UDIA WA CEO a key part of the road to recovery

The State Recovery Advisory Group, of which UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck is an inaugural member, met for the first time for a major workshop today.

The group will provide strategic advice to help guide the development of the COVID-19 State Recovery Plan and includes representatives from business, industry, not‑for‑profit organisations, UnionsWA, the public sector, local government and the community.

During the first workshop, the Group shared their perspectives on the priority impacts of the pandemic on their respective fields.  Ms Steinbeck gave an update on how the property market has been impacted to date and provided detailed information on UDIA WA’s Ready to Rebuild advocacy document that can be found here.

Feedback from today’s roundtable will inform the State Government’s Draft Impact Statement, developed to summarise the known and emerging impacts of COVID-19 and focusing on five key recovery areas – health, economic and infrastructure, social, industry and regions.

The Impact Statement will continue to be developed in consultation with the State Recovery Advisory Group and will guide the State Recovery Plan to rebuild the State’s economy.

UDIA WA will update further next week with any more detailed information we are able to share following today’s meeting.

Ministerial Roundtable

As a follow up from today’s State Recovery Advisory Group workshop, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck will be attending a Ministerial Roundtable discussion tomorrow with the Minister for Housing Hon. Peter Tinley, Minister for Planning Hon. Rita Saffioti and other relevant industry bodies.

Key developers and builders have also been invited to attend this discussion and it provides an excellent opportunity to provide direct feedback on the recently announced housing stimulus package.

UDIA WA will update further next week with any information we are able to share following tomorrow’s discussion.

UDIA welcomes the Building Boost Package

On Sunday, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck was pleased to join the Premier and relevant Ministers at the launch of the state government’s Building Boost Housing Stimulus Package.

Ms Steinbeck welcomed the package as much needed support for the continued viability of the property and development sectors.

“The McGowan Government has acted decisively and precisely with this Building Bonus grant,” Ms Steinbeck said at the announcement. “They have demonstrated a detailed understanding of the mechanics of the market, and the grave situation the housing construction industry was facing in the coming months without government support.”

The stimulus package was developed following several weeks of UDIA WA working closely with the McGowan Government to ensure industry can play a role in maintaining jobs and contributing to a sustained economic recovery in WA.

Of particular note for our industry was the announcement of $117 million allocated to the provision of $20,000 grants for purchasers of new houses prior to construction completion.

Critically for land development, UDIA WA negotiated to ensure that a building contract must be entered into by December 31, 2020 to be eligible, with a further six months to June 2021 available for construction commencement. This will provide land developers with a much needed window to construct additional titled lots and contribute to jobs through civil construction and associated design work.

The new state grant adds to the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme, giving some Western Australian new home purchasers access to up to $45,000.

The $10,000 First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty concessions still apply, meaning some WA first homebuyers could qualify for up to a $69,440 benefit.

The $20,000 can also be used to purchase a new property in a single-tier development such as a townhouse, prior to completion of construction. It is not limited to owner-occupiers, with investors also eligible for the grant.

The State Government’s scheme is not means tested and has no cap on the property value.

An expansion to the off-the-plan transfer duty rebate to provide a $25,000 grant for purchases in multi-tiered developments under construction has also been included in the package.

The State Government estimates that expanding the rebate scheme, which will also be in place until December 31, 2020 will cost around $8.2 million.

For more information, read our media release here or see the Government’s website here.

UDIA understands an FAQ document about the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme is set for release by the Federal Government in the coming days.

Social Housing package set to support jobs

In addition to the Building Boost stimulus measure announced on Sunday, the State Government also released details of its Social Housing Economic Recovery package.

This $319 million social housing package is expected to support and create about 1,700 jobs, with 780 in regional WA and will refurbish 1,500 homes, build and purchase approximately 250 new dwellings and deliver a regional maintenance program to 3,800 homes.

The package includes an $80 million investment to fast-track a regional maintenance program, supporting workers and small businesses in regional WA.

