CEO Update

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” written by Charles Dickens in The Tale of Two Cities back in 1859, it is easy to draw parallels to this sentiment in the present day in a local and global sense.

As outlined in UDIA WA’s Urban Intelligence Report released today, there are a record number of houses under construction in WA. 18,880 new homes (as at close of December quarter) which is 70% above the twenty year average of 11,140.  Construction jobs continue to grow strongly with 6,800 new jobs in the three months to February 2022 and +15,600 jobs over the last twelve months to a total of 113,100.

However, for some industry players the boom is now busting as we saw two building companies collapse in the last week with more tipped to see the same fate over coming months. Rents continue to press north, rising by 15.8% for houses and 12.6% for units over the 12 months to March 2022. House prices in Perth are forecast to continue the upward trajectory putting our relative affordability at risk.

Members, we all know the wicked problems we face. Construction cost escalations driven by material and labour shortages. Critical housing supply shortages, increasingly complex approvals processes and tax disincentives to right-size. What we need now is some wicked solutions.

As Dickens said, “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms.” In our own tale of two cities, we need transformative thinking and political bravery to ensure we are on the right side of history – that is, wisdom over foolishness for the benefit of the future generations. That’s the journey we at UDIA WA are on and we need the collective wisdom of our members along the way.

Urban Intelligence launched

This month’s Urban Intelligence provides a stark representation of the current development industry and broader economic landscape.  Record numbers of houses under construction in WA, construction jobs growing strongly and new home sales remaining high.

In a further blow to housing affordability concerns, rents continue to press north for both units and houses as land supply shortages, material cost escalations and of course the skills shortage all combining to create a perfect storm.

Members have exclusive access to the full Urban Intelligence Report including a feature article written by our Exec Manager of Research Toby Adams via the Community Portal.  Read it here.

UDIA supports Reconciliation Week

UDIA WA is pleased to advise that we will host our very first National Reconciliation Week event in June as an opportunity for our members to explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The theme this year is Be Brave. Make Change and our event will feature Aboriginal educator and illustrator Rhys Paddick and change strategist Emma Gibbens from Acknowledge This!  They will join us to share their knowledge and insights to enable guests to take a more active role in creating a more inclusive culture.

Bringing traditional culture and modern culture together, Acknowledge This starts a conversation for all Australians. In their keynote presentation, Emma and Rhys will discuss the context surrounding acknowledgement of Country, address some of the fears and misconceptions, and provide a template structure to create your own acknowledgement.

Rhys and Emma’s infectious and light-hearted presentation style invites everyone to consider their personal connection to Country, and how to respectfully participate and take personal responsibility for reconciliation at work, at home and everywhere.

This event will provide participants with a unique learning experience including practical advice that you can take back to your own organisation and ignite ongoing conversations, awareness and change.

More details and to register visit here

UDIA Federal Election campaign ramps up

As home ownership rates for Australians aged 25-34 sink to a record low of just 42% in 2021, UDIA National has called for political leaders to immediately support initiatives to boost new housing supply.

As part of the campaign to promote recommendations in the UDIA Plan for Prosperity, UDIA National President Max Shifman has highlighted that young, aspirational families are being let down by planning systems that create delays, multiply inefficiencies, increase costs, taxes and charges, all of which ultimately holds back the delivery of housing and sends prices skyrocketing.

National recommendations include setting clear housing targets, streamlining approvals for enabling infrastructure, zoning or construction and unclogging planning systems to deliver real productivity and housing supply.

Find out more here.

DAP reforms update

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage hosted online information sessions about the proposed Development Assessment Panels (DAP) reforms during March 2022. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation and recordings of these sessions are now available if you missed out on attending.

View here.

UDIA WA will lodge our submission on behalf of members next week in relation to the DAP reforms.

Community Engagement Toolkit launch

Members of UDIA WA’s Community Engagement and Education Standing Advisory Group participated in the DPLH information sessions on the newly launched Guide to Best Practice Planning Engagement in Western Australia last week.

The session provided an overview of the guidance documents and why effective engagement is important to all stakeholders.  Our committee members will be able to use this information to inform the development of our own community engagement and education strategy.

We will also be undertaking a brief survey in coming weeks of UDIA WA members to better understand any issues and challenges that industry faces in relation to community engagement either from a developer, consultant or local government perspective.

Findings from our survey will assist in informing our final strategy, including actions and objectives for the year ahead so that we can better support members in this space.

Diversity in practice

UDIA WA’s Diversity Committee met last week to discuss the Institute’s progress in relation to the goals and objectives under our Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

A focus of our policy is providing leadership and support to our members to progress their own diversity and inclusion journey.   That is why we developed the Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit that was launched to members in 2020.

The toolkit provides advice, guidance and a template for organisations seeking to develop their own Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

We are keen to hear from any members who have used the toolkit successfully and have since implemented a policy.   UDIA plans to publish several case studies from organisations that have used the toolkit so that we can better understand their experience and allow others to learn from any issues or challenges that arose.  The case studies will help us understand where and how the toolkit could be improved and also provide guidance to other members seeking to use the tool.

If your organisation is interested in contributing to a case study, please contact UDIA WA Executive Manager of Communications Gemma Osiejak:

Updated requirements for entering UDIA WA office

As Perth, Peel and beyond begin to experience an increase in Omicron cases due to community transmission, it is more critical than ever to ensure that UDIA WA takes all the necessary steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

The WA State Government has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for many Western Australian workplaces. Further to consultation and endorsement from UDIA WA Staff and Council, UDIA WA has implemented a new COVID-19 Vaccine Policy that requires all workers and visitors to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the workplace premises in Subiaco. This means that all personnel conducting work at the UDIA WA workplace must have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

From 31 January 2022, all visitors to the UDIA WA workplace (Level 1, 3 Wexford Street, Subiaco) will be required to allow a staff member from UDIA to sight their vaccination status or proof of exemption. Anyone who doesn’t show evidence when requested will be denied entry.

In line with Western Australian government health directions, our event venues could also start to introduce mandatory entry requirements.

Crown Perth have stated that as of 31 January 2022 all visitors (aged 18 years and over) to the Casino and Pearl Room and visitors (aged 16 years and over) to all other venues including hotels, Crown Spa and events and conferencing facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Crown Perth will request official proof of vaccination or medical contraindication certificate for guests wishing to gain access to these venues. Entry will be denied if official proof of vaccination or a medical contraindication certificate cannot be presented.

Please ensure you keep an eye on our event pages for any venue entry mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.

Please note that in line with the State Government policy, the requirement to manage the COVID-19 vaccinations for your organisation’s personnel solely resides with your organisation.

Further information from the State Government can be accessed via the following link here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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