Opposition sets the record straight on infill

UDIA WA Vice President, Kim Lawrance and CEO Tanya Steinbeck met with Opposition Leader Mike Nahan and Shadow Minister for Lands; Planning and Transport, Liza Harvey on Tuesday to discuss the concerning media coverage in a recent edition of The Subiaco Post regarding a plan to slash infill targets.

After sending a detailed letter responding to industry concerns about the comments, Ms Harvey clarified her position that she was absolutely supportive of the need for infill. Both Mr Nahan and Ms Harvey expressed their concerns around shifting the goal posts on infill targets, and infrastructure constraints along key transport corridors such as Stirling Highway that is causing concern for residents.

The Opposition have welcomed ongoing industry collaboration in the development of future planning policy in the lead up to the next State Election.

Precinct policy the priority over Medium Density Design Code

UDIA WA President Nick Allingame and CEO Tanya Steinbeck met with Minister for Transport; Planning, Rita Saffioti on Wednesday to discuss key issues including Bushfire Regulations, Planning Reform, Development Contributions and the ongoing public dialogue around infill.

The Minister highlighted the need for industry to raise concerns regarding bushfire regulations with the Premier in order to elevate the importance of the issue, which UDIA has and will continue to do. The Minister advised that the Precinct Planning policy is next cab of the rank in terms of release, followed by the Medium Density Design Code. The industry push for the Medium Density Design Code to be prioritised was highlighted, as was ongoing challenges in the management and accountability of Development Contribution Schemes.

The Minister advised that the revised SPP 3.6 needs to go to Cabinet prior to going to WAPC. Given the potential implications of the policy for the industry making contributions to State Infrastructure, the UDIA is continuing to watch the movement of this draft policy closely with a Working Group attached to State Council established.

Opposition response to the federal budget – UDIA’s take

Last Thursday night, the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten delivered the Opposition’s response to the Coalition’s 2019-20 Federal Budget. While Labor focused primarily on health and education, there were some noteworthy elements related to the development industry which UDIA National communicated to members on Friday.

In case you missed it, Labor’s position on tax reform included claims that its tax reforms will be fairer for everyone – Australians earning between $48,000 and $126,000 will get the same tax break. Labor says it will also ensure a ‘liveable wage’ for almost 3 million Australians earning less than $40,000 a year.

Bill Shorten has also held strong on proposed changes to Negative Gearing / Capital Gains Tax and Franking Credit refunds which is disappointing given the current property market conditions in most states.

A 2% “Deficit Levy”, indicatively to 2023, will be imposed on those with taxable annual incomes above $180,000.

UDIA National has provided a more detailed assessment of Labor’s budget policies in relation to our National Policy Priorities which can be viewed here.

Federal election campaign in full swing

The federal government has finally announced the election will be held on Saturday 18 May. With the date now set, UDIA National will be ramping our campaign up another notch to ensure the development industry is heard in relation to relevant government and opposition policy.

Our campaign, entitled Building a Liveable Future for all Australians, focuses on three key pillars including supporting the health of the property market; targeted population growth; and strategic infrastructure investment.  Find out more here.

Expressions of Interest: Western Power Roundtable on distribution applications and associated costs

UDIA met with Western Power this week to discuss member concerns regarding the price of Access Offers for distribution applications (previously known as Customer Funded Works). As a result, Western Power agreed to take part in a roundtable meeting with UDIA members to discuss and understand the quotation process for Access Offers, contract management policies for Western Power contractors and Western Power’s legislative requirements. As such, UDIA is now seeking expressions of interest from members who would like to take part in the Roundtable before formal invitations are provided. Please email policy@udiawa.com.au to register your interest in the Roundtable.

UDIA Outlook reaching out to students

THE UDIA Outlook committee hosted a free ‘Career Pathways’ information session for university students interested in finding out more about career opportunities in the urban development industry last night.

Members of the committee from a range of sectors including development, engineering, marketing, finance, environment and planning shared their experience and career journey to date and provided tips and advice for students considering their career pathway following graduation.

