From the CEO

If not there, then where? If not now, then when?

These were the questions I posed to ABC Radio’s Nadia Mitsopoulos this morning in response to her query around the suitability of the UEM Sunrise apartment development proposal as part of the DevelopmentWA Subi East precinct which opened for public consultation today.

The proposed development will comprise approximately 340 apartments and is expected to accommodate more than 1,000 future residents, with up to 12% of the apartments providing affordable housing in the Western suburbs. The scheme will see two residential buildings with a tiered height of 25 and 35 stories plus a ground floor. Too high they cry! Or do they?

The sentiment seems to be more balanced, with increasing recognition by the community in general that high density in appropriate precincts in close proximity to transit links is both appropriate and necessary given the ongoing housing supply constraints. 

Constraints impacting housing supply continues to be a core focus of important discussions over this last week, with UDIA WA hosting exclusive roundtable discussions with the Deputy Premier; Treasurer, Minister for Planning; Lands; Housing; Homelessness and Minister for Energy; Environment; Climate Action just in the last seven days. We kicked off the first of our three-part series of forums on the National Housing Pipeline at a sub-regional level this week focused on the southern metro and peel regions.

What is increasingly evident and unsurprising is at the core of the majority of constraint issues is the lack of clear, overarching direction & prioritisation of catalyst infrastructure planning & investment and a general reluctance to shift from an entrenched siloed perspective to a collective effort towards the outcome. The outcome itself is simple. We need more homes, faster.

Yet the ‘system’ that facilitates the delivery of housing is complex and full of competing and conflicting priorities. No wonder we go around in circles and wonder how we got here. Yes, it’s hard to change culture. Yes, it’s hard to manage the politicisation of infrastructure. Yes, it’s hard to get consensus with so many stakeholders around the table.

What’s also hard is living in your car with children. Or being evicted from your rental with nowhere to go. Or choosing not to eat because the mortgage has blown out and is overdue.

Choose your hard. I know my choice. What’s yours?

NHP South Forum

Yesterday we held the first of our 2024 UDIA National Housing Pipeline® Outlook Forums at the City of Cockburn. Proudly presented by nbn, the Forum focussed on the residential development pipeline for the South Metropolitan and Peel Region, with a clarion focus on the constraints and opportunities for delivering both greenfield and infill dwelling supply over the coming 15 years. 

UDIA WA Head of Research, Toby Adams presented preliminary results of the second year of National Housing Pipeline® analysis of development constraints across zoned and potential future urban zoned areas, the status of enabling infrastructure and approvals required to realise forward residential development yields, and annual dwelling supply forecasts across the South East & South West Sub-regions and for the Peel Region. 

DPLH’s Acting Assistant Director General, Mat Selby provided an update of the planning for four key Urban Expansion and Urban Investigation areas – Jandakot/Treeby, North East Baldivis & East of Kwinana, Karnup and Ravenswood. 

DevelopmentWA’s Matt Read then presented a deep dive into the planning and infrastructure delivery outlook for DevWA’s landholdings in the Karnup locality. 

The Chair of the UDIA WA Infrastructure Committee, Ryan Hunter provided an overview and status update of the ‘Infrastructure Requirements’ project covering Mundijong, Wellard and Karnup. 

UDIA WA CEO, Tanya Steinbeck then facilitated a lively panel discussion focussed on infill opportunities and constraints across the Southern Metro region featuring: Director Planning and Development at the City of Gosnells, Chris Terelinck; Director Planning & Sustainability at the City of Cockburn, Daniel Arndt; and Director City Development & Sustainability at the City of Kwinana, Maria Cooke. 

Participants at the Forum also provided various insights throughout the event on the top challenges and constraints for forward dwelling production across the Southern Metro and Peel Region, which will be included in summary reporting to be released as part of the forthcoming UDIA National Housing Pipeline® 2024 Summary Report for Perth and Peel. 

