UDIA meets with Dr Mike Nahan

UDIA CEO Allison Hailes and President Nick Allingame met with Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Mike Nahan yesterday to discuss a range of industry related issues including the Government’s introduction of the Duties Amendment (Additional Duty for Foreign Persons) Bill 2018; and the Strata Titles Amendment Bill and Community Titles Bill 2018.

The meeting involved a positive and very open discussion about the state of the economy and its impact on the development industry. Dr Nahan was aware of the pressure that the industry is under and was able to detail numerous statistics and data that reflected his understanding of the market, which is closely aligned with UDIA.

UDIA reiterated the importance of opportunities for government to support market stimulation and greater delivery of affordable housing.

Dr Nahan also indicated that the Liberal party is strongly opposed to the introduction of a Foreign Buyers Surcharge and if passed he said that, in his view, it should be deferred in current economic circumstances.

In terms of Strata Reform, it was indicated that the opposition is supportive of the majority of the Bill, however there are concerns in relation to the termination of schemes which would be examined further as the legislation was referred to a Standing Committee on Legislation. See UDIA’s Member Alert for more details on that specific issue.

In closing, Dr Nahan expressed a desire to meet more regularly with UDIA in order to continue to discuss the issues impacting on the development industry.

Foreign Buyers Surcharge: update

UDIA has previously written to members of the opposition in the Upper House to express our objection to the introduction of a Foreign Buyers Surcharge.

We have since reiterated those concerns in writing and in person, partnering with REIWA to hold several joint meetings to outline the negative impact that such a surcharge will have on the WA market recovery.

UDIA will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of members on this issue. More information on our position can be found here.

UDIA launches 2018-20 Advocacy Agenda

UDIA was pleased to present to members our 2018-20 Advocacy Agenda yesterday outlining our key priorities for the next 18 months.  Over this period land supply, housing affordability and diversity, planning reform, infrastructure provision, environmental approvals and taxation reform will be key areas demanding government and industry attention.

Incorporating three focus areas – OUR HOMES, OUR COMMUNITIES and OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE. The Advocacy Agenda is a snapshot of how we are championing the needs of the urban development industry, which is working tirelessly to deliver the homes, jobs, infrastructure, services and amenities required now, and well into the future.

To find out how UDIA will be representing our members on the issues that matter, download the Advocacy Agenda here.

Environmental Protection Amendment Regulations 2018 — Disallowance Motion Withdrawn

The amended Environmental Protection Amendment Regulations, which were recently introduced into Parliament and clarify that clean fill used for the purposes of development is not subject to the waste levy, were subject to a disallowance motion by Hon Dr Steve Thomas.   UDIA is supportive of the regulations as they confirm that the use of clean fill, or uncontaminated fill that meets environmental and health thresholds after testing, can proceed without the need for a landfill premises licence or payment of the waste levy. UDIA has been advocating for this amendment to the regulations on behalf of members for some 2 years.

UDIA is pleased that the Hon Dr Steve Thomas this afternoon withdrew his motion to disallow the Environmental Protection Amendment Regulations 2018.  While UDIA appreciates that the intent of the disallowance motion was to ensure that the wider regulatory regime governing testing requirements for uncontaminated fill are effective in encouraging the reuse of this type material, the Institute was concerned about the ongoing uncertainty for industry.   A commitment has been given to reviewing the uncontaminated fill testing requirements and UDIA looks forward to contributing to this review.

UDIA Urban Intelligence released

UDIA released this month’s Urban Intelligence to members on Tuesday providing a rundown on all the latest economic and property data for the period. Highlights include that the estimated resident population of WA has increased 0.1% for the month and 0.8% for the year. The Consumer Price Index also increased by 0.2% and 1.1% for the year.

The current median house price sits at $510,000 and the median lot price is $231,000.

The feature article this month focuses on positive sentiment reinforced by UDIA’s latest land market data and the full publication is available to members only here.

Industry diversity in the spotlight

Representatives from the UDIA Industry Diversity Committee were pleased to attend the MinterEllison Inspire Boardroom Luncheon with Catherine Fox this afternoon to explore the important role that men play in building truly inclusive workplace environments.

