Industry Issues 05-10-2023

From the CEO

With Tanya away having a well-earned break, I have the pleasure of bringing you this week’s message from the CEO.

In case you missed the exciting news, we are extremely pleased to share that UDIA WA President Col Dutton has been confirmed as the UDIA National President for the next two years.

Col has been WA President for the past four years and has led our State Council with great aplomb, as we navigated the challenges of COVID, multiple reforms and the current housing crisis.  We know he will do an equally excellent job as National President. In WA we have a great recent track record of National Presidents with Col being the 3rd from WA in the last 10 years, following Cam Shephard in 2013-2015 and Darren Cooper in 2017-2019.

With Col stepping up to the National office, he will be succeeded by Richard Pappas who will take over the reins as WA President following the UDIA WA Annual General Meeting on 18 October.  We are excited to continue working with Richard, and to see where his and the renewed State Council’s leadership takes us in driving further positive outcomes for our industry and communities over the coming years. Please join us in congratulating both Col and Richard on their respective ascensions and wishing them success in their new roles.

Joining a UDIA WA committee or the new Expert Pool is a great way to amplify your impact in supporting great places and housing choice to enable better lives for Western Australians.  Nominations are closing shortly and I encourage you to take a close look at the Nomination Kit and consider applying.

Our committees have been realigned this year with a greater focus on the outcomes we are delivering for our communities, and to maximise member value. We are looking for multi-disciplinary representation, and with several new non-policy focused committees and the Expert Pool this year, there are potential opportunities for all involved in our industry.

Apply online here by COB Wednesday 11 October.

UDIA Announces Col Dutton as National President

In exciting news from UDIA’s recent National Board AGM, WA’s very own Col Dutton was appointed as UDIA National President last week.

Having served as National Vice President over the past four years, Col is well positioned to take over the leadership of UDIA National and steer the organisation over the next two years.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the property industry, Col is well known and respected in the industry.  He leads Stockland here in WA, which is the largest residential developer in Australia. He has held his current role since 2011, and prior to this held senior roles with Stockland in Queensland and in Local Government.

Col is currently President of UDIA WA and was previously President of the UDIA Gold Coast branch from 2007 to 2010.  He holds an Associate Diploma and Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons).

Taking on the role of UDIA National President, Col has said: “I am incredibly proud to lead the organisation which has such a strong 50-year history of advocacy on behalf of our members.

It is a critical time for our industry and our members, particularly with the challenges of the housing crisis, the escalating cost of living impacting on all Australians, the associated infrastructure coordination and environment and climate change.

Handing over the leadership of UDIA National, outgoing President Maxwell Shifman reflected on the past two years saying he was proud of UDIA National’s continued growing trust in the eyes of policy makers and stakeholders, due to UDIA’s clear and consistent advocacy. Key work includes the 2022 Federal Election Campaign – “A Plan for Prosperity”, policy positions in “Resilience. Recovery. Reform” and papers “Driving BTR”, and “Growing Affordable Housing Supply.

Commenting on his continuing involvement with UDIA as he takes on the role of Immediate Past President, Mr Shifman said “I will certainly miss the daily challenges that characterised the tumultuous last two years, as I hand over the Presidency.”

He also thanked Simon Basheer for his valuable contribution to UDIA over many years and who steps down from his position as Immediate Past President.

Other appointments to the National Board Executive, include Oscar Stanley, VIC who takes on the role as National Vice President, Scott Ullman, QLD as Secretary, taking over from Stephen McMahon, Immediate Past President UDIA NSW who steps down after three years on the UDIA National Board.

The UDIA National Board is now joined for the first time by the Northern Territory.

Max Shifman wished Col the very best as he takes on this significant role.

“I am confident he will guide UDIA National to even greater success over coming years and ensure we remain well-positioned to handle the challenges and the opportunities to come.”

Mr Shifman also thanked each and every one of UDIA’s members for giving him the privilege of being UDIA National President for the past two years.

Policy Team in Action

This week we kicked off the latest Committee round with meetings of the Climate Action, Land Use Planning, and Infrastructure Standing Advisory Groups.

Key matters discussed included:

  • the State Government’s upcoming Climate Action Bill, climate risk reporting for organisations and UDIA WA’s work with Cerclos and developer partners around lifecycle emissions for land development and infrastructure;
  • UDIA WA’s response on the draft regulations for the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation and the current challenges being encountered in this transition period;
  • R-Codes implementation considerations in the context of the Minister’s direction around the removal of R30 and R40 from the Medium Density Code;
  • UDIA National Housing Pipeline project and further opportunities for advocacy around land availability and supply, as well as identified strategic infrastructure requirements for growth areas and the funding thereof.

R-Codes Implementation

UDIA WA, along with other industry bodies met with the consultants appointed by the Department of Planning to identify options to give effect to amendments to State Planning Policy 7.3 (R-Codes) requested by the Minister for Planning, being the retention of the 2021 provisions for R30 – R40 development in some form.  This was an opportunity for the industry bodies to understand the consultant brief, scope and timeline, as well as to make comments for consideration.

While the consultant’s timeframe is very tight and there is unlikely to be an opportunity for further engagement or consultation before they submit recommendations and updated documentation to the Department, UDIA WA will be providing a written response at this stage with the support of our committees and will continue our advocacy with the Department and Minister.

UDIA WA Committee Nominations close next week

There is less than a week left to nominate for one of UDIA WA’s Strategic or Operational Committees.

For the 2024-25 committee cycle the committees have been restructured with two new Strategic Committees focused on Advocacy & Thought Leadership and Education, Connection & Excellence as well as six Operational Committees that feed into the work of the Strategic Committees.

If you have the energy, passion, and commitment to help drive true reform and make a difference then we encourage you to nominate.