Over the coming fortnight there are two more Outlook Forums scheduled for the Northern Metropolitan Region (June 12) and for the Central Sub-Region (June 18). Registrations are still open and all UDIA Members and non-Members involved in the planning and delivery of new housing supply are warmly encouraged to attend. The Registration links for these events are:  

NHP North Metro Forum

NHP Central Sub-Region Forum

Our thanks go to all our speakers and all those in attendance to make it an engaging and interactive session.

We extend our thanks to NHP® Presenting Partner nbn for supporting our Outlook Forum series and to the City of Cockburn for providing a great venue.

Nominations for our two individual awards are now open for entries!

The UDIA WA Women in Leadership and UDIA WA & Stockland Young Leaders awards allow exceptional leaders in our industry to be recognised for their hard work, with previous winners changing the shape of the development industry in Western Australia.

Both awards allow entry into the UDIA National Awards in 2025 where the winner will represent Western Australia on the National stage, in addition to the following incredible prize packages:

Women in Leadership Award prize package

  • Women in Leadership Award Perpetual Trophy & Certificate
  • $1,500 voucher that can be used towards any AIM WA program or course
  • Complimentary ticket to attend UDIA WA events including the End of Year Sundowner, Industry Lunches, Breakfasts and the Annual State Conference in 2025
  • An opportunity to secure a place on a UDIA WA Strategic or Operational Committee of your choice in 2025
  • Feature article on the winner in the UDIA WA flagship magazine The Urbanist

Young Leaders Award prize package

  • Young Leaders Award Trophy & Certificate
  • Complimentary registration to the UDIA WA Foundations of Property Development Professional Development course
  • $2,000 cash prize
  • Complimentary ticket to attend  UDIA WA events including Industry Lunches, Breakfasts and Outlook events in 2025
  • A position on the Outlook Committee in 2025
  • Feature article on the winner in the UDIA WA flagship magazine The Urbanist

To start your entry, simply review the nominations kits here, get your entry info ready and then start your nomination here

Join team UDIA for the CEO Sleepout

We are just a couple of weeks away from the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout where UDIA WA will once again be forming a team, including our CEO Tanya Steinbeck, to take part in the event. We’re calling for our members to support and join our cause on the night!

The event, which aims to raise vital funds and awareness to assist homelessness initiatives, takes place each year with CEOs from various organisations across WA sleeping out at Optus Stadium for a night.

UDIA WA has been involved with the event for the past few years taking a committed team of members helping to raise thousands of dollars each year and we’re looking to do the same this year.

If you would like to join the UDIA WA CEO Sleepout team, find more information here and click on ‘Join Us’ if you wish to be part of the team.  Otherwise, you can donate to the cause via the same link.

Boardroom Lunch with Minister Whitby

This week we were pleased to co-host a Boardroom Lunch with our Energy & Innovation Partner Western Power and Industry Partner ATCO featuring the Hon. Reece Whitby MLA, Minister for Energy; Environment; Climate Action.

Items of discussion around the table included:

  • Environmental approval reforms, particularly with respect to implementation of the Vogel-McFerran Review;
  • The EPBC and Nature Positive reforms; 
  • Regional planning considering state and national matters of significance and the ongoing dialogue that the State Government has with their Federal counterparts; and
  • Reforms within Western Power to speed up delivery timeframes for development. 

We extend our thanks to the Minister for Environment and to Western Power and ATCO for supporting this event.

Consistent local planning schemes

UDIA WA have been informed that the West Australian Planning Commission has approved the Consistent Local Planning Schemes Final Report and associated consultation outcomes report.

The reports can be found at Consistent Local Planning Schemes.

The Consistent Local Planning Schemes Final Report was prepared in response to initiative (C1) within the Action Plan for Planning Reform (Action Plan), with a focus on providing greater consistency for zones, reserves and land use definitions in local planning schemes and permissibility in non-residential zones in the Perth and Peel areas.

Proposed changes in the Consistent Local Planning Schemes Final Report are not expected to be integrated into the preparation of new local planning schemes or the amendment of existing local planning schemes, until they have been incorporated into the LPS Regulations. Guidance, including a list of variations to the model provisions will be provided in due course to assist with the consideration of these proposed changes in the preparation or amendment of local planning schemes.

