From the CEO


Economic diversity and population growth key to WA’s success

UDIA WA was pleased to host independent, global economist Jonathan Pain once again at our recent industry luncheon.  Mr Pain has been a regular guest of UDIA over recent years however was unable to attend in person due to COVID restrictions in 2021 and early 2022.

As expected, Mr Pain outlined a rather bleak picture of the current global political context to the 450 strong crowd.  In his view, tensions with China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have ongoing and far-reaching consequences for global political environments and economic growth.   He warned that a global recession is looming and Australia will not be immune to the negative impacts.

When asked to make a prediction on the official cash rate, while cautious, Mr Pain suggested a peak in mid-2023 at 3.5% is likely here in Australia.

While the housing markets are expected to crash on the East Coast, WA is somewhat sheltered from a significant fall in prices given our relative affordability and isolation.  Investors are looking to WA for affordable options.  Our economy is also likely to be somewhat protected, however as he has often advised in previous presentations, WA needs to ‘diversify, diversify, diversify’.  Mr Pain is confident that should China decide not to purchase WA mineral commodities including iron ore, we could find other buyers in countries like India, Indonesia and many other growing nations.

The final key message from Mr Pain was in relation to population growth in Australia and specifically in WA. Mr pain said that while our way of life here in WA is very enviable and we might enjoy the ‘quiet life’, we cannot continue to experience economic growth without attracting many more people to our shores.

A big thanks to our supporters for this popular event including Australia Property Investor Magazine; Glen Mcleod Legal; Wormall Civil; Harvey Norman Commercial; and JDSi Engineering.

If you would like to view photos from the event, visit here.

Main Roads Supplement to WAPC’s TIA Guidelines

On Monday, the UDIA WA team participated in a workshop hosted by Main Roads to discuss the process they are going through with their appointed consultants to develop a supplement to the existing WAPC’s Transport Impact Assessment (TIA) guidelines addressing trip generation rates for WA.

This is intended to assist with streaming assessments of TIAs associated with development.  The form of this document is yet to be established.

To inform the development of ‘generally accepted’ trip rates, the consultants will use SA2 ABS journey to work data to identify typical car mode shares, as well as DPLH land use and employment survey data to identify areas with the most representative activity for different land uses, and then survey two typical sites for each selected land use type to determine current trip generation.

Discussions flagged issues with basing fixed trip generation rates, to be applied to all developments of a certain land use type, on surveys from such a limited number of sites and the need for further consideration of flexibility in the process and other factors influencing travel demand such as surrounding land uses, proximity to public transport and cycling infrastructure, parking, linked / pass by trips, etc.

Main Roads is considering the feedback from this early stakeholder engagement and consultation on the trip rates and proposed TIA supplement is being planned.

Meeting with the EPA and DWER

On Wednesday, UDIA WA met with the EPA Chair and senior representatives of the EPA and DWER. This session was requested by UDIA WA as a follow on from a meeting with the EPA Chair in May regarding the implications of interactions and the management of approvals on the provision of housing supply when we are experiencing critical shortages.

Matters raised by UDIA WA included feedback from the development sector on current issues being experienced, resourcing and engagement with industry, the approach to scheme amendments and subdivision proposals (including engagement between WAPC/DPLH and EPA/DWER), and native vegetation clearing and offsets in context of urban development proposals and rezonings.

Feedback included the willingness, and desire, of DWER to engage early outside of the statutory process to work through any issues and ensure the right level of information is provided to aid assessment.

Supporting an end to homelessness

Members of the UDIA WA team were pleased to attend an exclusive film screening hosted by Mirvac on Wednesday night that was supporting Homelessness Services.

The film, Some Happy Day, was made with and in the community that the story is set and follows the story of Tina, a woman experiencing homelessness and in search of a better life.  The film aims to provoke conversation and more action that works towards addressing the issues of homelessness.

Money raised at the event will go toward the important work of the Salvation Army to support those experiencing homelessness.  You can find out more about The Salvation Army and donate here.

Consultation Paper – A new educational qualification model for the strata management industry

Landgate have released a consultation paper on future educational requirements for strata managers.

The paper, called ‘A new educational qualification model for the strata management industry’, is in response to changes at a national level to the Certificate IV in Strata Community Management (Certificate IV) which have made it impossible for some people working in the strata management industry to meet the educational qualification requirements in the current Strata Titles (General) Regulations 2019 (STGR).

The paper also addresses industry feedback that the current educational qualifications in the STGR, are confusing and don’t reflect industry terminology and business structures.

The model proposed in the paper seeks to:

  • use language that is familiar to industry
  • focus regulation on the roles that have responsibility for carrying out authorised scheme functions
  • allow flexibility for changes to unit numbers within the Certificate IV.

These outcomes would be achieved through amending the STGR to:

  • remove the definition and concept of a designated person
  • introduce a definition for principal of the business
  • introduce a definition and concept of a strata community manager
  • introduce a definition and concept of an assistant strata community manager

Landgate is seeking public and industry feedback on the paper as the model for educational qualifications that it proposes takes a different approach to implementing these requirements to what is currently set out in the STGR.