As part of the plan, $97 million is allocated to build or buy approximately 250 dwellings comprising of new social housing builds and off-the-plan purchases ready for immediate construction, aiming to accelerate the start of building construction-ready projects.

Off-the-plan pre-sales opportunities will be acquired through a time limited Call for Submissions process issued by the Department of Communities and expected to open in mid-June.

For more information, see here.

Planning for Impact Member Briefing

On Tuesday UDIA WA hosted an exclusive Member Briefing featuring Kathy Bonus, Chief Planning Advisor at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage providing a detailed insight into the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020.  The presentation and subsequent Q&A session proved invaluable to the more than 160 online attendees who were keen to learn more about the detail of the new legislation.

Ms Bonus started with an overview of the various planning reforms that have taken place over the past 20 years including the most recent Action Plan for Planning Reform which was released last August.

The Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 was created to implement several of the reforms under the action plan. The Bill has been brought forward to assist with economic recovery, by streamlining the pathway for development projects.

To read more about this Member Briefing, click here.

Time running out to finalise submissions for UDIA WA Awards for Excellence

Closing on 30 June, there are now less than three weeks to go to enter your project into UDIA WA’s prestigious Awards for Excellence for 2020.

Specifically developed by, and for, the development industry and judged by highly respected, independent industry professionals, the Awards recognise excellence and innovation across Western Australia.

All of our 2020 Award winners will be eligible to enter the UDIA National Awards which are announced each year at the UDIA National Congress where Western Australia has a strong track record of success.

National winners from WA this year included the Armadale Fitness & Aquatic Centre by the City of Armadale in the Social and Community Infrastructure category, and Cirque Mount Pleasant by Stirling Capital for High Density Development.

Don’t let your project miss out on the recognition it deserves. See here for more information on how to enter.

Local councils encouraged to fast-track community improvement projects

Over the last couple of months, UDIA WA has been consulting with the Department of Planning and key local governments to highlight how fast tracking community infrastructure projects can boost local economic activity.

We therefore welcomed Planning Minister Rita Saffioti’s recent public announcement, encouraging more local governments to fast-track community infrastructure projects to help support small businesses and local jobs during Western Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is inviting governments to apply to use cash contributions collected from developers to undertake improvement works on open space, community facilities and infrastructure.

Six local governments have already been successfully approved for funds:

  • City of Gosnells – $1,400,000
  • City of Greater Geraldton – $1,208,973
  • City of Kalamunda – $524,927
  • City of Albany – $116,000
  • Shire of Mundaring – $94,674
  • City of Wanneroo – $444,000

Under the State’s planning framework, developers progressing a subdivision can be granted permission to provide cash payments to local governments for reinvestment in public open spaces, in lieu of setting aside land in a subdivision.

Exclusive event offer

Tomorrow is the last day you can take advantage of an exclusive offer from UDIA WA to enjoy two incredibly informative events for a discounted price.

UDIA WA has secured Stephen Yarwood, City Planner, Australian urban futurist and the former Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide to share his insights with us across two informative events.

The first event, entitled The Future of Cities, is a webinar on Tuesday 16 June where Stephen will explore the potential implications of the global pandemic and the opportunities it offers for us to rethink our urban spaces.

The second event will be an in-person breakfast where Stephen will share insights on what we should be doing now to combat the risks of climate change and sharing best practice case studies to show what a truly resilient built environment looks like.

Future Proofing the Urban Environment // Preparing for Climate Change is taking place on Wednesday 7 October from 7:30am – 9:30am at Crown Perth.

The exclusive discount offer allows Members to attend both events for just $125. For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Infrastructure WA chief executive officer appointed

On Monday Premier Mark McGowan announced Philip Helberg has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure WA.

Mr Helberg’s role will focus on providing expert infrastructure advice to the Premier and State Government on the planning and implementation of infrastructure priorities and initiatives.

As a former Deputy Director General at the Department of Finance, Mr Helberg led Building Management and Works, and the Strategic Projects arm of the agency, driving significant sector-wide reforms in infrastructure planning and development.

