UDIA In Action

Happy new year and welcome to 2021! The team at UDIA WA is back on deck, well rested and ready to tackle the year ahead on behalf of our members.

Our primary focus for the first part of this year is the upcoming State Election which is now just a couple of months away.  We will continue to promote our #liveworkinvestWA campaign which was launched at the end of last year. More information can be found here.

In addition, our policy team are already hard at work mapping out our Policy Priorities for the year ahead, looking at what changes or improvements will most benefit the development industry in the next 12 months. The final version will be informed by the upcoming strategic planning session with UDIA WA Council and Executive in early February.

Fresh market data is also close at hand, with the first edition of Urban Intelligence for 2021 due for publication next week. Our research team is also finalizing the December quarter edition of the Urban Development Index, which will round up the final land sales data, impacted by the State-based Building Boost stimulus package and the full tranche of the Federal HomeBuilder package.

Enrolments open for Online PD Course

Enrolments for the next intake of UDIA’s online project management course are now open!

The Certificate IV in Project Management (Specialising in Property Development) is the only nationally-recognised qualification of its kind that teaches the project management competencies unique to the property development industry.

The qualification is delivered and issued by partnering Registered Training Organisation – McMillan and the online course teaches the critical skills of project management such as identifying project scope, contract negotiation, team engagement, stakeholder communication and managing time, cost and quality.

This qualification is delivered through a mix of online self-directed learning and regular interactive e-workshops over 18 weeks.

For more information, to download the brochure or to register click here.

Medium Density Design Code Engagement

With the highly anticipated Medium Density Design Code launched by the Premier directly to our members at the last industry luncheon for 2020, our focus now turns to the details within the documents now out for comment.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is holding Information Forums and a series of workshops as part of its engagement on the Medium Density Design Housing Code.

The Information Forums will include a presentation on the draft Code, followed by a Q&A session.  The workshop will be hosted on Level 2, Gordon Stephenson House, 140 William Street, Perth (above the Perth underground station) and will also be accessible online via Zoom video conferencing.

The Information Forums will be held on Tuesday 19 January and Thursday 21 January both running from 9.30am to 11am.

The workshops will allow participants to dive a little deeper into the draft Medium Density Code. They will also take place on Level 2, Gordon Stephenson House and are being run for different stakeholder groups.

The different stakeholder workshop sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • Community                                                        Tuesday 9 Feb, 2021, 4pm – 6.30pm
  • Metro Local Government                             Thursday 11 Feb, 2021, 9am – 12pm
  • Regional Local Government                        Tuesday 23 Feb, 2021, 9.30 – 11am (conducted online)
  • Planning Consultants / Surveyors              Tuesday 16 Feb 2021, 9am – 12pm
  • Developers/ Builders                                      Thursday 18 Feb 2021, 9am – 12pm
  • Architects / Designers                                    Thursday 18 Feb 2021, 2pm – 5pm.

Places are limited so registration is required for any of the events which can be done via email to designWA@dplh.wa.gov.au. For more information or to register online click here.

UDIA National receives official acknowledgement from Environment Minister

At the end of 2020 UDIA National received a letter from Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley thanking UDIA for our involvement and valued input into the EPBC Act review.

Within the letter the Minister acknowledges the work put in by UDIA in collaboration with the Property Council of Australia and welcomes the continued involvement from both industry bodies on future amendments.

To read the letter in full, click here.

UDIA National lodges new submission

Last week UDIA National lodged a new submission in response to the Issues Paper currently on exhibition into the Review of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Act 2018.

As stated in the submission, UDIA National has consistently welcomed the formation of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) since its inception, including:

  • The expanded mandate for the organisation announced in 2019 to revitalise the policy role previously advanced via the National Housing Supply Council
  • The facilitation of the First Home Loan Deposit initiative
  • The work to foster greater investment in social and affordable housing, and
  • Its endeavours to encourage infrastructure investment that enables greater housing supply.

The submission puts forward six recommendations:

  1. An allocation of $1 billion be made under NHFIC’s investment mandate – to be matched by each state and territory – to unlock regional-scale enabling infrastructure matched to specific new housing supply targets set at the outset.
  2. Establishing a dedicated process be established to allow project proponents to make a direct, merits-based application for support under the Fund to unlock new housing.
  3. NHFIC make 10,000 places available on an annual basis under the First Home Loan Deposit scheme exclusively for the purchase of new homes or newly constructed homes.
  4. Commencing a robust research agenda to improve the quality of data on housing market dynamics, develop and set binding housing quotes, produce ‘league tables’ on the performance of states in achieving targets, achieve planning reform via incentives, reduce red and green tape, transform and reduce the tax burden on housing and improving housing diversity.
  5. Deploy NHFIC’s investment mandate to fund the delivery of 20,000 social and affordable homes over the next three years.
  6. Identify surplus government-owned land for social and affordable housing. The land would be sold through an EOI process and at a value that recognises that 20-30% of the site would be either returned to government or donated to a community housing provider for the purposes of community housing.

