From the CEO

Who would have thought that hoarding toilet paper in the height of COVID would turn out to have secondary benefits further down the track. If you were one of those people who over purchased loo rolls in fear of economic Armageddon in 2020 and you still have some squirreled away, you’ll be pleased to know that according to the AFR today you’ve saved a pretty penny.

Wholesale tissue prices are soaring and its yet another sign that inflation is in no way slowing down. With another increase in the cash rate on Tuesday to 2.35 per cent, even the RBA have now admitted that they were taken by surprise by the “very large forecast miss” in predicting inflation. So at UDIA WA we have called upon our economic fortune teller Jonathon Pain to come back to Perth a little early in November to help us prepare and reflect on what’s to come as we head into 2023.

What we lack in certainty around the economy our team are working hard to make up in terms of clarity, certainty and efficiency in approvals both in the planning and environment space. This week UDIA WA wrote to the Treasurer to encourage the permanent adoption of the Off-the-plan Duty Rebate Scheme well prior to the scheme coming to an end to provide greater certainty to both apartment purchasers and developers. We are also meeting the Lead Reviewer undertaking a warts and all agency capability review of DPLH next week after meeting with the Federal Department of Environment this afternoon on a way forward for environmental approvals.

These are practical steps UDIA WA is taking today given we didn’t know we needed to hoard timber and power transformers in the same way as toilet paper back in 2020.

Off-The-Plan Duty rebate extension request

This week UDIA WA sent a letter to WA Treasurer and Premier Mark McGowan calling for the off-the-plan duty rebate scheme to be adopted permanently and for the expansion of the scheme to support projects under construction.

Since the rebate was established in October 2019, based on Urbis Apartments Essentials data, the scheme has supported the sale of 3,866 apartments in Perth with a total sales value of $2.79 billion. Using the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) residential construction activity multiplier, the rebate has supported 25,094 jobs across the three years of its operation.

As well as creating jobs, the scheme has helped lift Government revenues. The scheme has done this by equalising transfer duties across different housing typologies, encouraging more and higher value property transactions to occur.

Whilst the current scheme end date may appear to be some time away, typically, it takes 12 months from site acquisition to launch a development project to market and then a further 6-12 months to secure sufficient pre-sales to enable construction to commence.

This 18-24 month development preparation timeframe means that the rebate scheme is now effectively closed to any new development proposal requiring site acquisition. Given the broad ranging social and economic benefits of the scheme, together with the urgent need for additional housing across our State, UDIA has respectfully requested that the scheme be made permanent.

For more information on this, read the article published in The West Australian, here.

No Pain No Gain

Following the announced update to the cash rate target by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), UDIA WA are pleased to release our upcoming Industry Luncheon with economic fortune teller Jonathan Pain.

Back by popular demand, Mr Pain will return for UDIA WA’s final industry luncheon of 2022 to give you the inside track on what you need to know heading into 2023.

In February this year, Jonathan shared his prediction with UDIA members that the Reserve Bank of Australia would significantly lift interest rates between five and six times in 2022, a prediction confirmed by the RBA’s decision to raise the rates on Tuesday, the fifth such rise this year.

With inflation in Australia well outside the comfort zone and limited levers left to pull to reign in spending, how much pain will households experience in the next 12 months? Will interest rates begin to decline again in late 2023 as some are predicting? What will this mean for property and development?

Seeing through short-term noise, Jonathan will share his exceptional insights into what we can expect to see across global, national and local financial markets and monetary policy in the year ahead.

Register here to ensure you join us for what will be an incredible industry luncheon.

Big thanks to Industry Partner Harvey Norman Commercial Division, event sponsors Wormall Civil Pty Ltd. and Australian Property Investor Magazine and Networking Partner JDSi Consulting Engineers for supporting this event.

UDIA members on prime time

UDIA WA are delighted to share that in this weekend’s episode of Home in WA on Channel 7, we visit Murdoch Square by Hesperia, which is a great example of a mixed use development set to provide a range of services and amenities to the local community.

The episode provides an insight into how the project is creating a transit-based destination hub that provides a range of complementary activities.

Part of the wider Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct (MHKP), Murdoch Square will bring together aged care, specialist medical suites, hotel and medi-hotel, commercial offices and a hospital. Murdoch Square will be embedded with retail, and a food and beverage precinct; tying together the buildings and showcasing a landscaped plaza at the heart.

UDIA WA is a proud partner of Home in WA.  Tune into Channel 7 or 7HD this Saturday from 12pm to watch this episode and for more information about Home in WA or to feature your company in an episode, click here.

Climate Change Bill passes Parliament

The Albanese Government’s Climate Change Bill passed through Federal Parliament today, enshrining an ambitious target of 43% greenhouse gas emission reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.  The Bill is one of the first pieces of legislation introduced to Parliament by the new Labor Government and is a significant change in focus from the previous government’s approach to the issues associated with climate change.

On top of setting the new emissions targets, the Bill also requires the minister responsible for climate change to provide an annual climate change statement to parliament. The annual climate change statement will be tabled in parliament and will include an update on Australia’s progress towards meeting those emission reduction targets, as well as on climate change policy and relevant international developments.  A restored Climate Change Authority will also be established to provide the minister with independent, expert advice on the annual statement.

DPLH the New Planning Application System

This afternoon UDIA Executive Manager Research Toby Adams attended a workshop run by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage about a new Planning Application System.

The Department is replacing its existing planning application system, including the applicant portal, with a robust, contemporary, cloud-based system that better supports planning application processes.

The new system is being structured to ensure that all parties to an application – and only those parties – are aware of the application status.

