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11 November 2021

Industry Issues 11-11-2021

From the CEO

With more certainty around WA’s safe transition plan released by the Premier last week, UDIA WA welcomes the news yesterday from Minister for Education, Sue Ellery that we will be welcoming back international students from Semester 1 in 2022. Supported by a marketing plan that will be centred around the safety and strong economic conditions of our great State, more than 5,000 students are enrolled in our universities with visas already approved.

Whilst universities are gearing up to provide student accommodation, those students who choose to find housing outside this offering will again be constrained by lack of housing options. Combined with the backlog of 28,000 permanent migration visas granted with WA as the likely destination, we will be flying into a perfect storm brewed by the skills shortage and supply chain constraints in dwelling construction.

I’m looking forward to a lively discussion around housing choice and supply tomorrow with Ministers Buti, Carey and Saffioti in front of 630 members and stakeholders. This is one of our biggest crowds ever which speaks to the critical nature of the issue and relevance to our industry. With unemployment levels in WA released today at the lowest level in the country at just 3.9%, we have the jobs, the economy and the lifestyle as Premier Mark McGowan highlights here. We just need to make sure we have the housing options available to maximise the benefits to our State and our community.

New episode of The Urbanist Live

UDIA are proud to announce we have just released the latest episode in our special diversity and inclusion podcast series of The Urbanist LIVE.

In this episode host Tanya Steinbeck, CEO of UDIA WA is joined by two of UDIA WA’s Industry Workforce and Diversity Committee members, Anthony Fisk, Executive Director at CGM Communications and Felicia Brady, Director of FTB as they explore the topic: Diversity in stakeholder communications.

We hope this discussion provides some food for thought and perhaps help with a project you are working on.

Listen to this new episode, here or click here to listen to all episodes.

630+ set for final lunch

UDIA are looking forward to joining with over 630 attendees at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre for our last Industry Luncheon for the year as we look at delivering housing choice in WA with the three key Government Ministers.

At the luncheon the Minister for Housing; Local Government the Hon. John Carey MLA, Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports, the Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA and Minister for Finance; Lands; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, the Hon. Dr Tony Buti will discuss their priorities in delivering places to live, work and play and how a whole-of-government approach is already delivering dividends to the people of Western Australia.

A big thank you goes to our sponsors for this event Satterley, Wormall Civil, Turner & Townsend, JWH Group, Business Events Perth and our Networking Partner JDSi Consulting Engineers.

Major local government reforms released for public consultation

Yesterday Local Government Minister, the Hon. John Carey MLA released details of new reforms to the Local Government Act.

The reforms are based on the findings and recommendations of a number of reports and consultation undertaken over the past five years and represent the most significant package of reforms to local government in Western Australia since the Local Government Act 1995 was introduced more than 25 years ago. The package is based on six major themes:

  1. Earlier intervention, effective regulation and stronger penalties;
  2. Reducing red tape, increasing consistency and simplicity;
  3. Greater transparency and accountability;
  4. Stronger local democracy and community engagement;
  5. Clear roles and responsibilities; and
  6. Improved financial management and reporting.

Central to the reforms will be new measures to proactively address dysfunction in local government earlier. This includes the establishment of a new Local Government Inspector, who will be appointed to investigate and manage complaints, and will have the powers of a standing inquiry.

The consultation period is open for feedback on the implementation of the reforms. Further details on the proposed reforms can be found here.

Proposed NCC 2022 residential energy efficiency provisions

This week UDIA WA lodged a new submission with the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on the proposed NCC 2022 residential energy efficiency provisions, wherein we highlight the proposed provisions will increase housing costs and not reduce emissions. As a result, UDIA WA does not support the proposed NCC 2022 residential energy efficiency provisions.

In addition to failing to reduce emissions generated from housing, the proposed provisions will also have a negative impact on housing affordability. As the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS) states “on average, the amount saved on energy bills is less than the increased cost of construction”. UDIA is particularly concerned by the cost implications for apartments which have a return on investment of just 0.53 and 0.55 under option A and B for every dollar spent.

