UDIA in Action

It has been another bumper week in the UDIA WA office! We officially opened nominations for the 2021 Awards for Excellence, launched our June Industry luncheon with Minister Saffioti, finalised filming details for our first segments for Channel 7’s Home in WA program and attended a range of meetings with key stakeholders and members.

Over the weekend UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck was featured in The West Australian following her participation in the Australian Institute of Management in WA’s CEO Voice Series. Discussion focused on what the State Government can do for business and the message from Tanya on behalf of industry was clear – we need a population strategy to ensure we can continue to enjoy the cultural, societal and economic benefits of a diverse and strong population in the years to come.

UDIA WA Director Policy and Research Chris Green participated in the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) project steering group meeting receiving an update on the ‘Liveable Social and Affordable Higher Density Housing’ research project.

This morning City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas was featured on the front page of The West calling for a forum to come up with a clear ‘Brand Perth’. Developing a ‘Brand WA’ is something UDIA WA has been calling for over several years to increase the state’s profile as a place of choice to live, work and invest.  You can read more in our State Election Campaign (here) and our 2021 Policy Priorities (here).  We look forward to participating in the ongoing dialogue.

SPP 3.6 Community Infrastructure Policy released

Late last week the State Government released the highly anticipated final version of SPP 3.6 – Infrastructure Contributions.

The road to the release of this document has been long and the need for much clearer and more transparent guidance for Development Contribution Plans (DCPs) has been a key focus area for UDIA WA throughout the journey.

As part of our extensive advocacy highlighting the issues around the coordination, implementation, and management of community infrastructure contributions, last year UDIA commissioned an investigation into the current status of DCPs across Perth and Peel.  The research, carried out by Darren Cooper and Len Kosova, provided clarity to the State Government around what needed to change.

The release of the revised policy is a welcome one and the final policy is largely consistent with the draft and responds effectively to many of the current issues regarding the operation of DCPs.

UDIA has pinpointed a few issues that we will investigate further, to find out more check out our exclusive Member Alert here.

Nominations open for 2021 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence

On Monday 3 May, UDIA WA officially opened nominations for our highly coveted 2021 Awards for Excellence!

For close to three decades, the prestigious and highly sought after UDIA WA Awards for Excellence program has maintained the status of one of WA’s most respected and valued industry awards.

Specifically developed by, and for, the development industry and judged by highly respected, independent industry professionals, the Awards recognise excellence and innovation across Western Australia.

Winning trophies are displayed with pride in boardrooms and display cabinets across the State as a tangible sign of excellence and achievement.

Enter the Awards and have your project celebrated at the 2021 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner with over 500 influential development industry professionals and dignitaries from the Western Australian Government.

This year’s Awards include new and updated categories. To view these, including all of the nominations guidelines this year, click here and to start your entry, click here.

UDIA WA Women in Leadership Award nominations open

The UDIA WA Women in Leadership Award acknowledges and promotes the positive contribution of women to the WA property industry.

Nominations are now open and UDIA WA encourages female professionals across all disciplines of the development industry from both the public and private sectors to enter, including developers, contractors, consultants and those involved in property services.

The award recognises outstanding women working at mid to senior levels (10yrs + experience) within the WA development industry and acknowledges their achievements.

To view the nomination brochure, click here and to start your entry, click here.

Search is on for the new UDIA WA Young Development Professional

Calling all Young Development Professionals! The time has come to put yourself forward for the 2021 UDIA WA & Stockland Young Development Professional Award.

This award celebrates and encourages the future leaders of our industry. For over a decade the annual Young Development Professional Award has recognised excellence in the next generation of development industry professionals and promoted dedicated young professionals with the drive to succeed.

The winner of this prestigious award will not only gain entry to a range of educational and networking events throughout the year, but they will also receive industry wide recognition for their hard work and success to date.

On top of a significant cash prize, the scholarship also includes full registration to the UDIA Professional Development Program and access to a range of UDIA events throughout the year. The total value of the prize sits in excess of $10,000.

Past winners of this scholarship have gone on to pursue extremely successful careers that have included ongoing involvement with UDIA’s committees and Council.

To be eligible, you just need to be under the age of 35 and be currently working for a company that is a UDIA WA member.