With diverse experience across both the public and private sectors, Mr Helberg has previously overseen annual infrastructure programs in excess of $1 billion.

Mr Helberg’s appointment starts on August 1 for a five-year term and we look forward to working with him in his new role.

For more information, see here.

Former school site receives maximum six leaves for EnviroDevelopment Certification

The 11.9ha former Hamilton Senior High School site in Perth’s southern corridor will be transformed into a vibrant new residential community, with a diverse range of modern housing options.

The redevelopment is a DevelopmentWA Innovation through Demonstration project – helping Western Australia to meet the challenge of creating new, smarter ways to live, to save water and energy and reduce pressure on our natural environment.

Expected to deliver approximately 232 lots and 330 new dwellings, the project will include single homes, town homes and apartments, to house some 800 residents.

To read this story in full, click here.

New builders’ panel to support construction sector and benefit community

Earlier this week the State Government put out a call for proposals from qualified, experienced and financially capable builders to be part of a new Design and Construct and/or Housing Refurbishment Builders Panel.

The new panel will be established through a ‘request for proposal’ opportunity issued by the Department of Communities.

The panel offers an opportunity for the private sector in partnership with the department to create inclusive, safe and affordable places for people to live that reflects the diversity and needs of the Western Australian community.

It will deliver a high volume of single and grouped housing and/or undertake social housing refurbishment works across the Perth metropolitan regions over a period of two years, with possible extension.

Applicants must specify if they will provide design and construct services, housing refurbishment services, or both.

They must demonstrate their housing refurbishment capabilities and/or their design and construction expertise and capacity to develop affordable, high-quality, environmentally sustainable, innovative and accessible housing.

They are also required to demonstrate their commitment to engage and promote Aboriginal employment, apprenticeship and subcontracting opportunities.

In addition, supporting employment opportunities for people with disability is encouraged and builders with experience delivering a high volume of Class 1 grouped sites are highly desirable.

The Request for Proposals process is open now until 7 July, 2020. For a copy of the documentation, visit here and search for tender reference number HOU9600620.

UWA researchers look to where Australians should live in the future

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have created an online survey that is designed to support planning for new cities across Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s population will increase from 25 to 53 million by 2101, mainly due to immigration.

Presuming that half of this projected 28 million increase is dispersed across existing Australian cities and towns, the survey seeks to scope possible configurations for accommodating the remaining 14 million.

The survey is designed to be anonymous and asks respondents to evaluate eight different population distribution plans.

Participants are asked to consider climate, infrastructure, economic opportunity and natural heritage when locating the 14 million future Australians.

Anybody living in Australia is invited to take part in the Plan My Australia survey and provide feedback on how best to distribute the anticipated growth in population.

For more information and to take part in the survey, click here.

State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper Launch

On Friday 26 June Infrastructure WA will be releasing its State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper in an online launch that is free for all to attend.

The launch is set to open the door to a state-wide conversation about the future of infrastructure in Western Australia.

For more information, see here.

We value 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

  • Local Government Act Review Phase One Regulations – Opportunity to Comment (here). Submissions close Monday 13 July 2020.
  • Waste Reform consultation papers (here). Submissions close Wednesday 15 July 2020:
    • Closing the loop: Waste reforms for a circular economy & review of the waste levy
    • Review of the waste levy – consultation paper

Need Fill? Surplus sand available

In the process of constructing the Roe Highway/Kalamunda Road grade separation project, Georgiou have obtained a large amount of surplus fill material, which would be ideal for consultants, planners, developers and other stakeholders that may have a use for this material for their projects.

The fill material can be obtained by getting in touch with Georgiou direct who can provide more information about the specific details. Depending on yours and the project’s requirements (timing, quality and the amount required), the fill may be free of charge or a fee may apply.

For further information or to make an enquiry about the fill material, contact Jason Fletcher on jason.fletcher@georgiou.com.au.