From the CEO

The controversy of the future of Cottesloe hit another peak late last week with the WAPC approving a $22.8 million apartment development on Marine Parade via the  State Development Assessment Unit pathway. I accept that there are wide and varied views about the role of the SDAU, and a perception by some in the community that the pathway sidelines their views on whether or not a project is worthy of an approval.

However lets consider the facts. Each application is advertised for public comment. All submissions are considered in the context of making a broader strategic assessment in the public interest and the broader economic, social and environmental benefits that can be delivered for the State. There must be due regard for the local planning framework. All regulatory agencies and the State Design Review Panel are consulted. This particular project in Cottesloe went through several design revisions and two rounds of public advertising before it got the final nod. The reality is in development, you are never going to please everyone. That’s why leadership is critical in making hard yet well considered decisions in the best interests of all. For more on this topic, read this article featured in WA Business News.

UDIA and its members are working hard on our submission for Phase 2 of Planning Reform. Leadership and in particular creating a collaborative regulatory culture across agencies will be front and centre. Without it, we can have all the policy reform in the world but the developer experience will still be the same.

The team and I are nervously watching the daily COVID count and crossing our fingers that Perth manages to stay away from a lockdown in the lead up to our big night, the 2021 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence on 11 September. After rescheduling the 2020 Awards twice, we are all set for a fantastic evening celebrating the best of the best in just a few short weeks.

The judging is now complete, and tickets are selling fast for what will no doubt be the gala event of the year. I look forward to celebrating with you. To book your tickets, click here.

Tanya Steinbeck


Water planning policies streamlined in latest reform measure

Earlier this week, the Western Australian Planning Commission released draft State Planning Policy 2.9 Planning for Water (SPP 2.9) and draft Planning for Water Guidelines for public comment.  UDIA will analyse the draft policy in detail and focus on gathering industry feedback and lodging a submission on behalf of members in the next two months.

The draft policy is set to replace an outdated water planning framework, consolidating six State planning policies into one with the aim of delivering greater clarity and guidance around integrating the management of water resources into planning and development decision-making.

The policy advocates for early consideration of all water-related matters in the planning process to protect water resources and water dependent ecosystems; and ensure the necessary drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure is in place to support future development.

The State government says the policy has been designed to help Government agencies, regulators and industry to better respond to the anticipated impacts from population growth and climate change, as well as economic and land use changes.

UDIA will be providing a submission on the draft policy in time for the feedback deadline on November 15th and we welcome any industry comments on the new policy and Guidelines to be emailed to

For more information, click here.

UDIA represents members on Streamline WA

This week UDIA WA received a signed response from Premier Mark McGowan, in his role as Treasurer, to confirm Darren Walsh, UDIA WA State Council Treasurer has been approved for a position on the new Streamline WA Steering Committee.

In his letter Mr McGowan said that “As the peak body for the development industry in Western Australia, UDIA’s support and insight will be invaluable to the Streamline WA Steering Committee.”

Established in December 2018, the aim of Streamline WA is to make it easier to do business in Western Australia by improving regulation and regulatory practice.

The Streamline WA Steering Committee provides a public-private peak collaborative forum that fosters strategic partnerships across the public sector, the community and business to promote the modernisation and streamlining of regulation, regulatory practices, and approvals timeframes.

UDIA WA are extremely proud to continue our close collaboration with the McGowan Government through this position on the steering committee to ensure the needs of the development industry continue to be met.

UDIA reveals latest economic data

UDIA WA released the July 2021 Urban Intelligence report to members yesterday providing a comprehensive run down on all the latest economic, development and building data relevant to our industry.

The feature article this month focuses on the potential return of the investor into the WA market and the potential for growth once overseas migration resumes.

Members can read more here.

Out of the box thinking

If you’ve got a spark of creativity that could IMPACT the development industry we want to hear from you!

Submit your idea to feature alongside Holly Ransom and be coached by TEDX’s Shil Shanghavi for The Urbanist IMPACT FORUM, the most thought provocative development forum in the southern hemisphere.

More information, here.

Home in WA back on air this weekend

Following a break for Seven’s coverage of the Olympics, UDIA WA are excited to announce our latest episode of Home in WA will go to air this Saturday at 4.30pm on Channel 7.

This episode features DevelopmentWA’s Chief Executive Frank Marra as he talks about the benefits of creating an exemplary EnviroDevelopment accredited project.

Don’t forget to tune in this Saturday at 4.30pm to view this episode for the first time and to view all previous episodes, visit our YouTube channel, here.

RBA releases quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy

This week the Reserve Bank of Australia released the latest edition of its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy report.

The latest edition highlights that the Australian economy had been recovering faster than expected over the first half of this year, with output surpassing pre-pandemic levels and, as at June, the unemployment rate had declined below pre-pandemic levels.