Feedback will assist Landgate to make a final decision on the amendments that should be made to the STGR.

The Paper and information about how feedback can be provided is available on the Landgate website here. The Paper will be open for public consultation from 11 November until 5pm AWST on 2 December 2022.

Any questions or follow up queries can be directed to

Unemployment drops again

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed a slight drop in the National unemployment rate to 3.4% while the WA figures remained steady at 3.5%.

The underemployment rate in Western Australia also remained steady in October sitting at 5.8% with the National underemployment rate sitting at 6.0%, the same rate as in September.

Despite WA’s unemployment rate being bettered by NSW and Queensland the participation rate in WA was the highest of all states in October highlighting the strong jobs market currently.

Home in WA showcases gold standard

Last Sunday, Home in WA featured the award-winning Golden Bay by PEET Ltd and DevelopmentWA in the latest of our segments on Channel 7

Having recently won two awards at the UDIA WA Awards for Excellence, Golden Bay is rightly receiving the acknowledgement it deserves for being an exceptional project and this Home in WA segment provides good insight into what makes it an idyllic aspect of Perth’s south coast.

You can view the segment here.

Continuing our Home in WA series, this week will see a special feature on Homes for Homes, the philanthropic arm of The Big Issue.

Homes for Homes raise funds to increase the supply of social and affordable housing nationally.  Donations from properties registered with Homes for Homes are pooled and granted out to the community housing sector, creating more homes for people in need.

Tune in to Channel 7 and 7HD on Sunday at 4.30pm to watch this episode. You can view the episode by clicking here and to view all UDIA WA’s Home in WA segments and more, head to our YouTube channel here.

Western Power readies for summer 2023

Western Power has done significant work to prepare the network for the coming summer following the power outages experienced during the record-breaking heatwave last year.

The business is continuing to undertake a swathe of work to address the recommendations of the independent Christmas 2021 power outage review undertaken by Michelle Shepherd.

Western Power CEO Sam Barbaro said extensive work was continuing to improve reliability including enhancing forecasting to enable better network management during consecutive extreme hot weather days, reviewing switching patterns and upgrading and replacing key infrastructure.

“Much of this work was already underway with increasing climate change and weather impacts, but we’ve fast tracked works ahead of summer to improve power reliability where possible,” he said.

“A key aim is improving our low voltage forecasting methodology by incorporating advanced metering (AMI) data, considering the rise in rooftop solar and changing weather patterns.

“We’re also revising load forecasts for our distribution network and using relevant CSIRO long-term climate change projections to forecast heatwave frequency and intensity.

“Minimising the length and number of unplanned outages is a priority. We’re working on several initiatives to improve the network’s reliability, which will help in situations like the Christmas heatwave where overloading occurred.

“This includes reinforcement works for a number of substations including Mandurah, Waikiki, Yanchep and Byford, and upgrading 70 distribution transformers before the end of the year.

“We’ve taken onboard community feedback regarding frustration with delayed restoration times, during high fire weather days, and we’re working with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and local governments to review fire risk management approaches.

“This includes reviewing how we can reduce the time we have to wait to operate the network to restore customers on these days, while continuing to ensure community safety.

“We’re improving communications in the lead up to and during outage events to keep our customers updated with timely and effective information.”

Mr Barbaro said Western Power undertakes an extensive bushfire mitigation program each year. This year included pole replacement; conductor replacements and vegetation management – at a cost of approximately $158 million ($85 million on pole replacements; $52 million on conductor replacements and $21 million on vegetation management).

“While we all know that 100% reliability is not possible, we are doing all that we can to prevent outages and maintain our 99.91% reliability record,” he said.

“I am excited that in several areas of the business, we have started using newer and greener technology to support better reliability, and this will only increase into the future.

“We understand the inconvenience power outages can cause residents, particularly in regional and remote areas of the South West Interconnected System, which is why we have taken on the recommendations of the Christmas 2021 power outage review.

“We also continue to look at ways to deliver safe and reliable power to the community.”

Western Power recently launched, with the WA Government and Synergy, a Summer Readiness campaign to raise awareness on peak energy use over summer.

Perth and Peel households are being encouraged to make small changes to maintain reliable power during peak demand periods between 5pm and 9pm.

Households can reduce their energy use and save money during peak demand periods by:

  • Limiting the use of major appliances (washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers) between 5pm and 9pm;
  • keeping air conditioner settings at 24 degrees – every degree lower on your air conditioner can add 10 per cent to your electricity cost; and
  • using pool pumps during the middle of the day.

Last chance to book for End of Year Celebration

Time is running out to register for UDIA WA’s End of Year celebration set to take place at the Cottesloe Beach House.

The celebration is the ultimate networking event and the perfect way to finish the year in style with friends and colleagues.

In addition to celebrating another incredible year, one lucky attendee will win a FREE one-year subscription to MNG Access Premium Package, valued at $4,150 thanks to event sponsor MNG.