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

Housing Models to End Homelessness

The WA Alliance to End Homelessness, in partnership with Shelter WA, are calling for Expressions of Interest from contractors to undertake a project to research and promote suitable housing options for those people seeking to exit chronic homelessness including ‘rough sleepers’.

The project will include the development of an evidence base to be made available online through a clearinghouse and to promote its use among key entities who may seek to develop such housing.

This is a targeted project to support the Housing First initiative of ending chronic homelessness by promoting the development of appropriate housing options within the model.

The contractor must have extensive knowledge of the social and affordable housing options and an understanding of the WA housing market as well as a robust understanding of the principles and research of Housing First.

The scope of works details four components of work which must be addressed in the EOI.

The total contract value is up to $30K and must be completed by 30th June 2021.

Expressions of interest must be submitted to shelterwa@shelterwa.org.au by close of business Wednesday 27th January 2021.

For more information, click here.

Public realm plans for first Subi East neighbourhood open for comment

The $227 million Subi East redevelopment reached another milestone earlier today with the release of plans for landscaping and public realm around Subiaco Oval.

Known as The Oval, it will be a multigenerational place inclusive for all with six different public experiences and is set to include:

  • Six Seasons Bidi trail, developed and design-led by members of the Noongar community, offering an immersive experience to learn about Noongar knowledge, culture and history;
  • A heritage plaza at the retained heritage-listed entry gates, which celebrates Subiaco Oval as the historical home of WA football;
  • Woody Meadow, a research landscape project by the Murdoch University and University of Melbourne with input from the Noongar community, will create areas of reintroduced native plants for adults and children to explore and appreciate;
  • The perimeter of Subiaco Oval, which honours the 1938 oval boundary, to be circled by a permanent path/track for running and to incorporate representation of the Sandover Medal Walk;
  • A community park to offer opportunities for sports and other active recreation, supported by barbecue and picnic spaces, a nature play and youth plaza, and serviced by amenities including public toilets and temporary change rooms; and
  • A green link, also retaining the Aleppo Pines from Gallipoli, will connect through to Bob Hawke College and Mueller Park, promoting safe pedestrian movement, as will a pedestrian priority zone from West Leederville train station.

The Subi East Stage 1 (The Oval) Landscaping and Public Realm Development Application is now open for public comment, closing on February 8, 2021.

For more information on the project and to provide comment, click here.

Key Economic Indicators Snapshot – RBA

Last week The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) updated its Key Economic Indicators Snapshot with the latest information, providing updates on the rate of inflation, economic growth, the unemployment rate and wage growth among other key statistics.

As at 7 January 2021 inflation sat at 0.7%, down from 1.8% the year prior, the unemployment rate was 6.8%, down from the 7.0% recorded the month prior and wage growth has been recorded at 1.4%. down from the 2.2% recorded at the end of 2019.

To see the snapshot in full, click here.

Bushfire Framework Review

An update on the Bushfire Framework Review has noted that work on the new Map of Bushfire Prone Areas is continuing, with sample maps having recently being received and further analysis and testing being undertaken.

Release of the Map however, has had to be delayed due to the CSIRO’s extended commitment to the review of the Black Summer fires. The Map, along with the revised draft State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (SPP 3.7) and associated Guidelines, are now anticipated to be released for public consultation in the second quarter of 2021.

To help resolve outstanding issues in the interim, the Western Australian Planning Commission will consider draft Version 1.4 of the current Guidelines early this year for release.  It is proposed that this version will include:

  • a revised Element 3 – Vehicular Access (following extensive consultation and refinement)
  • a revised Element 4 – Water for Bushfire Fighting (currently released for targeted consultation following analysis of 2019 local government survey).
  • the Position Statement: Tourism Land Uses in Bushfire Prone Areas, as Element 5
  • updated definitions
  • changes to vulnerable land uses
  • information to address legacy development
  • incorporated Planning Bulletin 111/2016 (to be rescinded if v1.4 adopted)
  • revised emergency evacuation plan section
  • revised roles and responsibilities
  • minor updates to tables and figures.

UDIA will keep members informed of progress.

Keystart borrowing limit increased

At the end of 2020 the State Government approved a $243.5 million increase in Keystart’s borrowing limit for 2021-22 in a bid to help thousands more Western Australians achieve the dream of home ownership.

This increase brings Keystart’s total gross borrowing limit to $5.7 billion and will enable Keystart to take on an estimated 2,100 new loans in 2021-2022.

The approval of these additional borrowings takes the total funding for Keystart to $2.4 billion since March 2017.

The temporary increase to Keystart’s income limits for borrowers, increased by $15,000 for singles and couples, and by $20,000 for families, will be reviewed in June 2021.

Site Security update

Building and construction industry crime was relatively low in December, however Golden Bay was the hot spot area.

The most notable report of theft in December was a civil contractor’s site in Dawesville, which was targeted on 20 December with offenders stealing a bobcat and compactor from the compound, valued at $60,000.

Changes to scrap metal dealers regulation commenced on 1 December, resulting in no reports regarding the theft of copper cable, pipe, wiring or water metres. Unfortunately, this trend has not continued into January as there have been several theft reports to date, including reports of theft of copper mains and a water meter.

For more information, click here.