Joint industry response to draft SPP 3.6

UDIA WA has drafted a submission in conjunction with PCA and REIWA to the state government’s draft State Planning Policy 3.6: Infrastructure Contributions that has been released for public comment.

The submission outlines industry’s support for the draft policy, however does highlight concerns in relation to the ongoing management of funds and clarity around costs.

Several recommendations have been made in our submission,  including that a sub-committee of the WAPC is established to oversee and monitor the ongoing operation of local government DCP’s; a panel of experts is established to support the administration of DCPs; sanctions for noncompliance with policy regarding the management of a DCP policy be clearly articulated; and methods for aggrieved landowners to object to the operation of a DCP be clearly outlined.

The full submission can be downloaded here.

UDIA meets Minister Tinley

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and Policy Director Chris Green met with the Minister for Housing the Hon. Peter Tinley on Wednesday to discuss a range of industry related issues.

The meeting agenda covered issues including the state of the WA housing market and potential stimulus measures for consideration; the WA State Housing Strategy for 2020-2030; any progress toward a Perth City Deal; strata reform and the importance of promoting quality medium density housing.

UDIA regularly meets with key people on behalf of members to ensure our voice is heard in regard to the issues that matter to our members.

UDIA participates on State Housing Strategy working group

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck has been invited to participate on a working group to lead the development of the state’s new 10 year housing strategy.

Endorsed by Housing Minister Tinley, the strategic working group consists of thought leaders who will contribute constructive approaches to addressing housing affordability and associated issues.  Specifically the group will provide expertise and insight into developing the strategy; shape the priorities and directions; and explore how government, industry and the community sector can work together to achieve improved outcomes.

We will keep members up to date on progress of the strategy over the next six months.

Waterwise Development program endorses UDIA’s EnviroDevelopment

The Waterwise Development Program has launched an expansion that introduces new endorsement and recognition criteria to highlight excellence in creating Waterwise Developments.

As part of the program expansion, Water Corporation has opened up endorsement options to include projects certified by EnviroDevelopment, the Green Star Communities, One Planet Living and Living Community/Building Challenge programs.

In addition to endorsement, developments can now apply for recognition as a Gold or Platinum Waterwise Development.

EnviroDevelopment Waterwise Developments will be automatically endorsed for the 2019 year and, going forward, will be required to reapply annually using their EnviroDevelopment certification.

UDIA appreciates this show of support from Water Corporation and we look forward to continuing to work together to assist in building a Waterwise city of Perth.

Rates hold

Amongst a few good news stories around the market this week, the RBA chose to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.0% on Tuesday.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe said that ‘the outlook for the global economy remains reasonable, although the risks are tilted to the downside.’

In relation to the housing market specifically, Mr Low suggested that there are further signs of a turnaround in established housing markets, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. In contrast, new dwelling activity has weakened.

The RBA has predicted an extended period of low interest rates to improve unemployment rates and reach target inflation.

Westport info sessions

The Westport Taskforce is hosting a series of free information sessions to inform the public about their shortlist of five future port options and the complex selection process that was undertaken.

Nicole Lockwood will lead a panel to discuss the shortlist, how it was determined, why the Fremantle Inner Harbour is not viable and environmental considerations.

Sessions will be held in Kwinana, Perth, Fremantle and Cockburn starting next week and more information and to register here.

Latest research on diversifying WA’s economy

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) has released new research exploring future opportunities for diversifying the West Australian economy.

The report recommends the implementation of a ‘smart specialisation’ approach to regional diversification, to ensure that new development opportunities build on existing regional capabilities and capitalise on local conditions and networks.

The report puts forward a series of recommendations to support the State’s diversification strategies.

In the Perth region, several key opportunities to increasing ‘Gross Value Add’ (GVA) and employment are identified including residential and non-residential construction.  Other opportunities include engineering, insurance, scientific and technical services and employment and recruitment services.

Specifically, residential construction is highlighted as potentially adding 1,815 extra jobs into the Perth market and $270 million per annum in GVA by 2025. That is the highest value add of any other industry sector identified.