In the interim, local governments preparing or amending local planning schemes are encouraged to engage with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage should they wish to discuss these proposed changes.

Boardroom Breakfast with Minister Saffioti

At the end of last week, UDIA WA was pleased to co-host a Boardroom Breakfast with our ESG partner ReGen Strategic, featuring the Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA, Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Transport and Tourism.

We discussed key challenges including the ongoing and acute impacts of escalating construction costs, labour and skills shortages and increasing demand. However, the focus of the discussion was on exploring potential opportunities and mechanisms for accelerating diverse housing supply.

This included delving into key UDIA WA priorities such as the expansion of the Infrastructure Development Fund to capture broader statutory fees and charges impacting viability of higher density infill projects; catalyst infrastructure funding and coordination for identified growth areas; and the identification and release of government land that could feasibly be developed for affordable and diverse housing.

Leveraging industry and unlocking supply across the continuum will be crucial in responding to WA’s housing crisis and the National Housing Accord target, and in planning for our future.

We look forward to continuing to progress these important discussions through our ongoing constructive and solutions-focused engagement with the State Government.

We extend our thanks to the Deputy Premier (and key representatives from her Office, Department of Treasury and DPLH Daniel Lines, Michael Andrews and Anthony Kannis), as well as to our co-host ReGen Strategic Colin Davies and Patrick Gardner and UDIA WA President Richard Pappas and UDIA WA Executive Director Strategy & Policy Sarah Macaulay.

NCC 2025 Consultation Roadshow Event

On Wednesday afternoon, the UDIA WA Policy Team attended one of the Australian Building Codes Board’s (ABCB) Roadshow events as part of the consultation process being undertaken in relation to the draft National Construction Codes 2025.

It was interesting to hear the thought process around why various changes have been proposed including to carpark fire safety, waterproofing and water shedding and provisions for EV infrastructure. With the assistance of members, the Policy Team will continue to work through the changes and provide feedback where appropriate.

If you are interested in viewing more information about the changes, please click here. A recording of an online webinar will be made available next week via the ABCB website once the Roadshow series is completed.

Project Symphony findings to inform future of virtual power plants

The State Government’s pilot of virtual power plant (VPP) technology has found redistributing excess power produced by residential solar panels, appliances and home batteries could create more than $920 million in value in the coming decade.

Project Symphony – a collaboration between Synergy, Western Power, and the Australian Energy Market Operator with support and oversight from Energy Policy WA – was launched in February 2021 to demonstrate the ways in which VPPs can support power system security and network reliability while delivering greater value to electricity users.

More than 500 customers and 900 devices participated in the project.

The project’s final report highlighted the opportunity VPPs could provide in Western Australia and the need for policy and regulatory changes to help integrate VPPs with the State’s power system.

It includes 18 recommendations that will enable VPPs to be developed in real-world settings.

Western Australians have embraced distributed energy resources (DER) in recent years, with rooftop solar installed in 40 per cent of homes on WA’s main grid and about 30,000 new systems installed each year.

WA has led the nation in the integration of DER, with Project Symphony a part of the State Government’s DER Roadmap and broader Energy Transformation Strategy.

The release of Project Symphony’s final report comes after Parliament recently passed legislation to modernise the State’s energy governance framework and enable improved integration of DER.

The project received $8 million through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s Advancing Renewables Program, with the final report available here.

Call for nominations: Diversity & Inclusion working group

UDIA WA is establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group that will report directly to the UDIA WA Education, Connection & Excellence Strategic Committee and provide advice and oversight of the Institute’s performance in relation to diversity and inclusion.  The Group will be appointed for a 20-month term, commencing in May 2024 and ending in December 2025.

Overall, the group will provide a forum for discussion of diversity and inclusion related issues within the organisation and more broadly in the urban development industry, as well as provide advice in relation to UDIA WA policy, performance and activities in relation to diversity and inclusion.

If you are interested in nominating for this group, please follow the link here to the nomination form and more detailed Terms of Reference.  Any questions about the group can be directed to UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak: