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4 November 2021

Industry Issues 04-11-2021

From the CEO

As we eagerly await the Premier releasing our roadmap tomorrow of when we will be able to leave our COVID-free cave in WA, housing market stats are flying around suggesting that our rapid growth trajectory is slowing down. Striking fear in the hearts of many in the industry, just how much longer will we experience strong market conditions before the good times come to an end?

CoreLogic released their November figures this week which showed double digit annual growth in dwelling values across every SA3 sub-region of Perth, with Perth City, Melville, Kalamunda and Fremantle all achieving over 19% uplift in values over the past 12 months. Sales activity remains high with annual sales tracking 47% higher year on year across Perth with a recent levelling in sales lining up with a slowdown in housing finance trends of the last quarter.

According to our weekly land sales data, the market remains strong and steady which is backed up anecdotally by members. What is clear though is that the border closures have stifled interstate migration which before the outbreaks in NSW and VIC was trending upwards at the highest levels we have seen in some time.

Anyone who has tried to buy or rent a house in Perth will know that housing choice is very limited at present and likely to remain so for some time and could worsen when our borders come down. I’m looking forward to our special lunch event next Friday with the three Ministers focused on this very issue, along with over 600 of our valued members & stakeholders.

With the unbelievable news that little Cleo was found safe and well this week, we are reminded of the importance of family and never giving up hope. To those who remain separated from their friends and family, I truly hope that free travel returns safely as soon as possible. And for those waiting to return to WA to live, we are ready for you as there truly is no place like home.

Spotlight on density and urban planning: live ABC Radio event

Next week UDIA CEO Tanya Steinbeck will participate in an ABC Radio Perth Mornings program live event that will shine a spotlight on density and urban planning.  We encourage our members to join the discussion by registering to attend.

The forum will take place on Tuesday 9 November from 10-11am and will look at the future of higher density living in Perth, where it should go, how it can be designed well and how to bring the community along with a project.

Hosted by Nadia Mitsopoulos, guests include Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, Developer Gary Dempsey, Cambridge mayor Keri Shannon and future Bayswater CEO James Best.

For more information and to register for this free event, click here.

Premier set to announce roadmap for reopening WA

Premier Mark McGowan is set to release a roadmap for reopening WA to the rest of the country tomorrow morning, ahead of New South Wales transitioning from extreme risk to high risk at 12.01am on Saturday.

The announcement will detail the vaccine thresholds required for further easing of the border restrictions regarding interstate travel and Mr McGowan said the decisions have been carefully calibrated for the WA context and haven’t been rushed due to the luxury of time WA has had.

The government will also spend an additional $400 million on 270 new beds across the health system to prepare for when COVID-19 enters Western Australia, which is in addition to the funding announced in the State budget.

Join over 600 guests at lunch with Ministers

Tomorrow is the last chance to book in for UDIA’s Industry Luncheon with the three key government ministers responsible for delivering housing choice in WA.

In the luncheon the Minister for Housing; Local Government the Hon. John Carey MLA, Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports, the Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA and Minister for Finance; Lands; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, the Hon. Dr Tony Buti will discuss their priorities in delivering places to live, work and play and how a whole-of-government approach is already delivering dividends to the people of Western Australia.

For more information and to book your place, click here.

Significant Development Assessment Pathway

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has advised that the deadline for applications for significant development to be submitted to the Part 17/SDAU development assessment pathway is fast approaching meaning priority will need to be given to the task of receiving and conforming development applications (Form 17B) to enable these to be lodged by 6 January 2022.

Following this date, attention will then be given to progressing the development applications. For new applications that have had limited or no pre-lodgement advice, this will include design review and stakeholder engagement before commencing formal referrals and community consultation.

The timing for consultation with local governments will be influenced by the scheduling of Council Meetings in 2022, and public advertising of significant development applications will not be conducted over the Christmas/New Year period or during the January school holidays to avoid community criticism of Part 17 consultation processes.

If you have any queries, please contact the SDAU direct on SDAU@dplh.wa.gov.au.

WA building approvals fall 21 per cent

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed building approvals in WA dropped 21% in September, coinciding with similar drops in all other States, with the exception of New South Wales which saw an increase of 27.2% thanks largely to a rise in apartment developments approved in September.

Dwelling approvals nationally fell 4.3% in September to 18,090, following a 7.6% increase in August. But the figures are still up 12.8% on 12 months ago.

The value of total building approved fell 11.2% in September, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of non-residential building fell 11.3%, having risen 43.5% in August.

The value of total residential building fell 11.1%, comprising a 9.6% decrease in new residential building, and a 20.0% fall in alterations and additions after the series reached its second-highest level in August.

Focusing on Active Transport

Earlier today the State Government released a new report that highlights a decline in children walking and riding to school, an issue UDIA highlighted a couple of months ago as UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck spoke to Jacquelin Robson at Channel Seven Network News.

The new report ‘The Declining Rate of Walking and Cycling to School in Perth’, commissioned by the Department of Transport has sparked a call to action to encourage more kids to engage in active transport, a topic that UDIA will be focusing on in the next edition of The Urbanist.

Check out the news clip with Channel 7 here and for more information on the Government’s report, click here.

CCIWA release mandatory vaccination guide

With the mandatory vaccination policy for the majority of WA’s workforce soon to come into force, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has released a mandatory vaccination guide to assist WA businesses in preparing for the mandate.