The new system has been designed following consultation in mid-2021 that led to calls for the system to achieve the following objectives:

  • Easy to identify the status of applications
  • Potential to reduce the substantial delays associated with the movement of applications through the referral process
  • Can monitor response rates to assist in improving timelines

UDIA WA will keep members updated on progress related to this new system and provide any updates that come from the workshop.

Land Report opportunities now open

October sees the return of the highly popular Land Report, published in partnership with The West Australian, which provides an up-to-date overview of UDIA WA’s latest land sales figures and market commentary.

Using UDIA WA lot sales data each edition includes, the lift out also includes insights from UDIA and our members on updates in the land sector as well as providing an opportunity for our members to deliver key messages to consumers.

For your chance to be involved with the October edition of the Land Report, see here or reach out to Maddisen Booth at The West Australian for more information.

Last Chance! Join over 500 guests at gala

Tomorrow is your last chance to book tickets for Industry’s night of nights as we celebrate the best and brightest people and projects in WA at the 2022 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner on Saturday 17 September.

Make sure you’re there to celebrate with us by booking your spot here.

If you worked on a project that has been nominated, we encourage you to show your support for your clients and the nominated projects by joining us at what is set to be the WA development industry’s night-of-nights, attracting over 500 key players in the industry.

Check out the full list of Nominated projects here.

There are also limited opportunities remaining to celebrate your success in the upcoming publication of the Awards for Excellence Winners Showcase magazine. This premium glossy publication celebrates the best and brightest in the WA development industry at the moment (Check out last year’s edition here).

With a very limited number of spaces left in the publication, now is the time to book your spot. Get in touch with Communications Officer Chris Thurmott at for more information.

RBA raises rates again

As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised the cash rate target by a further 50 basis points on Tuesday to 2.35%, its highest level since 2015.

In announcing the decision, RBA Governor Philip Lowe reiterated the Board’s commitment returning inflation to the 2–3 per cent range over time.

“It is seeking to do this while keeping the economy on an even keel,” Dr Lowe said. “The path to achieving this balance is a narrow one and clouded in uncertainty, not least because of global developments.

“The outlook for global economic growth has deteriorated due to pressures on real incomes from high inflation, the tightening of monetary policy in most countries, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the COVID containment measures and other policy challenges in China.”

Dr Lowe continued to say he expects inflation to peak this year and then decline back towards the 2–3% range.

“Medium-term inflation expectations remain well anchored, and it is important that this remains the case,” he said. “The Bank’s central forecast is for CPI inflation to be around 7¾% over 2022, a little above 4% over 2023 and around 3% over 2024.”

Continuing to justify the decision to raise the rates again Dr Lowe said an important source of uncertainty continues to be the behaviour of household spending.

“Higher inflation and higher interest rates are putting pressure on household budgets, with the full effects of higher interest rates yet to be felt in mortgage payments,” he said.

“People are finding jobs, gaining more hours of work and receiving higher wages. Many households have also built up large financial buffers and the saving rate remains higher than it was before the pandemic. The Board will be paying close attention to how these various factors balance out as it assesses the appropriate setting of monetary policy.”

A Connected City

UDIA WA are looking forward to our October Industry Breakfast with Minister Rita Saffioti, discussing ‘A Connected City’ and the need for a mid-tier transport strategy for Perth.

UDIA WA is supporting a consortium of 15 local governments, led by the City of Canning, in advocating for the development of a Mid-Tier Transport Strategy for Perth that complements the State Government’s METRONET network.

Join us as we explore why projected population increases and urban consolidation are driving the need for a Mid-Tier Public Transport system in Perth.

City of Canning, Manager of City Planning, Sergio Famiano will present the consortium’s comprehensive proposal including how a Mid-Tier Transport strategy could:

  • Bridge the nexus between climate, liveability, congestion and housing diversity
  • Build a public transport network that will deliver the necessary infrastructure to support a growing population
  • Deliver greater connectivity between Perth’s east and west

Special guest, the Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA, Minister for Transport; Planning; and Ports will share her insight into:

  • Connecting new and existing METRONET stations through key activity centres
  • Future plans for Perth’s public transport network
  • How a Mid Tier transport system could facilitate greater infill

Our presenters will also be joined by Ben Haddock, Transport and Cities Specialist – Arup for an interactive Q&A panel discussion following their presentations.

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to be part of an important discussion on facilitating Perth’s future growth.

Register your spot here.

Big thanks to Arup and Harley Dykstra for supporting this event.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 co-design process workshop phase one summary report

The independent consultant report for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 co-design process workshop phase one is now available to view.

This report completes phase one of the process with phase two submissions having additionally closed on 19 August.

View the phase one report here.

12th Annual WA Major Projects Conference 

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck has been confirmed as one of the speakers for the 12th Annual Western Australia Major Projects Conference on the 29th and 30th of November 2022.

After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, the WA Major Projects Conference is back in its 12th year and will take place on 29 and 30 November at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Attracting over 250 attendees from across Australia, the event continues to be the premier infrastructure event in the State providing a platform to discuss the progress, challenges and share best practice solutions for WA’s infrastructure sector.

Tanya will be providing her insights for a panel discussion looking at Infrastructure Priorities: Shaping the Future of Western Australia:

  • Overcoming challenges facing the building industry
  • Supporting the growth and development of new and established industries
  • Developing WA’s renewable energy sector to set up new industries and broaden export markets
  • Building and Improving WA’s Schools

For more information, click here.

UDIA Online Access Code

UDIA WA are pleased to share a new Corporate Accommodation Rate Code for our members to receive 15% off accommodation with Crown Perth.

To access the discounted rates simply book via the Crown Hotels website and quote our Corporate Access code urband3357 in the promotional code field to receive your negotiated corporate rate.

Full instructions can be found here and for more information and T&Cs, click here.