Read the Nomination Kit to find out more about the committees and Expert Pool, as well as nominee considerations and selection criteria.

You can apply for a Committee or the Expert Pool by completing the online form here by COB Wednesday 11 October 2023.

Feel free to reach out to Isaac or Sarah in the Policy team if you have any queries.

Participation through our committees or Expert Pool is a great way to amplify your impact in supporting great places and housing choice to enable better lives for Western Australians.

Work with us: Industry Education Officer

We are pleased to announce an exciting new opportunity for an Industry Education Officer at UDIA WA.

In this newly created role, you’ll be responsible for delivering and growing UDIA WA’s professional development and training program, positioning us as the ‘go-to’ organisation for the industry’s educational needs.

Key responsibilities include implementing a refreshed Professional Development and Training Program based on the National Microcredentials Framework, managing the ongoing delivery and expansion of our current program, identifying and developing new training offerings, and ensuring budgets are managed and revenue targets are met.

If you’re passionate about education and professional development, and have experience in managing training programs, this role is perfect for you.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity, apply here.

Latest UDIA WA data released

At the end of last week UDIA WA released the September edition of our monthly Urban Intelligence Report which provided an update on the key stats and facts impacting the development industry.

The latest edition includes a feature article from UDIA WA & National Research Manager Toby Adams looking at the impact of recent population figures that revealed WA had the greatest percentage increase in population across the country.

This edition also included the latest Land Snapshot data; House and Land Settlement data; Economic trends, including building approvals, lending indicators and much more.

UDIA WA members can exclusively access the latest edition by clicking here.

The real benefits of light rail and trackless trams in Perth

UDIA WA continues to support a consortium of local governments who are advocating for the implementation of mid-tier transport options across Perth including light rail and trackless trams.

In the latest Blog on our website, consortium spokesperson Sergio Famiano, Manager – City Planning at the City of Canning outlines the benefits of Mid Tier Transport for Perth, including how this type of infrastructure will assist with the State Government’s vision for Perth as a more compact and connected city.

He highlights that a key part of achieving that vision will require the delivery of more diverse housing options along with the roll out of an integrated transport network that allows people to efficiently and affordably access employment, education, amenities and services.

Read the full Blog Post on our website here.

Dwelling approvals on the rise

The total number of dwellings approved rose 7% in August, in seasonally adjusted terms according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week.

The national increase was supported by rises in Victoria (+22.2%), New South Wales (+12.5%), and Western Australia (+12.3%), however falls were recorded in Queensland (-26.9%), Tasmania (-10.1%), and South Australia (-6.9%).

WA led the way when it came approvals for private sector houses with a 13% rise on the previous month’s total.

Also on Tuesday the ABS revealed that WA experienced a 14.1% increase in the value of new loan commitments for investor housing, the largest such increase since 2015, whilst also recording a 4.9% increase in the value of owner occupied loan commitments in August.

Rates hold, but for much longer?

Presiding over her first Monetary Policy Meeting as new Reserve Bank Governor, Michele Bullock and the RBA Board chose to retain the official cash rate target at 4.1% for a fourth consecutive month.

In her accompanying statement announcing the decision, Ms Bullock took on a very similar tone to that of outgoing Governor Philip Lowe as she opted for stability in the RBA’s approach to tackling inflation.

In her statement, Ms Bullock noted that while inflation is still too high, it has now passed its peak in Australia with the central forecast for CPI inflation to continue to decline and be back within the 2-3% target range in late 2025.

Ms Bullock maintained that returning inflation to target within a reasonable timeframe remained the Board’s priority and that further tightening of monetary policy may be required to ensure is occurs but that will continue to depend upon the data and the evolving assessment of risks.

“In making its decisions, the Board will continue to pay close attention to developments in the global economy, trends in household spending, and the outlook for inflation and the labour market,” Ms Bullock said. “The Board remains resolute in its determination to return inflation to target and will do what is necessary to achieve that outcome.”

Swanbourne Station precinct Expression of Interest released

The development industry is invited to submit their ideas to transform approximately 1.8 hectares of State-owned land adjacent to Swanbourne Station into a vibrant destination to complement the Swanbourne Town Centre.

The opportunity offers potential for housing, businesses, shops, and public spaces that will activate the area and make better use of the land.

The land is generally bounded by Claremont Crescent, Railway Street, and the extension of Parry and William streets.

Cedar Woods Properties Ltd submitted a proposal to redevelop the land within the railway reserve adjacent to Swanbourne train station, under the State Government’s Market-led Proposals Policy (MLP).

This development opportunity is now being offered to the market through an Expressions of Interest process, with Cedar Woods granted a first mover advantage.

Responses to the invitation for Expression of Interest will close on January 19, 2024, and can be submitted through TendersWA.

For more information about the process, visit here.

WA Government seeks interest on industry decarbonisation plans

The WA State Government is seeking registrations of interest (ROI) from large commercial and industrial users on their plans for low-emissions electricity and renewable energy projects to supply major projects in WA’s main electricity grid – the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

The ROIs will help inform how and when future transmission builds could happen and where renewable energy hubs could be located.

Following the WA Government’s SWIS Demand Assessment, the ROI aims to:

  • establish the customer base that will shape future major transmission expansion projects;
  • prioritise areas for grid investment in this first stage of investment; and
  • gain valuable insight to enable policy setting for suitable funding arrangements.

Coordinated by Western Power and Energy Policy WA, the ROI will provide industrial customers an opportunity to submit their project plans, status, timing, and willingness to contribute to network augmentation and connection costs.

This process seeks to inform and shape new funding mechanisms for accessing network capacity and will form the basis for potential new policy settings.

The ROI is open until 5pm, 1 November 2023. For more information, visit here.