be supplied with 67 days lead time.

We understand and apologise in advance for the impact this might have. The objective is to provide a reliable and achievable lead time that can allow realistic planning and scheduling of the works to be performed.

Any improvements in lead time will be promptly communicated on a case by case basis.

Electric Vehicle Strategy launched

This week saw the release of the State Electric Vehicle Strategy for Western Australia by the State Government.

The strategy is focused on actions that can assist the local uptake of electric vehicles and ensure that the electrification transition is facilitated in a way that is efficient, coordinated and supports a robust and increasingly decarbonised energy system.

The increased adoption of electric vehicles in WA will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our urban air quality. They will provide improvements in energy productivity, future transport costs, energy security and amenity.

Through the release of the strategy, the State Government is preparing for the increased domestic and international adoption of electric vehicles to ensure that WA can take advantage of the economic, social and environmental benefits.

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

WGV Waterwise Development Exemplar final report released

The Final Report for the WGV Waterwise Development Exemplar was released this week and it provides an overview of the project, a summary of the final water savings achieved, and a summary of the communication and engagement activities since project inception in 2015.

In the Report you will see that this Gold Water Corporation Waterwise Development has achieved the ambitious water saving targets that were set at project commencement.

Detail supporting these savings can be found in the Academic Research Papers here. If interested additional publications on the WGV Living Lab and WGV Strata Solar Energy Storage can be found here.

UDIA WA is a proud supporter of this project. To read the final report, click here.

WA building approvals sky high

Western Australian building approvals have surged a massive 96% over the last year off the back of government incentives, such as the Building Bonus and HomeBuilder grants.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows WA comfortably recorded the highest increase in building approvals of all States over the last year, increasing by 96%. New South Wales recorded the second highest growth with a 39.6% rise.

The surge in building approvals follows the introduction of the McGowan Government’s $20,000 Building Bonus and the Commonwealth Government’s HomeBuilder grant in June this year.

As at November 30, 2020, RevenueWA had received 4,369 Building Bonus and 3,301 HomeBuilder applications and paid out almost $20 million in grants.

New land released in Kalgoorlie-Boulder

To keep pace with a predicted 30% growth in population by 2030, DevelopmentWA has announced a new land release in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The new release is within the GreenView at Karlkurla residential estate and proposals to develop Lot 205, a corner lot on Aslett Drive, are now invited from developers.

The 6,011sqm site is zoned R80 Residential, and is approved for development of one to three bedroom apartments and townhouses of up to three storeys. The site also presents an opportunity for serviced apartments.

The site, directly adjacent to the Kalgoorlie Golf Course, is titled and ready for immediate development, with the potential for up to 75 apartments.

It is just one kilometre from Hannans Boulevard Shopping Centre and two kilometres from North Kalgoorlie Primary School, and features a park as its centrepiece with a children’s playground and dual-use pathways.

GreenView at Karlkurla is a residential estate supporting the growth and development of Kalgoorlie-Boulder by supplying quality residential land and surroundings.

It has a range of lot sizes to suit all lifestyles, from first homebuyers to growing families and downsizers. Options include large traditional blocks with room for a growing family, duplex lots for townhouses and multi-unit lots for stylish apartment living.

Offers for Lot 205 at GreenView at Karlkurla close at 2pm on 11 February, 2021.

For more information, click here.