The guide will help businesses to:

  • Understand the mandatory vaccination rules and whether they apply to your workplace.
  • Learn how to approach your workforce about their vaccination status.
  • Minimise risk of discrimination or other procedural fairness issues.
  • Ensure your business is compliant with government directions, occupational health and safety obligations and workplace laws.
  • Learn what to do if staff refuse to get vaccinated, and when you need to seek legal advice.

To access the guide and for more information, click here.

Major projects: Transparency report 2022

The State Government, often with joint investment from the Commonwealth Government, invests billions of dollars each year in major projects to build roads, hospitals, schools, prisons and other government infrastructure for the people and economy of Western Australia. Despite this significant investment of public money, Parliament and the public cannot easily access information on the progress of these projects.

In 2020, the Transparency Report: Major Projects was tabled in ParliamentIn that report the intention to periodically report and track a selection of major projects was flagged. This current audit follows up on the last report for the major projects still underway and some additional projects not included in the previous audit.

The objective of this audit is to provide information to Parliament and the public around the cost and time performance, governance and financial controls for a selection of major projects. The criteria includes:

  • What is the current cost and timing against approved funding and timelines?
  • Can entities provide a reasonable and substantiated explanation for significant variations in costs and timing?
  • Are sound governance and financial controls in place for a sample of selected projects?

The audit will be tabled in the second quarter of 2022.

Home in WA

Yesterday morning UDIA WA had the opportunity to once again visit one of our member’s projects as we filmed another of our hugely popular Home in WA segments.

The filming took place at Burns Beach estate by PEET which recently won the Residential Development award at the UDIA WA 2021 Awards for Excellence.

We are also thrilled to share another of our award winners, The Peninsula Burswood by Mirvac, winner of the Medium Density Development Townhouses and Multi Dwellings category, will be featured in this Saturday’s episode of Home in WA that will go to air on Channel 7 at 5.30pm.

Be sure to tune in to watch the latest episode and click here to catch up on all previous UDIA episodes.

UDIA WA’s media partnership with Home in WA provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the incredible work undertaken by our members and the development industry each and every day.

RBA Monetary Policy Decision

For the 12th consecutive month the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) chose to maintain the cash rate at 0.1%, however chose to discontinue the target of 10 basis points for the April 2024 Australian Government bond.

In announcing the decision RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the Australian economy is recovering after the interruption caused by the Delta outbreak. As vaccination rates increase even further and restrictions are eased, the economy is expected to bounce back relatively quickly.

He said the central forecast is for GDP growth of 3 per cent over 2021 and 5½ per cent and 2½ per cent over the following two years, however one important source of uncertainty continues to be the possibility of a further setback on the health front.

“Inflation has picked up, but in underlying terms is still low, at 2.1 per cent,” Dr Lowe said. “The headline CPI inflation rate is 3 per cent and is being affected by higher petrol prices, higher prices for newly constructed homes and the disruptions in global supply chains.

“A further, but only gradual, pick-up in underlying inflation is expected. The central forecast is for underlying inflation of around 2¼ per cent over 2021 and 2022 and 2½ per cent over 2023.

“Financial conditions in Australia remain highly accommodative, with most lending rates at record lows. Bond yields have increased recently and bond market volatility has also risen significantly.

“The decision to discontinue the yield target reflects the improvement in the economy and the earlier-than-expected progress towards the inflation target.

“The Board is committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions to achieve a return to full employment in Australia and inflation consistent with the target.”

Dr Lowe finished by reiterating the Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2-3% target range.

To read the full statement, click here.

State-wide modular social housing program underway

At the end of last week the McGowan Government announced three major modular building companies have been appointed to a ‘pilot’ modular building panel to deliver up to 80 homes for social housing across the State.

The 80 properties kick-start the commitment to deliver more than 200 modular social homes through a Modular Build Program across the State in the next two years, including around 150 in regional Western Australia.

The three companies appointed to the ‘pilot’ panel are Quality Builders in Forrestfield, Modular WA in Wangara and Fleetwood Building Solutions in High Wycombe.

The contracts awarded from this pilot panel will provide increased employment opportunities for local industry, particularly for apprentices.

The first 15 homes have already been allocated and all will be delivered to regional WA including:

  • five homes for South Hedland;
  • four homes for Albany;
  • four homes for Tom Price; and
  • two homes for Laverton.

The properties will be among at least 275 new social homes to be delivered across regional WA in the coming two years.

The Modular Build Program, which will be delivered through the Department of Communities, will focus on areas of high demand and will include modular homes for the Perth metropolitan area which has traditionally included double brick and tile construction.

The McGowan Government also announced today it is seeking expressions of interest from industry to join a State-wide panel to deliver the broader Modular Build Program.

Access to UDIA WA website changed

Last week access to the UDIA WA website changed as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all login details for the website were removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative was granted access initially and the Key Representative can now provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information was emailed to Key Representatives last week and can be accessed here for more information.

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email membership@udiawa.com.au

Become a key player in sustainable development

Are you a developer or consultant with an appetite for sustainable development? Join us on November 25th for a 3-hour webinar that is a direct stepping stone to becoming a certified EnviroDevelopment Professional (EDP) or certifying your own project.

The course offers the opportunity to gain knowledge of the EnviroDevelopment program and stay in touch with the latest trends and technologies in green communities across Australia.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become an EDP.

The course focuses on all facets of EnviroDevelopment program including the foundations, the technical standards, the certification process, the practical application and case studies.

To book now, click here and for more information email EnviroDevelopment Manager Taylor Hood on thood@udiaqld.com.au.