Catherine is a Walkley Award winning journalist and leading commentator on women in the workplace, she is also author of the latest book Women Kind. Discussion at the lunch focused on men’s role in supporting women in the workplace and championing gender equity and inclusivity.

The UDIA Industry Diversity Committee is currently working on three key focus areas to promote diversity across the urban development industry including the consideration of the establishment of a mentoring program, drafting a diversity tool kit for member organisations and looking at ways to achieve greater diversity across our events program.

We look forward to sharing further committee work as it progresses.

We want your feedback!

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

The discussion Paper on cost recovery for the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is out for comment and submissions are due by Thursday 1 November, 2018.  More information here.

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 – Biodiversity Conservation Regulations are also out for comment with submissions due by 30 September, 2018. More information here.

Morrison pledges fairer GST deal

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a promise on Perth radio on Tuesday to implement a fairer GST distribution arrangement for WA before the next election. He also suggested that a new deal may be legislated if necessary.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had announced a package to resolve the ongoing GST distribution problems for WA earlier this year, committing to a $7 billion funding boost to soften the transition to the new formula.

The deal would mean states have their revenue lifted through the GST system to be equal on a per capita basis to the level NSW or Victoria.

Listen to the full interview here.

Land Report offers great opportunities

UDIA WA Is once again partnering with The West Australian and The Sunday Times to offer members a fantastic opportunity to reach an audience of 568,000 people including 60,000 intending to build or buy a home within the next 12 months.

The October Land Report will feature exclusive UDIA land market statistics for the September 2018 quarter along with a range of articles including topics such as the benefits of buying in the current market, the growth of Perth, award winning estates and more.

See the flyer for more details.

City of Vincent welcomes new CEO

David MacLennan will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer at the City of Vincent in mid-October.

He is currently Special Adviser – Economic Development on the Westport Taskforce, where he is leading the development of the economic case for Westport, a major State infrastructure project.

David recently worked at Assistant Director General level within the State Government in the area of planning. His responsibilities included state planning policy and major projects such as shaping the major planning reform initiative, Design WA.

UDIA congratulates David on the new role and we look forward to working with him.

Latest statistics

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out today, while the trend unemployment rate has decreased to 5.3 per cent nationally, it still sits at 6.2 per cent in WA. Employment overall was slightly higher, with 1,500 new jobs in August 2018, taking the total number of employees in WA to 1,345,100.

NSW, the Northern Territory and Victoria have recorded the highest annual growth in employment.

The ABS has also released new lending finance figures this week that showed at a national level the total value of owner occupied housing commitments excluding alterations and additions was flat in trend terms, while the seasonally adjusted series rose 1.3%.

More details at the ABS website.

UDIA CEO features in Female Property advice session

UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes will participate on a panel of property professionals offering ‘speed advice’ on 9 October. This is a free event organised by the Property Education Foundation (PEF) aimed at female property professionals. Other panellists include Gaye McMath, Commissioner for Perth; Anna Ladyman, Mirvac; and Kerry Fijac from LandCorp.

Register here

PEF Annual Regatta

PEF is also hosting their annual regatta in March 2019 followed by a post-race beach party. Proceeds from the event go to supporting and connecting property students and young professionals within the property industry.

More details here.

Environmental Consultants EIA Course

The ECA is facilitating a two-day EIA course with Dr Angus Morrison-Saunders, which will provide practitioners with valuable insight into the latest practice and approaches for Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia, and will also draw on transferable international learnings and best practice in impact assessment. Last year’s course was a popular success, with strong participation by a cross-section of attendees and actively supported by DWER EPA Services Directorate.

More details here.

UDIA Awards announced on Saturday night!

UDIA WA is excited to announce the winners of our Awards for Excellence this Saturday at our annual gala dinner.  Winners will be featured in an exclusive article in The Sunday Times the following day and we will showcase all the winners on our social media platforms following their announcement.

We look forward to celebrating the very best our industry has to offer with members and special guests!

All the nominated projects are listed here.