From the CEO

A vision can be defined as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. The ability to imagine how a country, society or place could develop in the future and plan for it.

As developers, having a well-defined and aspirational vision for a place that adds enduring value to its community and surrounding environment is critical. Equally critical is the approval authorities having the wisdom to see when a proposed project adequately represents the desired outcome.

DevelopmentWA exercised its wisdom late last month when it approved a development application for 22-26 Brighton Road, Scarborough. An 18 storey multiple dwelling development with a 12 storey hotel and 5 storey mixed use development that has achieved ‘design excellence’ according to the Design Review Panel and will deliver housing choice with Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) units, Affordable dwelling units, Adaptable Housing units and a Hotel, which will attract both permanent residents and short stay visitors.

Within DWA’s vision for the Scarborough Redevelopment Area.. “to draw on Scarborough’s unique identity to create an authentic, contemporary urban-coastal experience for a growing residential community, workers and visitors, befitting its role as a key tourist destination…. The project will expand lifestyle choices and offer attractive alternatives to traditional suburban development.”

Kudos to the DWA Board on this one. The project clearly meets the objectives after an iterative and comprehensive design process and will add much needed housing supply in a key infill precinct. It won’t be surprising to know that the local government opposed the plans due to the project exceeding the maximum height limit.  In the minutes of the City of Stirling’s Council meeting held on 6 December 2022 the City summarises its proposed approach post-normalisation of the Scarborough Redevelopment Area as follows:

“Once planning control for the area is returned to the City, the City will be responsible for assessing development proposals and providing recommendations to the decision maker, which in most instances will be the Metropolitan Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel….Should Council have an appetite to review the planning framework and associated planning instruments for the Redevelopment Area, this can be reviewed once normalisation process has taken place.”

Cue the stampede of developers submitting their DA’s before ‘normalisation’ is official. Thankfully, vision-reflective projects still have the JDAP pathway.

They say vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. Well done to the visionaries that aren’t blinded by short-term self-interest and look to the horizon.

Latest stats show continued market moderation

At the end of last week UDIA WA released the latest edition of our quarterly Urban Development Index which provided the results of the lot sales for the December 2022 Quarter.

Headline figures include the decrease in lot sales by 2.1% QoQ and a 5.2% QoQ decrease in construction activity.  Importantly, the average price of new lots sold has increased moderately by 1.7% to $236,843 in the Perth Metro Area compared to the September quarter which also experienced a moderate increase in lot sale price.

While the market remains relatively steady, the small drop in average sales volumes and the drop in construction activity that has been recorded this quarter can primarily be attributed to a continued moderation of the market compared to when the Federal and State Building Stimulus measures were in place and the ensuing peak in sales that occurred in the months following.

The market has also moderated due to the dent in consumer confidence caused by interest rate rises and also likely due to land supply shortages in some areas that have stemmed from material and skills shortages.

To read the full December quarter results, click here to login to the UDIA WA member portal and view the latest UDI.

For more detailed UDI data including land market activity by local government area within the Perth metropolitan area and the regions, visit the UDIA dashboard on the Urbis Loop platform here. UDIA members have complimentary access to the UDIA Urban Development Index information and require a log in. Contact if you require access details.

UDIA celebrates International Women’s Day with latest magazine

This week UDIA WA were proud to release the latest edition of our thought-leadership publication The Urbanist to members with this edition focusing on and exploring diversity and inclusion in the development industry.

The edition includes a cover story featuring an exclusive interview with the UDIA WA 2022 Women in Leadership Winner Tanya Trevisan as well as an Op Ed from the Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency Mary Wooldridge.

Click here to read the latest edition.

Throughout this edition we feature a variety of influential voices and respected experts as we look at the progress and opportunities available with regards to diversity and inclusion within the industry.

Key contributors to this edition include:

  • Tanya Trevisan
  • Carol Innes AM
  • Rhys Paddick
  • Jess Berry
  • Troy Gorton
  • Professor Philip Oldfield
  • Avril Thomson
  • Jarrod Rendell
  • And Op-Eds from Workplace Gender Equality Agency Director Mary Wooldridge and AHURI Head of Development Dr Tom Alves among many other key industry voices from around the world.