The recent outbreaks of the Delta variant disrupted this positive recovery, however, and with the associated uncertainty from the various lockdowns and border closures around the country, the report suggests GDP will contract noticeably in the September quarter, and it is expected that employment will decline and the unemployment rate increase for a time.

According to the report, the Australian economy is expected to bounce back, although further major outbreaks and extended lockdowns would delay this.

Under the baseline scenario, output and employment are expected to have returned to their previously anticipated paths by early next year. GDP growth is expected to be a little over 4% over 2022 and around 2½% over 2023. The unemployment rate is expected to resume its downward path, approaching 4% by the end of 2023. Measures of growth in wages and labour costs more broadly are expected to return over the next few quarters to pre-pandemic rates, and increase gradually from there. This baseline scenario is premised on a significant share of the population being vaccinated by the end of this year and a gradual opening up of Australia’s international border from mid 2022.

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

Last chance to have your say!

There is just one day left to have your say in our annual member survey to allow us to continue to improve, change, add or develop our offerings. Anyone who completes the survey will also go in the running to win one of 8 lucky golden event tickets.

As a key stakeholder and member of UDIA in Western Australia, we’re asking you to help us continue to deliver on what your business and industry needs. The feedback you provide will help to continually improve the development industry.

The survey will take a few minutes of your time and can be anonymous. Simply click here to take part in the survey and click here for more information.

Next step for Environment Online

This week the State Government announced it had awarded technology company Insight a $23 million contract to build Environment Online as part of efforts to reduce red tape for industry.

Environment Online is designed to be a customer-focused, digital one-stop shop for environmental assessment, approvals and compliance for industry and developers in Western Australia.

Led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Environment Online will aim to improve the transparency and consistency of water and environmental approvals, and reduce the time taken for major projects to navigate joint State and Commonwealth environmental assessment processes by up to 12 months.

While UDIA broadly welcomes this move, it remains to be seen how much of a benefit this will have for our industry over larger mining projects, which it is suspected, would benefit more from this system.

The Environment Online system will be built by Insight over the next three years and come online progressively.

Environment Online is complemented by the establishment of a Biodiversity Information Office (BIO) led by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

BIO will make biodiversity data more easily available to industry and environmental assessment officers to enable better up-front decision making, reduce duplication and cost, and result in better assessment standards and processes.

Both Environment Online and BIO are linked under the Digital Environmental Assessment Program, a Commonwealth-State collaboration.

Don’t miss your chance to be seen by industry

Aligning your brand with UDIA means your organisation is noticed by the decision makers in the development industry and your brand is aligned with quality and credibility.

From partnership opportunities across the year, sponsorship of one of our industry leading events or advertising across multiple platforms including UDIA’s flagship magazine The Urbanist, we have the opportunity for you!

The UDIA team will collaborate with your business to ensure your marketing efforts are maximised with every opportunity presented.  Whether it’s for branding, networking, opening doors or business product promotion, we have the platforms to assist you.

Check out the advertising opportunities, here and the sponsorship opportunities, here.

New laws take effect to protect Swan Valley’s future

This week saw the new Swan Valley Planning Scheme come into full effect this week and will guide planning and development decisions for the area under the Swan Valley Planning Act 2020, which took effect on August 1, 2021.

The legislation is designed to ensure the area’s distinctive rural character and land uses are maintained in balance with appropriate development.

The Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 also provides for the Western Australian Planning Commission’s Swan Valley Statutory Planning Committee which will determine development applications in accordance with the scheme.

A new community-based advisory body, the Swan Valley Strategic Leadership Group, will support the Minister for Planning on matters relating to the protection, promotion, marketing and enhancement of the region.

The legislation was prepared in response to an independent review which identified the need to support growth in tourism and hospitality in the area while protecting its agricultural and viticultural activities.

The final planning scheme and map were informed by community consultation which attracted 139 submissions.

For more information, click here.

DPLH event

The Department of Planning Lands and Heritage are holding a free seminar to update the development industry on changes and updates to State Planning Policies and the Planning Reform program.

The seminar will provide updates regarding:

  • Recent gazettal of revised State Planning Policy 2.4 Planning for Basic Raw Materials
  • The advertising of State Planning Policy 2.9 Planning for Water for public comment
  • The Planning Reform program aimed at improvements within the States’ planning system

The seminar will be held at 1.00 pm on 26 August at the Atrium theatrette, Level 4 168 St Georges Terrace, Perth.

State Planning Policy 2.4 Planning for Basic Raw Materials and the Guidelines have been revised to reflect current and key issues raised during advertising.  SPP 2.4 supports DMIRS BRM mapping for Perth and Peel.

State Planning Policy 2.9 Planning for Water and the Guidelines are being advertised and consolidate several previous water policies into one comprehensive policy applicable across the State.

A status update and presentation on future priorities for Planning Reform will provide information and direction on this important program.

Register to attend, either in person or online by emailing by 23 August.