This forum is part of Outlook’s aim to promote the urban development industry more broadly to students as a positive career option and provide more information around what a career in urban development looks like.

This event was hosted in conjunction with the Property Education Foundation and we thank our Outlook partners for their support: Pritchard Francis; Cedar Woods; Alinta Energy; and Now Living.

Land report – opportunities available 

UDIA is once again partnering with The West Australian and The Sunday Times to deliver our members an exclusive opportunity to promote their projects to an audience of close to 600,000 through the Land Report lift out. The May Land Report lift out will be published on the 18th and 19th May 2019. UDIA is working with the editorial team on articles that will cover a range of themes including housing diversity and choice, the current economic climate, innovation, affordability, adaptable homes and advice for home buyers around access to finance and purchasing.

More information here

We welcome your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to policy@udiawa.com.au

Draft Odour Guideline for Prescribed Premises (here). Submissions close Friday 19 April, 2019.

Approved methods for mandatory reporting under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 (here). Submissions close Monday 27 May, 2019.

Perth’s evolving reputation

The Committee for Perth has released a new Fact Base Bulletin investigating Perth’s evolving external reputation.  Developing a clearer ‘brand Perth’ and promoting a value proposition for investment and migration to Perth has been a key focus for UDIA in our advocacy to the state government and the findings in this report are very interesting.

The report found that “perceptions of Greater Perth presented by global city indices depict a region that is liveable but not as liveable as other Australian cities. Perth is also falling behind in regard to perceptions of innovation, smart technology, attractiveness to international students and the strength of the city’s brand – yet has strengthened its reputation as affordable.”

The report also suggests that we need to actively shape Perth’s future narrative and reputation through ongoing, strategic action and outward communication.

More information here.

Urban Intelligence released

UDIA released this month’s Urban Intelligence report to members outlining the latest economic and property industry trends for the month.

Headline figures include WA’s population growth rate has increased to 0.9% annually, which is the highest in three years.  The Consumer Price Index and Wage Price Index also lifted moderately.

All the detailed information and analysis can be found here.

Waste Authority – Industry engagement funding

Applications are now open for Community and Industry Engagement Funding from the state government to support projects that contribute to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 objectives and targets.

The new waste strategy identifies support for local recycling infrastructure as important for meeting the strategy’s targets and supports moving Western Australia towards a circular economy. A circular economy provides opportunities to create jobs from local recycling and minimise the costs and impacts of unnecessary transport.

This CIE funding round offers two streams:

  • Stream 1: CIE – General Funding Stream ($400,000 allocated in 2018-19)
  • Stream 2: CIE – Recycling Infrastructure Funding Stream ($1,000,000 allocated in 2018-19)

An information session on the program will be held at 10.30am, 12 April 2019 at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. To register your attendance email cie@dwer.wa.gov.au  or call 6364 6945.

Latest building activity released

According to the latest from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, WA housing commencements fell 19.8% on a quarterly basis in December to sit at 2,729.  That is 19.6% below figures at the same time the year prior.

Commencements for total residential dwellings also decreased 20.4% over the quarter to total 3,443, this is 35.2% down on numbers in December 2017

On a more positive note, housing completions in the December quarter lifted 5.2% from September to sit at 3,251, 4.0% higher than the same time the year before. Completions for total residential dwellings also increased 7.6% over the quarter and 4.8% from the same time in 2017 to total 4,297.

Weekly Site Crime Report

Two adult males have appeared in Perth Magistrates Court following the theft of hot water units at a BGC Residential construction site in Balga. The offenders were arrested after PACT Site Security investigators installed a number of GPS tracking devices into hot water units at a set of units under construction in Balga. PACT’s investigators liaised with local detectives who executed a search warrant at the address, recovered the property and charged the two males with 2 counts of stealing. Last week saw 7 reported incidents including 2 x Stealing Alkimos, 1x Stealing Hammond Park, 1x Stealing from display home at Lakelands, 1x Trespass Clarkson and 1x Damage Armadale. For a free site risk assessment call 1800 272 836 or click here.