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9 December 2021

Industry Issues 09-12-2021

From the CEO

As we all wait with bated breath for the Premier’s announcement (hopefully tomorrow!) of a specific ‘transition date’ when the controlled border will ease in January or February next year, the UDIA WA team is focusing squarely on the opportunities that 2022 will bring.

To enable us to represent the development industry most effectively, we are already in the process of drafting our Policy Priorities for 2022 that will focus on our three pillars – liveability, economy and environment.  To help us in pursuing those priorities next year, our Standing Advisory Group memberships have now been finalized with nominees being advised this week.  Those groups will commence meetings in February 2022 and will drive our actions with guidance from our three newly formed Strategic Committees and of course, our Council. While we are sure to face challenges as the borders reopen and we learn to ‘live with COVID’, the ability to attract interstate and overseas migration and compete more proactively to attract people to live, work and invest here will be critical to continued economic growth, not to mention bring friends and families together who may have been separated for several years.

As many of you will have no doubt noticed, our event program for 2022 is also already in full steam with our State Conference in Bunker Bay in March selling extremely fast and our February industry luncheon with Jonathan Pain already attracting over 200 registrations! The team is also looking at some fantastic professional development program options that will be available in the new year, so watch this space.

As we wind down to Christmas, it is also important that we take a step back and appreciate the ‘year that was’ and how much our industry has achieved in what has been a very unexpected year in terms of the property markets continued buoyancy and the level of activity that our members are still diligently dealing with.  In appreciating what we have, UDIA has considered how we can give back. That is why this year we have chosen to donate to Bridging the Gap Foundation, to assist with traineeships and scholarships for indigenous students. I encourage members to consider supporting this fantastic initiative, as we head toward the festive season.

Last edition of The Urbanist for 2021 released

This week UDIA WA were proud to launch the last edition of The Urbanist for 2021, which focuses on the future of travel and its impact on new and existing communities.

From active travel and creating connected communities, through to addressing the last mile and regeneration of underutilised transport corridors, transport integrates with so many aspects of our communities and our day to day lives and this edition looks in depth at many of these.

We have spoken to a broad spectrum of experts from Western Australia, eastern states and around the globe to inform these articles and to bring together ideas that will hopefully challenge and inspire when it comes to the delivery of sustainable, efficient and innovative transport options into our communities.

Key contributors to this edition include:

  • Jane Bennett
  • Professor Peter Newman
  • Ben De Marchi
  • The Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA
  • Jay Walter
  • Phil Jones
  • Mary Haverland

UDIA WA Members can access the latest edition, here.

UDIA National Congress – Save the Date!

Save the Date! UDIA National Congress will be held on Wednesday 25 May and Thursday 26 May 2022 at the Hyatt Regency, Sydney.

For the first time since 2019 National Congress will once again be an in-person event, providing a platform for members to collaborate, network and hear from high profile speakers and thought leaders to continue to improve urban outcomes across Australia.

Partnership packages are now on sale and registrations will open in the coming weeks. Sponsorship opportunities are also available, contact Anthony Nicolaou for more information at sponsorship@udiansw.com.au.

UDIA in Action

This morning the HV Pool Governance Committee, which includes representatives from UDIA and Western Power met to discuss the HV Pool balance, development trends and other factors affecting the pool balance.

In the meeting the committee decided to retain current system charge rate at $150/ kVA and UDIA will continue to keep members updated on the progress and outcomes from this committee.

Earlier this week UDIA met with the Australian Institute of Architects, Planning Institute of Australia, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, and the Property Council to discuss potential opportunities for collaboration in relation to the key issues and challenges relating to the built environment.

UDIA was encouraged by the consistency of issues and challenges that the respective organisations highlighted and looks forward to further engagement with the group.

Potential Region Scheme Amendment Requests Pre-Lodgement Advice Process

In March 2020, a pre-lodgement advice process for potential Metropolitan Region Scheme amendments was established by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). At its meeting held 24 November 2021, the WAPC resolved to expand this process to the Peel Region Scheme (PRS) and the Greater Bunbury Region Scheme (GBRS).

The process gives effect to early actions outlined in the Action Plan for Planning Reform, and assist with the early identification and resolution of issues through the following key outcomes:

  • Publication of an Assessment Sheet to provide an agreed format for presenting pre-lodgement advice requests to the WAPC for information purposes.
  • Publication of a Guidance Document.
  • Preparation of pre-lodgement referral and pre-lodgement advice letter templates.

The Guidance Document outlines the information requirements and process for proponents in obtaining pre-lodgement advice; provides guidance to Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) officers on how to prepare the content of an Assessment Sheet; and establishes a clear expectation regarding the manner and form of the pre-lodgement advice. The Guidance Document can be accessed at https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/region-scheme-amendment-pre-lodgement-advice

The pre-lodgement advice process establishes a framework around the existing process that has been used historically by the DPLH when dealing with requests for advice for potential Region Scheme amendments. As part of the endorsed process, proposals will be referred to relevant stakeholders for pre-lodgement advice and, once comments are received, the request will be presented to the WAPC for noting, which will include the identification of any key matters raised during the pre-lodgement assessment process. The proponent will also have an opportunity to present their preliminary proposal to the WAPC. Please note however that no formal resolution, or decision, of the WAPC is made as part of this process. Should a formal amendment request then be submitted with the WAPC, stakeholders will again be contacted during the pre-referral process and, if the amendment if initiated, during the formal referral process.