We hope you enjoy reading this edition, which you can find by clicking here.

$80m Infrastructure Development Fund Guidelines Released

DPLH has just released application guidelines for the State Government’s recently announced $80 million Infrastructure Development Fund.

The Fund is intended to unlock a new pipeline of apartment and infill development, as well as worker accommodation in regional areas.  It has been allocated equally between metropolitan and regional projects ($40 million each).

Applications will open for 18 months, until 6 September 2024.  All guideline documents and application forms can be accessed here.

The Fund consists of three funding programs:

  • Targeted Apartment Rebate

For new apartment developments, a targeted rebate of up to $10,000 per multiple dwelling will be available to assist with water, wastewater and electricity infrastructure connection and contribution costs incurred with the Water Corporation or Western Power. Funds will be paid directly to the infrastructure provider.

The rebate will be restricted to apartment (multiple dwelling) projects within the Perth metro-central sub-region, METRONET Station Precincts and Housing Diversity Pipeline sites.

It is open to any developer and/or landowner undertaking an eligible development project. A project must have received development approval but not have substantially commenced prior to the application, and will be required to commence within two years of approval and complete construction within four years. An additional 12-month discretionary extension is available to account for unforeseen construction delays.

Applications will be assessed by DPLH against the eligibility criteria, with the aim of determining applications within 60 days of receipt.

The relevant guidelines for applicants can be viewed here.

  • Unlocking infill precincts

This has been designed as an infrastructure investment program to address constraints in the water, wastewater and electricity network at a precinct scale, to facilitate medium to high density residential development within the Perth metro-central sub-region, within METRONET station precincts and Housing Diversity Pipeline sites.

It allows for larger, more complex infrastructure bottlenecks to be identified and addressed, to provide additional services capacity to unlock development opportunities.

It is open to developers/landowners and local government.  Applications from a group of developers/landowners within a precinct are encouraged.

Applications will be based on evaluation of a business case, including consideration of co-contribution opportunities with industry, undertaken by an Assessment Panel.  The assessment criteria consider need and priority (30%), consistency with Government strategic priorities (20%), viability and capability (25%) and value for money (25%).

Following assessment by the Panel, recommendations will be considered by the Residential Lands and Housing Delivery Steering Committee (RLHDSC) for endorsement and the Residential Lands and Housing Delivery Ministerial Oversight Committee (MOC) for determination. The MOC will make the final decision on applications.

The relevant guidelines for applicants can be viewed here.

  • Unlocking regional worker accommodation opportunities

This has been designed as an infrastructure investment program to address infrastructure constraints in the water, wastewater and electricity network at a precinct or strategic site scale impacting the delivery of regional worker accommodation.

Key workers include skilled and semi-skilled workers employed in Childcare, Education, Emergency services, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Tourism, Trades and manufacturing, Government employees.

Applications will be based on evaluation of a business case, including consideration of co-contribution opportunities with industry.

The relevant guidelines for applicants can be viewed here.

UDIA WA welcomes program to increase female participation

To celebrate International Women’s Day, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck was in attendance for an announcement by Premier Mark McGowan and Minister for Women’s Interests Sue Ellery at the Construction Training Fund Construction Futures Centre.  The announcement included details of a new $3 million program for TAFE scholarships to attract more women into trades and construction and a new Women’s Workplace Safety Hub.

The scholarships would be available for a range of STEM, building and construction occupations with female workforce participation of less than 25% to increase pathways for women to higher-paying jobs.

Broadening recent efforts to address health and safety issues impacting women in the mining industry, a new Women’s Workplace Safety Hub is now available for all industries.

The online hub provides contemporary information and resources for both women who are experiencing workplace harassment and employers looking for resources to prevent harassment in their workplace, including what constitutes sexual harassment, how to make a complaint, and where to go if you are in need of immediate assistance and support.

