UDIA In Action

This week focused on setting strategic goals for the Institute for 2021 and ensuring that we are representing our members effectively on a range of current issues including economic growth, market resilience and community engagement.

State Council met on Wednesday to finalise UDIA WA’s Policy Priorities for 2021, which are set to be published in time for release at State Conference on 24 February.  All our committees are looking at their specific priorities in relation to their terms of reference in this round of meetings which will ensure focused work resulting in tangible outcomes for industry over the year ahead.

UDIA met with WAPC Chairman David Caddy and WALGA this week to continue discussions around the imminent release of SPP 3.6 on Infrastructure Contributions and how we can work together to ensure the policy can improve the establishment and management of DCPs.

UDIA also took part in Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) half yearly review looking the issues and challenges regarding their research examining ‘Liveable Social and Affordable Higher Density Housing’.

Following last week’s lockdown, the UDIA WA team has successfully rescheduled two key events, with the Awards for Excellence now set to go ahead on Friday 19 February and our first Industry Luncheon for the year now set for Friday 26 March. If you are attending either of these events, please ensure your diaries are updated!

We look forward to the opportunity to meet our members face to face at our events over the coming weeks with the outlook fairly positive for current restrictions to ease on Sunday.

Latest Market Statistics released

The latest edition of UDIA WA’s Urban Intelligence report was released on Tuesday providing a comprehensive overview of the stats and facts that matter to the development industry.

This month’s edition features an article from UDIA WA Director Policy and Research Chris Green on conflicting expectations around WA’s expected population growth and the subsequent demand for property.

UDIA members can download the full report here.

State Planning Policy 2.6 – Planning Guidelines

A review of the planning guidelines associated with State Planning Policy 2.6 State Coastal Planning was completed and approved by the WAPC in November 2020. The Guidelines were published on the DPLH website on Friday 5th February 2021, and a copy is available here.

The intent of the updated guidelines is to provide greater consistency in the implementation of SPP 2.6 through expanded guidance.

Additions have been provided in:

  • 1 Introduction, 2 Roles and Responsibilities and 3 Policy Framework Overview providing detail on the application of SPP 2.6 within the Western Australian Planning Framework; and
  • 4.7.3 Coastal Foreshore Reserve and Public Open Space, 4.7.4 Previous Planning Decision to identify Coastal Foreshore Reserve, and 6.1 Coastal Nodes

providing guidance on the application of SPP 2.6 in relation to other land use planning instruments, their requirements and decision-making. These specifically reflect outcomes from the Two Rocks Investments Pty Ltd and Western Australian Planning Commission [2019] WASAT 59 (S) State Administrative Tribunal case.

A new appendix provides detailed guidance on the application of SPP 2.6 within the Western Australian Planning Framework.

State Election just a month away

The writs have been officially issued by the State Governor and the 2021 State Election is set for Saturday 13 March. To explore some of the key issues up for debate in the lead up to the election and get the latest government and industry perspectives, make sure you read the most recent edition of our magazine, The Urbanist.

Articles range from a head-to-head planning portfolio analysis, prospects for population growth, an Op-Ed from Premier Mark McGowan along with an overview of UDIA WA’s state election campaign #liveworkinvestWA.

Key contributors to this edition include:

  • Premier Mark McGowan
  • Planning Minister Rita Saffioti
  • Shadow Planning Minister Tjorn Sibma
  • Bernard Salt
  • Geoffrey Thomas
  • Professor Alan Duncan

For more information and to read this edition of the magazine, click here.

Liberals commit to tax reform if elected and aim for early zero emissions target

This week saw two big election commitments made by WA Liberal leader Zak Kirkup, the first being a stamp duty discount for seniors and the second an aim for net zero emissions by 2030.

The proposed stamp duty discount would mean that over-65s would pay drastically reduced taxes on the purchase of new or established home up to a maximum of $750,000.

Under the plan, seniors would not pay stamp duty on homes costing up to $440,000. The $15,000 discount would see stamp duty on a $550,000 home fall from $20,140 to $5,140, while taxes on a $750,000 property would be halved to just over $15,000.