One of the key potential outcomes of a formalised pre-lodgement advice process is that it may result in stakeholder engagement occurring earlier on in the planning process. This is likely to be of benefit to all parties as the appropriateness of certain Region Scheme amendments can be considered at an earlier stage, leading to improved transparency and decision-making, another key initiative of the Action Plan for Planning Reform.

It would be appreciated if you could inform your members of this expansion of the pre-lodgement advice process to the PRS and GBRS.

Home in WA

Last Saturday marked the final episode in the current season of Home in WA with a segment from UDIA showcasing the revitalization of Bayswater.

The new Bayswater train station has been the catalyst for new and exciting improvements and development opportunities in the local area that are turning Bayswater into a very sought-after location.

Along with an interview with our Director of Research and Policy Chris Green, this episode also includes UDIA Vice President and Parcel Property’s General Manager Land Development Jeremy Cordina discussing the important role Iterno Bayswater by Parcel Property is playing in Bayswater’s rejuvenation.

You can view this episode here.

Through the course of this year UDIA WA’s media partnership with Home in WA has provided an ideal opportunity to showcase the incredible work undertaken by our members and the development industry each and every day and we thank all those who have contributed to our segments.

To view all previous UDIA episodes click here.

Unlocking the innovation potential of Australian companies

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) have joined forces to reveal the strategies Australian business leaders need to drive the nation’s recovery and future resilience from COVID-19.

Based on new research from CSIRO and the BCA, Unlocking the innovation potential of Australian companies covers nearly 40 key questions across six key areas to help businesses uncover the most effective habits of highly innovative companies.

The report draws on interviews and case studies from executives at some of Australia’s largest and most innovative businesses, including APA Group, Atlassian, Boeing, CBA, Cochlear, Coles, Dow, Dulux Group, GE, Google, Incitec Pivot, Microsoft, NAB, Rio Tinto, Telstra, Wesfarmers and Woodside.

The report also looks at existing research on ways organisations can become ‘innovation active’. Whether a small or medium-sized enterprise or large corporate, innovation active companies are twice as likely to report increased productivity than non-innovating companies, and almost all are able to point to tangible benefits like improved customer service or increased revenue.

Read the report here.

RBA retain cash rate

At the final Monetary Policy Meeting for 2021 on Tuesday the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to retain the cash rate target at 0.1%, once again.

In announcing the decision RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the Australian economy was recovering from the setback caused by the Delta outbreak, with high rates of vaccination and substantial policy support are underpinning this recovery.

“The emergence of the Omicron strain is a new source of uncertainty, but it is not expected to derail the recovery,” he said. “The economy is expected to return to its pre-Delta path in the first half of 2022.

“Leading indicators point to a strong recovery in the labour market. Job advertisements are at an historically high level and there are reports of firms finding it difficult to hire workers. Wages growth has picked up but, at the aggregate level, has only returned to the relatively low rates prevailing before the pandemic.

Dr Lowe said the Board would consider the bond purchase program at its February meeting next year.

“By mid February, the RBA will hold a total of $350 billion of bonds issued by the Australian Government and the states and territories, with these holdings providing significant support to the economy,” he said.

“The Board is committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions to achieve its objectives of a return to full employment in Australia and inflation consistent with the target.

“While inflation has picked up, it remains low in underlying terms. Inflation pressures are also less than they are in many other countries, not least because of the only modest wages growth in Australia. The Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range.”

Dr Lowe said this will require the labour market to be tight enough to generate wages growth that is materially higher than it is currently, which will likely take some time with the Board prepared to be patient.

To read the announcement in full, click here.

City of Subiaco Design Review Panel

The City of Subiaco is seeking expressions of interest for Design Review Panel membership for 2022-2024.

The City’s Panel provides independent expert advice on development and planning proposals facilitating a high quality design of the built environment.

Nominations are called for Panel members from persons who demonstrate a high level of expertise with appropriate qualifications and/or substantial experience in one or more of the following disciplines:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape architecture
  • Urban design
  • Heritage
  • Sustainability and environmental design
  • Services engineering
  • Accessibility
  • Transport planning
  • Planning
  • Public art
  • Civil and/or structural engineering

Nominations are also called for a Chairperson to administer the Panel. Local knowledge and/or experience in Subiaco is highly desirable.

Further information, including the nomination criteria and the Terms of Reference, is available on the Other Planning Matters page here.

Access to UDIA WA website changed

Access to the UDIA WA website recently changed as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all login details for the website were removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative was granted access initially and the Key Representative can now provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information was emailed to Key Representatives last week and can be accessed here for more information.

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email membership@udiawa.com.au