From the CEO

This week, UDIA WA welcomed the State Government announcement regarding 10,000 skilled migration places that focus on the construction sector, as a step in the right direction in addressing the labour and skills shortages in WA.

UDIA WA has been advocating for the development and implementation of a Construction Workforce Attraction and Retention Strategy and plan for Perth and the Regions for some time, including in our Pre State Budget submission earlier this year.

As we are all acutely aware, labour and skills shortages have had a significant impact on delivering housing to the market for several years and we cannot afford to let this cripple our capacity to provide the homes we desperately need.

While the announcement is a welcome step in the right direction, there is no doubt more work needs to be done to address the blockages in the housing supply pipeline right across the spectrum.  UDIA WA has forecast a 30,000 shortfall in housing supply over the next five years and we continue to work collaboratively with all levels of government to streamline the delivery of new housing to the market.

To that end, UDIA WA has been actively engaging with Ministers and working collaboratively with the newly created Housing Supply Unit to explore a range of recommendations to address WA’s housing supply challenges – including around coordination mechanisms and funding of enabling infrastructure requirements for key growth areas and the approach for the release of government owned sites through industry-led proposals. 

I also met with Minister Carey and representatives of Serenitas yesterday for a tour of Tuart Lakes Lifestyle Village in Baldivis, where we discussed the role of Land Lease Communities as part of the housing crisis response and quick fixes to support immediate supply of this affordable product.  Minister Carey again reiterated the State Government’s commitment to taking immediate steps to alleviate blockages in delivering diverse and affordable housing supply, along with longer term reform.

We have welcomed the positive and constructive engagement with Ministers and the Unit to date and we are confident that further improvements will be made in the coming months.

UDIA WA Executive Director – Strategy & Policy

Sarah Macaulay

Indexation of Keystart thresholds a key win

UDIA WA has welcomed today’s announcement by the State Government in relation to Keystart’s property price and income limits.

UDIA WA has advocated over several years to see the increase and indexation of Keystart’s property price limits to better reflect rising property prices across the state. These changes will offer eligible homebuyers more choice and better access to low deposit loans to get their foot in the home ownership door.

A statement by Minister Carey today, outlined the increase of the property price limit from $560,000 to $650,000.  The new limit will apply throughout the state and will be regularly reviewed against annualised median housing prices.

Income limits have also been increased.

We appreciate that the State Government has listened to industry and consumers and made these important changes that will help with the impacts of increasing cost of living.

You can read more about the changes here.

Vale Peter Solomon

On behalf of the UDIA WA Council, staff and wider membership we pass on our condolences to the family and friends of Peter Solomon, who passed away last week at the age of 92.  Mr Solomon was one of the founders of UDIA in Western Australia, holding the position of Vice President when the Institute was incorporated in 1973.  Mr Solomon went on to hold the position of President from 1975-1977 and was a passionate advocate for industry and held many esteemed positions including Managing Director at Estates Development Company and Chair of the East Perth Redevelopment Authority for several years. 

It was our pleasure to interview Mr Solomon last year for UDIA WA’s 50th Anniversary, with a special feature in the magazine including comments from Peter on his time with UDIA WA.  You can read the edition here.

Welcome Aaron Muilne to UDIA WA

UDIA WA is pleased to welcome our new Digital Media & Communications Officer Aaron Muilne to the team!

Aaron has a communications degree and extensive experience in digital media and video production, having started his career working with Peel Thunder and Fremantle FC filming and producing WAFL content for DockerTV.  He also worked for a Business-2-Business software company Logical Developments before his most recent role at WA Cricket.

For two fast-paced seasons , Aaron worked as WA Cricket’s Digital Content Coordinator helping pump out content for all avenues of the organisation from the WA Cricket Foundation to the team in Community Cricket with all things High Performance front and centre on their socials.

In his two seasons with WA Cricket, he witnessed the coveted “Three-peat” as the Men’s team took the clean sweep in the 2022-23 season, followed by not quite repeating the feat in the 2023-24 season, but instead taking out the Marsh One Day cup and Marsh Sheffield Shield three years in a row, staking out the current outfit as one of, if not most, successful playing groups in WA Cricket.