The aim of the commitment is to encourage older residents to consider downsizing and Mr Kirkup suggested a commitment to further property tax reform was still a possibility.

Committing to property tax reform is a key part of UDIA WA’s State Election campaign as we propose that a fair and efficient taxation system will improve housing affordability, facilitate people moving to more appropriate housing and attract greater investment in the WA housing market, thereby increasing the supply of affordable rental accommodation.

WA is currently facing a rental crisis and therefore we need more supply of affordable housing and that comes from private investment which is currently being stymied, particularly by unfair taxation settings. More information on our State Election campaign can be found here.

The second major election commitment the Liberals made this week would see all State Government coal-fired power stations closed by 2025 as part of a plan to build Australia’s biggest renewable energy and export project. A key aspect of the project is to allow WA to have net zero emissions by 2030, 20 years earlier than Labor’s current target.

Under the New Energy Jobs Plan, a Liberal government would “underwrite” the development of a 1500MW wind and solar farm in remote areas between Geraldton and Shark Bay to provide renewable electricity for Perth, the South West, Wheatbelt and Kalgoorlie, however the $3 billion hub would be funded by the private sector.

RBA releases Statement on Monetary Policy

The Statement on Monetary Policy sets out the Reserve Bank’s assessment of current economic conditions, both domestic and international, along with the outlook for Australian inflation and output growth and was released at the end of last week.

According to the statement, the successful development of COVID-19 vaccines has improved the medium-term outlook for global growth.

In the near term, however, some momentum in the global economy has been lost, as infection rates have surged in several economies and lockdown measures have again become necessary. The recovery is likely to be bumpy and uneven, and dependent both on the health situation and ongoing fiscal and monetary policy support. Spare capacity will remain for some years, dampening inflationary pressures.

The good news is that the domestic economic recovery has run faster than previously expected. Fiscal policy has supported household and business cashflows, and the Victorian lockdown measures weighed less on economic activity than earlier assumed. Consumption has recovered faster and dwelling and business investment have not been as weak as anticipated.

The Bank’s forecasts have been revised to incorporate this stronger starting point. GDP is expected to have contracted by 2% over 2020, a smaller decline than earlier anticipated. Growth of around 3½% is expected over each of 2021 and 2022 as the recovery progresses.

To read the statement in full, click here.

Strong sign of economic recovery

Recent figures from the Australian Banking Association have provided one of the strongest signs of economic recovery as currently just 118,000 or 15% of the loans that were deferred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remain on hold.

Mortgages still make up the majority of the deferred loans, however there are now just 90,695 mortgages still deferred worth $38.7 billion, compared with 493,440 home loans amounting to $178.6 billion last June.

Business loans have also dropped considerably just 15,039 business loans worth $2.7 billion still deferred compared with 228,070 loans worth $66.1 billion at the peak.

A continued strong economic recovery from the pandemic was also predicted by Federal Treasury Department Secretary Steven Kennedy who, during a parliamentary committee into the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Australia’s economy recovery was locked in, despite a suspected drop in employment figures once JobKeeper finishes at the end of March.

Have your say on Seddon Street Precinct Local Development Plan

Public consultation on the Seddon Street Precinct Local Development Plan is still open, however consultation closes on Friday 19 February at 5pm.

The draft Seddon Street Precinct LDP considers the future development of the Seddon Street Precinct and includes provisions relating to built form, the movement network, and public benefits.

Key provisions in the draft LDP include:

  • The vision sees the precinct as an urban oasis full of character that offers a mix of land uses, is well connected, pedestrian and cyclist friendly and focuses on all generations.
  • Setback controls for upper floors allow for sunlight penetration to the public realm and create pedestrian colonnades at ground floor to contribute to a pedestrian-friendly environment.
  • Vehicle movements are kept at the periphery of the precinct.
  • The draft LDP responds to the State and locally listed heritage properties on Catherine Street by keeping the interface at two storeys. The Heritage Impact Assessment concludes that the draft LDP does not result in any adverse impact on Subiaco Hotel, Regal Theatre and Rokeby Road and Hay Street Heritage Area.

For more information and to have your say, click here.