Trusted by developers, MNG Access allows Users to quickly and efficiently visualise accurate information to make informed decisions across planning, environmental and engineering throughout the life of a project.

With a user-friendly interface and full training and support, MNG Access is your one-stop assistive tool and digital partner in land.

Keen to discover more? Contact MNG Sales Manager, Dave Bullen or head to MNG Access here.

To go into the draw to win all you need to do is register for the UDIA End of Year Sundowner here before registrations close on Monday 21 November.

*Terms and conditions for use of MNG Access apply. Prize is non transferrable and not redeemable for cash.

Big thanks to our End of Year Sundowner Sponsors MNG., Douglas Partners, Effective Property Solutions and Underground Power Development.

Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes

This week the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of the November Monetary Policy Meeting, wherein the Board opted to raise rates by 25 basis points to see the official cash rate target sit at 2.85%.

While the increase in the rate was to be expected, according to the minutes the Reserve Bank Board came close to raising rates by double the amount, however also discussed the possibility of leaving the official cash rate on hold.

Within the minutes RBA Governor Philip Lowe acknowledged that interest rates are not on a pre-set path as the Board analysed the shock of a 7.3% annual inflation rate result in September that nearly prompted the RBA to double its interest rate increase this month, while simultaneously discussing the option to letting the previous rate rises take effect.

“Acknowledging the (inflationary) uncertainty, members did not rule out returning to larger increases if the situation warranted,” the Minutes of the Monetary Policy Meeting of the Reserve Bank Board noted.

“Conversely, the Board is prepared to keep rates unchanged for a period while it assesses the state of the economy and the inflation outlook.

“In their discussion, (board) members noted that many major central banks had been raising policy rates quickly and were more likely to err on the side of doing too much rather than too little.”

With inflation still an international issue, many still expect a 0.25% rise in December rise to precede a holding pattern in early 2023.

For a full analysis of the RBA’s minutes, check out the article from Australian Property Investor Magazine, here.

Nearly $40 million funding to deliver more than 150 social housing dwellings

This week Housing Minister John Carey announced 12 community housing organisations and local governments will share in a further $39 million in funding to deliver more than 150 new social housing properties across Western Australia.

The grants are provided through the McGowan Government’s Social Housing Economic Recovery Package (SHERP), drawn from the Social Housing Investment Fund (SHIF), a $750 million investment to boost the State’s social housing by 3,300 properties over the next four years.

The first $39 million SHERP New Builds Grant Round 1, announced in early 2022, is currently assisting the community housing sector to deliver more than 170 new social housing dwellings.

Round 2 grant projects will support the community housing sector to deliver new social housing dwellings (houses, units and apartments), transitional housing and crisis accommodation to support vulnerable Western Australians, with a significant investment in regional projects.

A number of projects in Round 2 are scheduled to deliver significant social housing benefits to the South-West including Dalyellup, Donnybrook, Busselton and Witchcliffe, while the Shire of Shark Bay will receive an injection of $4 million. This commitment builds upon the State Government’s Round 1 investment, where the community housing sector is delivering new social dwellings in the regions including Collie, Brunswick and Dwellingup.

Rounds 1 and 2 of the McGowan Government’s SHERP Grants Program are set to deliver more than 320 new social housing dwellings across WA.

The State Government previously announced nearly $58 million in funding through the refurbishment stream of the SHERP Grants Program, which will support 47 community housing providers to undertake more than 800 refurbishment projects of dwellings across WA.

New pipelines to support growth in City of Swan

The McGowan Government is investing $36.5 million in new water and wastewater infrastructure to cater for residential growth in the City of Swan under separate projects announced this week by Water Minister Dave Kelly.

Water Corporation will construct an 18km wastewater pipeline from Bullsbrook to Ellenbrook and a 2.6km water pipeline in Henley Brook, with completion expected in late 2023.

Wastewater works will include a new transfer pump station to safely divert flows from Bullsbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant to Beenyup Water Resource Recovery Facility, allowing the Bullsbrook plant to be decommissioned.

A new water pipeline along Starflower Road and Park Street will help transport drinking water to thousands of new and existing households in the fast-growing suburbs of Henley Brook, Ellenbrook and Brabham.

Many properties within the City of Swan are semi-rural, however, population growth in the last decade has seen a significant increase in new residential developments in Perth’s north-east.

Population in the City of Swan is expected to nearly double to 310,000 residents by 2051.

National Congress – get involved!

UDIA National Congress returns to Perth in 2023 and there are opportunities for UDIA members to get involved with the national celebrations.

Set to be held from March 27-29 at Crown Perth, it is the key networking event of the year as delegates from all over the country come together to learn, engage and interact with the compelling content on offer.

There are a variety of sponsorship opportunities available, including sponsoring one of the categories at the UDIA National Awards for Excellence where the WA winners announced at the 2022 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner will be flying the flag for WA.

To view all of the opportunities available, read the National Congress Partnership Prospectus here and reach out to National Sponsorship Manager Anthony Nicolaou at  with any questions.

UDIA Online Access Code

UDIA WA are pleased to share the 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.