Aaron is looking forward to translating his skill set into his new role at UDIA WA.

You can say hi to Aaron at our upcoming industry breakfast on 17 July… rumour has it he has a hidden talent as a choir performer, having performed at Carnegie Hall, NYC, now that’s a conversation starter!

Housing Diversity Pipeline Program Expansion Update

Last week, UDIA met with Treasury’s Housing Supply Unit to discuss further details around the roll-out of the recently announced, expanded Housing Diversity Pipeline. With the valuable input of our members across land and built form development, UDIA have put forward key considerations and a suggested approach to the roll-out for consideration. UDIA has welcomed the engagement on the matter to date and look forward to continuing our engagement to ensure the program is able to be an effective tool in bringing a greater supply of homes to the market.

Projects shaping Perth

UDIA WA’s Outlook Committee hosted a sell out event last Thursday featuring presentations from the key players leading four major projects that are shaping Perth’s future.

Julian Urquart outlined the UDIA WA Award for Excellence winning Curtin Exchange; Chris Brady provided a rundown on DevelopmentWA’s Subi East precinct; Jeff Thiefelder gave a deep dive into one of the most sustainable residential developments in the world, Witchcliffe Ecovillage; and Alasdair MacKerron gave an update on the hotly anticipated ECU city campus.

Following the formalities guests had the opportunity to ask questions to all the speakers during a lively panel discussion, followed by further networking.  

A huge thank you to Event Sponsor ATCO and Outlook Partners Parcel Property and UPD for supporting this popular event, and to Urbis for hosting.  Extra special mention to UPD and Vivienne Mosman for gifting a bottle of gin to the winner of our Professional Development survey draw!

Community Batteries for the Western Power Network

As part of a funding initiative by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) under its Stream A Community Batteries program, Western Power has been successful in its application to increase community batteries across its network. Locations for the batteries are to be determined and Western Power is open to exploring potential opportunities for the development of projects in conjunction with the private sector in this roll out.  Any installation would need to align with the program initiatives as a minimum requirement:

  • Improve the economics of community battery projects through the reduction in, or removal of, barriers to large-scale deployment
  • Build industry capacity to deploy community batteries at scale; and
  • Support the Budget measure by:
    • Putting downward pressure on household electricity costs.
    • Contributing towards lowering emissions.
    • Providing a net benefit to the electricity network, having regard to matters such as network constraints
  • Storing solar energy for later use or sharing, and support further solar installations.

Please contact Mitchell Dirksz, Senior Customer & Partner Consultant Community & Stakeholders via if you have interest in having a discussion about partnering through this program to explore a potential opportunity for installation of community battery as part of a development project.

More skilled workers for WA

UDIA WA welcomed the State Government’s announcement of 10,000 skilled migration places that focus on the construction sector this week. The State and Federal Governments have signed a deal for 10,000 skilled migration places for 2024-25, creating more opportunities for the State’s economy and residential construction industries.

UDIA WA has been strongly advocating on behalf of industry to ensure the construction & development industry are front and centre in relation to any discussions around targeted migration strategies. 

Under the deal, the migration places will be split between the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) and a newly established WA Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA). The new deal will help to expand the State’s former allocation under the SNMP, bringing it to 5000 migration places.

The SNMP enables the State Government to set its own priorities for skilled migration and to nominate eligible migrants that meet the State’s skills needs. The SNMP is especially important for small and medium-sized businesses which have difficulty meeting the Commonwealth Government’s employer sponsored visa requirements.

To complement the SNMP, the State Government has negotiated the establishment of a WA DAMA with the Commonwealth Government. The WA DAMA will provide 5000 migration places, allocated equally between metropolitan and regional employers, enabling employers to attract and retain skilled workers.

The WA DAMA responds to strong demands to fill specific jobs in key areas of demand, including building and construction, health and aged care, tourism and hospitality, and agriculture. Read the full Government media statement here