Infrastructure Contributions policy released for comment

UDIA has welcomed a revised draft policy released by the state government today to improve how development contributions toward infrastructure are collected, managed and spent by local authorities.

Draft State Planning Policy 3.6 Infrastructure Contributions sets out the principles and requirements that apply to infrastructure contributions in new and established urban areas.

In a Member Alert published today, UDIA advised members that the value capture component of the draft policy has been dropped after we expressed deep concerns about the methodology and impact on an already subdued market.

The Minister for Planning confirmed this morning that the State Government will not be proceeding due to the current state of the property market, the adverse impact on housing affordability, and the additional $1.6 billion in Federal funding received for Metronet. The Minister confirmed that they will be proceeding with land sales as part of the Metronet vision, seeking value uplift in government owned land in close proximity to train stations.

More information about the details in the policy can be found in our member alert here.

For UDIA’s commentary to the media download our press release here.

Keystart threshold changes commence

The state government’s temporary changes to Keystart Thresholds came into effect on 1 July, with existing income limits for borrowers increasing by $15,000 for singles and couples and by $20,000 for families until December 31, 2019. The income limits will revert to previous levels on January 1, 2020.

The latest Keystart figures show a 75 per cent surge in online and direct enquires to the agency, and 80 applications subsequently lodged by those who had previously exceeded the old income limits and were thus ineligible for loans.

UDIA recommended a 25% increase to Keystart thresholds in our 2019 State Budget Submission.

We would also like to see the purchase price cap of $480,000 increased to allow Keystart clients greater housing choice, in a wider variety of locations, that better suit their specific needs.

The Keystart changes reflect one policy lever that the State has to offer more West Australians the opportunity to own their own home and has the flow on effect of generating more construction activity and is a boost to the economy.

UDIA also looks forward to working with the state government to further the progress of the Housing Affordability Strategy.

Will another rate cut boost the market in WA?

It is hoped that the latest official cash rate cut to 1% is another step toward a property market recovery in Western Australia as subdued conditions continue to take their toll.

UDIA has welcomed the cut as a supportive move by the RBA toward employment growth and we hope this will also increase overall consumer confidence and lead more people to take that step into purchasing a property given the opportunities that are currently available.

More information in our press release here.

Tuart Woodlands and Forests listed as critically endangered

The Minister for Environment the Hon. Sussan Ley MP announced on Friday that the Threatened Species List has been updated to reflect 34 listings, and three ecological communities including Tuart Woodlands and Forests of the Swan Coastal Plain.

UDIA raised serious concerns regarding the listing of Tuart Woodlands in our formal submission to government on this issue.  You can find our submission here.

UDIA will provide further information to members once we have analysed all the documentation in more detail.

Weak building approval figures

Building approval figures released yesterday highlight a continued need for policy reforms to drive economic growth and interest rate cuts alone will be insufficient to boost growth, according to our UDIA National office.

Data released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows building approvals fell by 0.5 percent in May – with the decline driven by a fall in private sector housing approvals, which are down by 1.3 percent in trend terms.

The seasonally adjusted number showing a 0.7 percent increase in total dwelling approvals should be viewed with caution, given it was almost exclusively driven by a 14.4 percent increase in one state, Victoria.

See more here.

We value your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to

  • Draft Position Statement – Fibre Ready Telecommunications Infrastructure (here). Submissions close Monday 22 July, 2019.
  • EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Guidance (here). Submissions close Monday 2 September, 2019.
  • DWER issues paper ‘Waste not, want not: valuing waste as a resource’ out for comment (here). Submissions close Wednesday 4 September.

Changes to Western Power fees delayed

Recently, we informed you that on 1 July 2019, Western Power will introduce a revised fee structure that includes an upfront application fee, new design fees and revised information/conformance services fees for all distribution customer projects.

Due to some technical difficulties, Western Power have been forced to delay the introduction of the revised fee structure. The revised fee structure will now come into effect on 16 August 2019.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the revised fee structure, please visit the website here

Open House Perth – applications closing soon  

Applications to be part of this year’s Open House Perth event in November are closing soon.

Open House Perth provides the public rare behind-the-scenes access to explore hundreds of Perth’s best structures ranging from people’s homes, corporate buildings and skyscrapers, rooftops, heritage spaces and unique restricted areas that engages visitors over one weekend in the year.

The event is scheduled for 16 and 17 November and more information can be found here.

Town of Cambridge – Design Review Panel

The Town of Cambridge is seeking nominations from professionals qualified in, but not limited to architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and town planning to join the Town’s Design Review Panel. The Design Review Panel is a specialised group of consultants selected by the Council to provide independent, impartial, expert design advice.

For further information on the Town’s Design Review Panel Policy and to download a Nomination Form, please visit

Nominations must be received by the Town no later than 2:00pm Monday 29 July 2019.

For further information or any queries please contact the Chris Della Bona, Strategic Planning Officer, via telephone 9285 6054 or email

First homeowner grants and building approvals on the rise

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of first homeowner grants paid for new houses and land increased 48% in May to total 599.

This is the highest level of monthly grants paid for this category since May 2018 (608), and also coincides with the timing of the State Government 2019-20 Budget announcement of the Keystart lending criteria adjustments.

The ABS says the value of WA residential building jobs for May lifted 35.2% to total $487.7 million, the highest monthly value recorded since August 2018 ($651.96 million), but 15.2% below figures at the same time last year.

In May, the value of building jobs for new houses lifted 13.3% to $304.75 million, the highest since November 2017 ($338,702), but fell 13.3% YoY.

The number of WA building approvals for houses in May increased 13.0% MoM to 1,070 but was down 11.6% YoY.

Minister Tinley launches new solar scheme

Housing Minister Peter Tinley has announced that ‘The Amble Estate’  is the first green titled subdivision in Western Australia to provide a solar power system with every home.

The Minister advises that 90 per cent of homebuyers have signed up to be part of the solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The Department of Communities is delivering this urban infill project in collaboration with Yolk Property Group and Ventura Home Group.

The Amble Estate will see up to 129 dwellings built over three stages on the former Hainsworth Primary School site.

Homebuyers are also offered a complimentary Sustainable Living Package to reduce non-renewable energy use and create cost-savings for households.

DWER Compliance and Enforcement Policy

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) are seeking submissions from stakeholders and the general public on their draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

As the public sector agency responsible for assisting the ministers for Environment and Water to administer a range of legislation pertaining to the State’s water and environment, DWER has wide-ranging statutory and regulatory responsibilities aimed at achieving improved outcomes for public health, the environment and our water resources.

The Compliance and Enforcement Policy details DWER’s approach to ensuring compliance with the legislation they administer and responding to breaches of the law to deter and punish offenders and rehabilitate damage caused to the environment.

More information here.

PACT Security update – Hammond Park burglary spree

Investigations are continuing after a male driving a dark blue ford utility was involved in at least five burglaries on building sites in Pavarotti Vista, Hammond Field Estate. Two witnesses (tradesmen) sighted a male carrying a large box at 6.30am on 27/6/19 as he was returning to a vehicle. The offender sped away after witnesses tried to block the vehicle in the garage of the building site. Vehicle described as a dark blue BA/BF model utility (XR6), registration similar to 1GBR 956, investigators are liaising with Fremantle detectives to identify the offender.

Please call 1800 272 836 with any information about building and construction industry crime. See June crime statistics here