UDIA welcomes the Government’s initiatives to attract more women into property and construction related fields. This industry is diverse and there are so many fantastic opportunities to be part of creating communities for the future.

We thank all the women and allies who have blazed a trail for more young women to forge a career in what is a very rewarding sector!

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act – exclusive event

UDIA WA is pleased to host an upcoming industry breakfast event that will provide the latest information direct from DPLH Director Anthony Kannis and key stakeholders on the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021, including the new assessment and approvals process, and how this differs from the existing approach.

The new guiding documents, which include activity categories, consultation guidelines and approval timeframes will also be discussed, and will provide an opportunity to understand the new legislation prior to it coming into effect on July 1 2023.

Presentations will be specifically tailored to the urban development industry so that attendees can gain a solid understanding of the requirements under the Act and draft Regulations and why it is important to actively engage with Aboriginal people in relation to managing their cultural heritage.

Areas of specific consideration during the event will include:

  • Undertaking effective Aboriginal stakeholder engagement for projects
  • The new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Directory
  • Establishment and role of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council & the Aboriginal cultural heritage services (LACHS)
  • Requirement and content for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plans
  • The different tiers of activity in relation to land use and thresholds for requiring management plans
  • The guidelines for consulting, planning, requesting to work or working on country of Aboriginal cultural heritage

We are pleased to announce this event will hear from DPLH Director General Anthony Kannis, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council Co-Chairperon Irene Stainton, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council Member Belinda Moharich and DevelopmentWA Manager Strategy and Innovation John Clifton.

This event will also feature an official Welcome to Country, as well as an interactive Q&A panel discussion to delve further into what the changes to this Act means for the WA development industry.

To register and be part of the conversation, click here.

We extend our thanks to Industry Partner DevelopmentWA and Event Sponsor Harley Dykstra for supporting this event.

UDIA National Congress – One week left to register!

There is just one week left to book for the 2023 UDIA National Congress set to take place right here in Perth!

National Congress is the ultimate learning and networking opportunity with world-class speakers and high-profile delegates from across the country coming together at the end of this month.

Headline speakers include Mark Bouris AM, Nicole Lockwood (InfrastructureWA), Amy Auster (PwC), Adrian Harrington (NHFIC), Eliza Owen (CoreLogic), Peter Calthorpe, USA, Andrew Miller (HATCH Canada), Prof Sam Tsemberis (Pathways to Housing, USA) and so many more including Congress MC Robert Harley.

The event kicks off with an Opening Night celebration on the rooftop of the Art Gallery of WA, followed by two full days of plenary sessions, study tours and unrivalled networking opportunities before being closed out by the 2023 UDIA National Awards for Excellence Gala Event.

The Gala event provides the ideal chance to celebrate the very best in urban development across Australia with winners from each State vying to be named best of the best.

This year Peter Rowsthorn has been confirmed as the Gala Event MC ensuring the night and Congress will finish in light and entertaining fashion.

To find out more and to register, visit here.

UDIA WA is hiring

UDIA WA is on the search for a new Policy Officer to join our dynamic team based in the heart of Subiaco.

This role is responsible for working with the Executive Director – Strategy and Policy to support policy work underpinning UDIA WA’s advocacy agenda to support our vision.

This spans across the strategic pillars of Economy, Liveability and Environment and encompasses industry-relevant issues relating to land use planning, built form, infrastructure, climate action, urban water, industry workforce, and regulation and tax.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Coordination of UDIA WA Committees and Standing Advisory Groups.
  • Undertaking policy development and assisting with drafting submissions and publications.
  • Coordination of the EnviroDevelopment program in WA, including engaging with perspective applicants and processing applications, for presentation to the EnviroDevelopment National Board for assessment.
  • Compilation and analysis of data and information relevant to the WA property and development industry.
  • Responding to policy-related member queries and supporting research activities.

In addition to working in one of Perth’s most vibrant precincts, you would get the opportunity to join a strong team and you can get to know our office dog Gracie very well.

For more information or to apply, click here.