UDIA in Action

This week is National NAIDOC Week 2022 with this year’s theme being Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! which is based around encouraging everyone to keep working together towards systemic change.

As the National NAIDOC Week 2022 website says whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together.

It must be a genuine commitment by all of us to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! and support and secure institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative reforms.

With this theme in mind UDIA WA are calling on industry representatives to join our Reconciliation Action Plan working group which has been set up to assist the Institute in providing leadership to the broader urban development industry in respect to reconciliation and more meaningful engagement with the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we and our members operate.

If you have background, experience and/or expertise relevant to the development of a RAP, we would love to hear from you. Please send expressions of interest to join the working group to Gemma Osiejak: gosiejak@udiawa.com.au.

WA – The place to be

Last week UDIA WA hosted our Developing Destination WA One-Day Summit which provided a variety of interesting and useful information around how we can make Western Australia THE place to live, work, play and invest.

This was also the theme of our final session which looked at Pathways to a Progressive State with WAPC Chair David Caddy, Tourism WA A/Executive Director for Destination Development Renata Lowe and Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Deputy Director General, Strategy and International Engagement Simone Spencer.

David Caddy kicked off the session with an overview of the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) to date following the announced extension of the pathway until December 2023.

“To date the commission has approved 18 of the 50 applications that have been lodged through the Part 17 pathway, which translates into more than $1.8 billion in development, and more than 12,000 new jobs,” Mr Caddy said.

To read this piece in full including an overview of Renata Lowe and Simone Spencer’s presentations, click here.

Acknowledge This!

Last month, during National Reconciliation Week UDIA WA hosted our first ever Reconciliation Event as we heard from Rhys Paddick and Emma Gibbens from Acknowledge This! about the importance of a meaningful and well-intentioned Acknowledgement of Country.

The engaging hour-long presentation was followed by an intimate Q&A session where attendees were encouraged to pull up a chair to have a yarn with the pair about anything and everything to do with Reconciliation, Acknowledgement of Country and engaging with the Traditional Owners of the Land.

During the presentation Mr Paddick took attendees through the context and reasons for conducting an Acknowledgement of Country, including the difference between this and a Welcome to Country with a fairly simple message for anyone looking to understand more.

“Just start a conversation,” he said. “The only way we will learn the context or the meaning behind why things are done in a certain way is by having a yarn and if you’re truly stuck, do what we do when we get stumped by a question we don’t know the answer to – go have a yarn with Uncle Google.”

To read this piece in full, click here.

Optus Stadium named best in the world

This week it was announced that Perth’s Optus Stadium has been named as venue of the year at The Stadium Business Awards.

The 60,000 seat stadium at the heart of the Burswood Peninsula was up against the Footprint Centre in Arizona, Capital One Arena in Washington, UBS Arena in New York State, Europa-Park Stadion in Germany and the Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade in Senegal.

Optus Stadium was judged on its ability to deliver and grow its business during a period of uncertainty – which has included the addition of Stadium Karts, two new rooftop attractions and a rapidly growing Meetings and Special Events business.

Of particular note was the period of September 2021, when Optus Stadium and its operator VenuesLive, together with VenuesWest, various State Government agencies, and a range of WA suppliers across dozens of industries, showed adaptability and agility while pulling off a series of events unlikely to ever be replicated at an Australian venue. The events were complex, varied and delivered at unprecedented short notice.

UDIA WA have long been advocates for the incredible lifestyle on offer in Perth and WA and this award further cements our view that Perth boasts world-class assets and infrastructure.

Improving access to WA’s biodiversity information

A digital transformation of Western Australia’s biodiversity data is ensuring information about native species and their habitat is easy to find and access to better support decision-making and conservation research.

Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek and Western Australian Minister for Environment Reece Whitby today launched the new online resource, Dandjoo.

The resource is the first of its kind in the country with Western Australia as the pilot State.

Dandjoo, which means ‘together’ in the Noongar language, is supported by a joint commitment of $9.2 million and provides reliable and comprehensive information for use by industry, researchers, governments and other stakeholders.

The platform allows easy access to a wealth of the State’s historical biodiversity data, improving how the information is managed and streamlining environmental decision-making so it is more efficient and effective.

The data-sharing platform developed by the Biodiversity Information Office (BIO) hosted by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and its delivery of Dandjoo, is part of Western Australia’s broader commitment to the national Digital Environmental Assessment Program.

Government agencies and external parties can easily submit data to the platform so it can be used more widely. BIO staff will curate submitted data in consultation with data providers before publishing it to the platform to ensure it is of the highest quality.