Further to the negative cost of adopting the proposed amendments, the CRIS report also notes that the amendments will have minimal impact upon energy demand, with any “reductions in energy use and a reduction in peak demand will result in a ‘barely perceptible’ change to wholesale energy prices”.

As well as failing the cost-benefit tests under favourable conditions, the CRIS does not examine the impact of the proposed NCC amendments on pre-existing residential lots and/or lots with all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals that have yet to be released to the market.

In closing UDIA encourages the ABCB to work with industry to develop an effective set of NCC energy provisions. Should the proposed NCC provisions be adopted, we strongly urge the WA government to adopt appropriate variations to ensure that the construction and operation of new homes in WA remains affordable and also helps to foster the transition towards net-zero.

To read the submission in full, click here.

WA records lowest unemployment rate

The latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show Western Australia has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation along with the Northern Territory at 3.9% in October.

This rate is 1.3% lower than the national unemployment rate which rose 0.6% to 5.2%, following the lockdowns in NSW and Victoria.

Part of the drop in the unemployment rate in WA will be from around 8,000 dropping out of the workforce and no longer being counted in the statistics, however WA’s participation rate is still the highest in the country at 68.4%, with the exception of the NT which has a participation rate of 72.6%.

The underemployment rate in WA also dropped in October, falling -0.9% to sit at 6.3%, the lowest in the country.

Committee Update

UDIA WA were inundated with nominations for our newly formed Standing Advisory Groups, which will support our three newly formed Strategic Committees and we are currently in the process of finalizing the make-up of these groups.

With in excess of 250 nominations across the various groups we would like to thank all of those who put themselves forward to lead the industry and we are looking forward to making an official announcement in the coming weeks.

RAP Working Group Update

The UDIA WA Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group met yesterday to progress our journey toward developing the Institute’s first ever RAP.

We have officially registered our intent to develop a RAP with Reconciliation Australia and have been provided with all the necessary documentation and templates to get started.

Initially, the working group will be investigating how we can progress the three core pillars of relationships, respect and opportunities and we will be reaching out to key stakeholders for advice.

UDIA set to release two research papers

Tomorrow will see the release of two research publications, the October edition of the Urban Intelligence and the November edition of the UDIA Urbis Home Purchasing Sentiment Survey (HPSS).

The latest edition of the Urban Intelligence will update the latest economic stats impacting the development industry and the HPSS provides an overview of consumer sentiment in the current market based on a survey of 500 consumers conducted by Urbis.

UDIA Members will be emailed with exclusive access to these two reports tomorrow.

Subiaco Oval and Railway Precinct Design Guidelines adopted

Following the public consultation period which closed in June, the Subiaco Oval and Railway Precinct Design Guidelines have been approved.

The Design Guidelines provide a framework for the delivery of quality built form, high amenity public realm, heritage conservation and sustainable design outcomes which respond to the local context and character.

A number of modifications were made to the Draft Design Guidelines following public feedback and in response to concerns raised during presentations to the Subiaco Land Redevelopment Committee.

Together with the Subi East Master Plan, the Design Guidelines complete the planning framework and enable the redevelopment of land included within the Subi East redevelopment area (excluding PMH), setting out expectations for the community and stakeholders. Design Guidelines for the PMH precinct will be progressed following the completion of demolition in 2022.

View the Design Guidelines and find out more about the decision-making process here.

Security of Payment Regulations released for public comment

This week the State Government released the draft regulations to support Security of Payment reforms for subcontractors in the building and construction sector, for public comment.

Industry participants have until January 21, 2022 to provide input on supporting details of the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021, which is due to take effect from August 1, 2022.

The new legislation will offer better payment protections for all contractors working in WA’s building and construction industry.

Reforms include faster payments, a more robust rapid dispute resolution process and improved protection of subcontractor retention money in the event of an upstream insolvency. The Building Services Board will also have powers to take action against builders who do not pay debts and those with a history of financial issues.

Education initiatives to help industry adapt to the new laws will get underway next year.

For more information, click here.

Electric Vehicle Ready

The Commonwealth Government recently released its Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy, which is the government’s technology-led approach to reducing emissions in the transport sector.