To view the nomination brochure, click here and to start your entry, click here.

High Voltage subdivision pool System Charge change

UDIA WA is pleased to announce that as of 1 May 2021, the high voltage subdivision System Charge has reduced to $150/kVA. This collaborative decision with Western Power, will continue to drive the appropriate pace of reaching the optimum pool balance target of $4million, over the next five years.

Previously, the System Charge was $175/kVA, which had been in effect since November 2020.

UDIA WA and Western Power will continue to review charges and rates, to ensure a steady decrease in the HV Pool balance from $12million down to $4million.

Any project created on or after 1 May 2021, shall have the new rate ($150) applied. All existing active projects that have not yet had a quote issued, will also attract the new rate. Any project that has had a quote already issued, will attract the original applicable rate for the life of the project.

Building Approvals skyrocket

Recent figures from the ABS revealed that nearly 80 new homes were approved every day for the first three months of the year as WA recorded 7,135 homebuilding approvals during the March quarter.

This figure is 250% higher than the March 2020 quarter with all three months this quarter enjoying well in excess of 2,000 approvals a month. February 2021 recorded the highest ever monthly approvals with 2,498, closely followed by the 2,493 recorded in March.

The high approval rate follows the record-breaking land sales figures recorded in the second half of 2020 following the State and Federal Government stimulus measures.

Across the country building approvals rose by just over 17% in March compared to the previous month, which recorded a 20.1% improvement on the month before. Private sector houses rose 0.1% in March, reaching a new record high of 14,117 houses. Private sector dwellings excluding houses increased 63.6% in March, driven by an increase in large apartment approvals in New South Wales and Victoria.

The value of total building approved rose 36.3%, to a record high of $15.6b, in seasonally adjusted terms. The rise in March was driven by an increase in the value of non-residential building (59.4%), to the highest level recorded ($6.66b). The rise in non-residential building can be attributed to a strong increase in both private and public projects approved in March.

The value of total residential building rose 22.9%, comprising a 25.4% rise in new residential building, and a 7.3% increase in alterations and additions, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of residential alterations and additions approved also reached a record high in March ($1.07b).

Home in WA set to start filming

UDIA WA is excited to commence shooting our first segment as part of our new media partnership with the long running Home in WA television series next week.

As part of our new partnership, UDIA WA has the opportunity to showcase the fantastic work the urban development industry does in creating new and regenerating existing communities to a wide audience on Channel 7.

The program allows us to highlight the importance of the industry to the broader economy and jobs growth and foster greater engagement with residents and new home buyers.

As part of the media partnership Ron (DINGO) Reddingius is pleased to offer all UDIA WA members a very special discount rate for video content on the 2021 TV series.

If you would like to showcase your company, business, project or estate on the CH7 & GWN7 TV series, state-wide, give ‘Dingo’ a call on 0417279103 or email him on dingoistalent@bigpond.com

Federal Government to commit funding in the budget

Earlier this week, the Federal Government announced it would commit extra funding for Western Australian infrastructure projects as part of the upcoming Federal Budget.  Not surprisingly, Metronet is a key area of focus for the new round of funding.

Key projects to be funded include:

  • $347.5 million for METRONET: Hamilton Street-Wharf Street Grade Separations and Elevation of Associated Stations, including Queens Park Station and Cannington Station and an enhanced METRONET Byford Rail Extension project, with new grade separated rail crossing at Armadale Road and an elevated station at Armadale
  • $200 million for the Great Eastern Highway Upgrades – Coates Gully, Walgoolan to Southern Cross and Ghooli to Benari
  • $160 million for the WA Agricultural Supply Chain Improvements – Package 1
  • $112.5 million for the Reid Highway – Altone Road and Daviot Road-Drumpellier Drive – Grade-separated intersections
  • $85 million for the Perth Airport Precinct – Northern Access
  • $64 million for the Toodyay Road Upgrade – Dryandra to Toodyay
  • $55 million for the Mandurah Estuary Bridge Duplication, and
  • $31.5 million towards the METRONET High Capacity Signalling project

While the full Federal Government Budget is set to be announced on Tuesday 11 May, this advanced announcement is good news for long-term employment opportunities in WA.

In January UDIA National lodged a Federal Pre-Budget Submission which focused on three core themes:

  • Continue making new residential construction a public policy priority due to the economic significance of the sector;
  • Prioritise policies that both help with the economic recovery, and provide lasting benefits well beyond the period of the pandemic;
  • Ensure a holistic approach to policy and regulatory reforms that deliver a systematic reduction in the barriers to investment in infrastructure, housing and more productive cities and regions.

To view the submission in full, click here.

We will send a Member Alert outlining key features of the new budget after it is presented on Tuesday.

RBA retains monetary policy settings

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia chose to retain its current monetary policy settings at the May Monetary Policy meeting.

In a statement following the meeting RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the global economy is continuing to recover from the pandemic and the outlook is for strong growth this year and next, however the recovery remains uneven, and some countries are yet to contain the virus.

While global trade in goods has picked up strongly and commodity prices are mostly higher than at the start of the year Dr Lowe noted that inflation remains low and below central bank targets.

Dr Lowe highlighted that the economic recovery in Australia has been stronger than expected and is forecast to continue, with this recovery especially evident in the strong growth in employment and the unemployment rate falling further to 5.6% in March and the number of people with a job now exceeding the pre-pandemic level.

“The Bank’s central scenario for GDP growth has been revised up further, with growth of 4¾% expected over 2021 and 3½% over 2022,” Dr Lowe said. “A pick-up in business investment is expected and household spending will be supported by the strengthening in balance sheets over the past year. The unemployment rate is expected to continue to decline, to be around 5% at the end of this year and around 4½% at the end of 2022.”

Dr Lowe also noted the current strength in the housing markets with prices rising in all major markets and said that given the environment of rising housing prices and low interest rates, the Bank will be monitoring trends in housing borrowing carefully and it is important that lending standards are maintained.

“At its July meeting, the Board will consider whether to retain the April 2024 bond as the target bond for the 3-year yield target or to shift to the next maturity, the November 2024 bond,” Dr Lowe said.

“The Board is not considering a change to the target of 10 basis points. At the July meeting, the Board will also consider future bond purchases following the completion of the second $100 billion of purchases under the government bond purchase program in September.

“The Board is prepared to undertake further bond purchases to assist with progress towards the goals of full employment and inflation. The Board places a high priority on a return to full employment.”

To read the statement in full, click here.

New Fremantle Ports Chief Executive Officer appointed

Earlier this week it was announced Michael Parker had been appointed as Fremantle Ports’ new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Parker was formerly the Business Unit President and Managing Director/Chairman of Alcoa Alumina and Alcoa of Australia between 2015 and 2019.

Mr Parker has held other roles with Alcoa, including Director Business Development and Marketing and Vice-President Alcoa Materials Management in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA – a role with responsibility for the company’s North American road, rail and shipping transportation.

He has held a range of executive and non-executive directorships; is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Mr Parker will take up his new role this week.

Tender awarded for new nature playground in the heart of Bunbury

BGC Construction Pty Ltd has been awarded a tender to deliver construction works of a new nature playground at Mangrove Cove in Bunbury.

The project will include construction of an accessible nature-play focused playground with an emphasis on the local mangrove area, a new accessible toilet block and further site landscaping.

The developments at Mangrove Cove will complement existing facilities, including the iconic lookout tower and environmental education pavilion.

The project will require a workforce of about 50 people and BGC expects that 75 per cent of the contract value will be spent within the region, with the major components of work being completed by Bunbury-based contractors.

The project is jointly managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Finance.

Construction is expected to start in June 2021 and be completed by the end of the year.

PD Course

The UDIA WA Professional Development Course continued this week with module 3 taking place on Monday 3 May. The program is specifically designed for the Western Australian context and introduces participants to the various areas of knowledge required to operate effectively in our local residential development industry.

Participants will learn to define and manage projects, while becoming familiar with terminology from the broad range of disciplines and concepts involved in property development.

The remaining 3 modules in the current intake are as follows:

Monday May 10 – Module 4: Project Management

Monday May 17 – Module 5: Building the Development

Monday May 24 – Module 6: Practical Application

There is the option to enrol for the full course or for any of the above specific modules, however spaces are limited.

For more information, click here or email events@udiawa.com.au to secure your place.