For more: bio.wa.gov.au

RBA raises rates again

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia once again raised the cash rate target by another 50 basis points to sit at 1.35%, the third consecutive month.

In delivering the decision RBA Governor Philip Lowe pointed to the fact global inflation is still high, boosted by COVID-related disruptions to supply chains, the war in Ukraine and strong demand which is putting pressure on productive capacity.

He said monetary policy globally was responding to this higher inflation, although it will be some time before inflation returns to target in most countries.

“Inflation in Australia is also high, but not as high as it is in many other countries,” Dr Lowe said. “Inflation is forecast to peak later this year and then decline back towards the 2–3% range next year.

“As global supply-side problems continue to ease and commodity prices stabilise, even if at a high level, inflation is expected to moderate. Higher interest rates will also help establish a more sustainable balance between the demand for and the supply of goods and services.”

He said that the Australian economy remains resilient and the labour market is tighter than it has been for some time with the unemployment rate steady at 3.9% in May, the lowest rate in almost 50 years.

“One source of ongoing uncertainty about the economic outlook is the behaviour of household spending. The recent spending data have been positive, although household budgets are under pressure from higher prices and higher interest rates,” he said.

“Today’s increase in interest rates is a further step in the withdrawal of the extraordinary monetary support that was put in place to help insure the Australian economy against the worst possible effects of the pandemic.

“The Board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions in Australia over the months ahead. The size and timing of future interest rate increases will be guided by the incoming data and the Board’s assessment of the outlook for inflation and the labour market.

“The Board is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that inflation in Australia returns to target over time.”

In UDIA WA’s recent Home Purchasing Sentiment Survey in partnership with Urbis, over half of respondents said they would not be put off buying a new home until the cash rate rose above 1.5%, however it is likely the cash rate will rise above this figure in coming months. For more insights into the sentiment of buyers in the current market, click here.

Tougher penalties on the way with major local government reforms finalised

This week Local Government Minister John Carey announced the final package of reforms to the Local Government Act 1995, following a review of public submissions.

The reforms are based on the findings and recommendations of a number of reports and consultation undertaken over the past five years, and represent the most significant change to local government in Western Australia since the Local Government Act 1995 was introduced more than 25 years ago.

The changes are designed to improve the transparency, accountability and efficiency of local government across WA.

More than 200 submissions were received during the most recent consultation process, which highlighted broad support for the reforms, and will inform work to deliver major improvements to the system of local government in WA.

Significant changes will include:

  • the introduction of a new Inspector of Local Government, supported by an Inspectorate, which would investigate and oversee complaints;
  • the introduction of Local Government Monitors, who can be appointed by the Inspector to assist in resolving ongoing issues;
  • tougher penalties, including three month suspensions for councillors who are guilty of serious breaches of the act, and 10-year bans from local government elected office for anyone suspended three times;
  • mandatory recording of council meetings, and live streaming for larger tier one and two local governments;
  • tighter rules and clearer definitions regarding confidential meetings; and
  • introduction of parental and medical leave entitlements for elected members.

The Minister for Local Government has established a new working group made up of representatives from across the sector, to inform the implementation of reforms, and the development of regulations to support the new laws.

Full detail on all the reforms can be found at the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website here.

The Government plans to introduce the legislation to Parliament by the end of the year.

Time running out to book in for module 6

Taking place on Monday 11 July the sixth and final module in our 6-Day Professional Development course is ideal for anybody looking to understand more about Project Financing and Feasibility.

From project funding on a small and large scale to practical management of project risk & return and undertaking a feasibility study, this module takes you through the practicalities of project financing and feasibility.

Registrations for module five close on Friday 8 July. For more information on this module and to register, click here.

Expressions of interest for mentor program with first year Curtin Property students.

The Property Education Foundation are seeking expressions of interest for mentors who would like to be involved in a program that will be embedded into the assessment structure of the Introduction to Property Markets unit.

The commitment from mentors would include:

  • A one-hour session where they will be introduced to the Introduction to Property Markets unit, the role of a mentor and to sign a consent form
  • Liaising with students via email to arrange a suitable time and place to meet
  • Meet for one hour with 3 and 4 students (simultaneously) in a public space, eg a café
  • Following the meeting, provide brief feedback to the Unit Coordinator on student interactions.
  • This is likely to take place in August/September 2022.

For more information or to submit an Expression of Interest, reach out to Tanya Steinbeck at tsteinbeck@udiawa.com.au.