Under this strategy, the government says it will work with the private sector to increase the uptake of hybrid, hydrogen, electric and biofuelled vehicles.

The strategy is designed to make it easier to roll out future fuel technologies and give consumers better information about them as well as ensuring the electricity grid is ready for more electric vehicles. For more information on this strategy, click here.

The increased uptake of alternative fuel vehicles will help with the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

UDIA recently highlighted a number of climate actions, currently being undertaken by the development industry in our environment and climate action special edition of The Urbanist, which can be read here.

Building on this conversation, the fourth edition of The Urbanist due out next month will feature a transport and moveability focus looking at alternative transport options, the future of travel and the impact this could have on our lifestyles and our communities.

Home in WA

On Saturday the latest segment in UDIA’s partnership with Channel 7’s Home in WA program went to air with this episode highlighting some of the great work happening at The Peninsula Burswood by Mirvac, winner of the Medium Density Development (Townhouses and Multi Dwellings) category at the UDIA WA 2021 Awards for Excellence.

Click here to view this episode and to watch all previous UDIA episodes, click here.

UDIA WA’s media partnership with Home in WA provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the incredible work undertaken by our members and the development industry each and every day.

CoreLogic records slow down in monthly growth rate

Australian property values are seeing a slowdown in the monthly rate of growth, according to the latest statistics from CoreLogic.

The update from CoreLogic suggests this trend is expected to carry into 2022, due to a rise in affordability constraints, mortgage rates bottoming out, and a higher number of new listings taking some pressure off market conditions.

Since the monthly rate of growth in Australian dwellings peaked in March 2021 at 2.8% (or the equivalent of about a $16,000 gain on the median Australian dwelling value), monthly increases have settled to 1.5% (or a monthly increase of approximately $10,000).

In Perth the report said the dwelling value change was -0.1% over the month of October.

“The virtually flat reading was down from a peak of 2.7% through February 2021, making Perth the market with the fastest slowdown in growth rates,” the report stated. “This slowdown in momentum may be due to a few different factors, including extended state border closures, renewed affordability constraints for first home buyers and a recent uptick in new listings volumes.”

For more information and to read the update in full, click here.

Chinatown revitalisation complete as Stage 2 officially opens

The revitalisation of Broome’s historic and nationally iconic Chinatown precinct is complete, marking the start of a new era for one of Western Australia’s most loved towns, following the official opening of Chinatown Revitalisation Stage 2 project.

Paying homage to the cultural influences of Chinese, Afghan, Malay, Japanese and Aboriginal people, the revitalisation has restored Chinatown to its rightful place at the heart of Broome’s economy and community.

Stage 2 works included streetscape enhancements on Short Street, Carnarvon Street North and Napier Terrace, to match the works completed in Stage 1, as well as public artwork, upgrades to visitor centre amenities, and the refurbishment of Streeters Jetty.

Local contractors were awarded more than 80% of the Stage 2 works by value, and Aboriginal employment exceeded more than 20 per cent of hours worked.

Stage 1 of the project won the Urban Renewal award at the UDIA WA 2019 Awards for Excellence. For more information on our Awards for Excellence, click here.

Access to UDIA WA website changed

Access to the UDIA WA website recently changed as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all login details for the website were removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative was granted access initially and the Key Representative can now provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information was emailed to Key Representatives last week and can be accessed here for more information.

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email membership@udiawa.com.au

Become a key player in sustainable development

Are you a developer or consultant with an appetite for sustainable development? Join us on November 25th for a 3-hour webinar that is a direct stepping stone to becoming a certified EnviroDevelopment Professional (EDP) or certifying your own project.

The course offers the opportunity to gain knowledge of the EnviroDevelopment program and stay in touch with the latest trends and technologies in green communities across Australia.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become an EDP.

The course focuses on all facets of EnviroDevelopment program including the foundations, the technical standards, the certification process, the practical application and case studies.

To book now, click here and for more information email EnviroDevelopment Manager Taylor Hood on thood@udiaqld.com.au.