Read the full report here.

Building approvals remain steady

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have released building approvals data that reflects a stabilisation in the WA market.  WA building approvals for houses in July remained steady on a monthly basis at 937, but fell 22.4% from figures at the same time last year.

In July, the value of residential building jobs for new houses fell 1.7% month-on-month (MoM) to sit at $273.5 million, down 22.3% year-on-year (YoY).

The total value of residential building jobs in WA lifted 14.5% MoM in July to $445.7 million, 2.0% below figures in July last year.

More information 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

  • DWER draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy out for public consultation (here). Submissions close Friday 20 September, 2019.
  • Draft SPP 7.2 Precinct Design, Guidelines and Discussion Paper (here). Submissions close Tuesday 15 October, 2019.

Government sewerage policy finalised

The Government Sewerage Policy (2019) has been finalised and will be operational as of 23 September 2019.

The policy was publicly advertised in December 2016 and has since been endorsed by the Western Australian Government and the Western Australian Planning Commission.

A copy of the policy and supporting material is available here along with information about upcoming information sessions.

Perth’s Liveability ranking stable

According to the latest Global Liveability Report by the Economic Intelligence Unit, Perth is the 14th most liveable city in the world.  This is the second year in a row that Perth has sat at number 14 when previously we had made the top 10, our score was brought down by the lower result in the category of culture and environment.

Vienna remains the most liveable of the 140 cities surveyed after displacing Melbourne from the top spot in 2018. The two cities continue to be separated by 0.7 percentage points, with Vienna scoring 99.1 out of 100 and Melbourne 98.4.

Two other Australian cities feature in the top ten: Sydney (in third) and Adelaide (tenth), while only one other European city, Copenhagen in Denmark (ninth), scores among the best. The other top ranked cities are split between Japan (Osaka in fourth and Tokyo in joint seventh) and Canada (Calgary in fifth, and Vancouver and Toronto in sixth and joint seventh, respectively).

Leeuwin Barracks for sale

The Department of Defence has identified the 14.30 hectare site known as ‘Leeuwin Barracks’ located in the established suburb of East Fremantle as surplus to Defence requirements.

PwC, on behalf of the Department of Defence, is currently seeking Registrations of Interest (ROI) from the property and development industry to participate in a Market Sounding process to inform the future divestment of Leeuwin Barracks.

The ROI Closing Date is 3pm Friday, 20 September 2019.

The Department and the Town of East Fremantle, in consultation with the WA Government will undertake a Metropolitan Region Scheme and Town Planning Scheme amendment process to ensure the site is appropriately rezoned prior to sale.

The local community and key stakeholder groups will also be consulted to inform the planning amendment process, to build on the work that was achieved as part of the Leeuwin Vision Plan.

Defence anticipates community consultation workshops to be scheduled in the first half of 2020.

Find out more here.

HIA release some good news for industry

The local home building market is set to expand this financial year, for the first time in six years, according to latest data from HIA’s quarterly Outlook Report for Western Australia.

According to the report, total detached and multi-unit dwelling starts in WA are estimated at 15,130 during the 2018/19 financial year. An improvement of 5.0 per cent is forecast to take starts to 15,940 in 2019/20, ahead of a further improvement into 2020/21.

Site security update

A magistrate has sentenced an offender to 1 year and 4 months imprisonment for the theft of 3 hot water systems stolen from BGC and Home Group building sites in Hammond Park see more here.

Scrap Metal industry reform survey

An Expert Reference Group (ERG) has been formed to advocate required Scrap Metal Industry reform.

Not all scrap metal theft is reported to police and this may influence existing data trends supplied by WAPOL.  In an effort to provide accurate and current data, the ERG is seeking support to complete a short survey on scrap metal theft and how it impacts your business, either directly or indirectly.

Theft of water meters, copper pipe, electrical cable, reworks can all cause time delays. This information will be used to inform a submission to the WA Government and the Policy Minister.  Have your say here .