UDIA WA’s Annual General Meeting was held at the UDIA WA Subiaco offices yesterday.  We formally welcomed Richard Pappas, Managing Director of Celsius Property Group, onto Council.  Mr Pappas is replacing long time Councillor and Treasurer Alf Lay and brings with him a wealth of experience in the property industry.

We would like to once again extend our best wishes and thanks to Alf for his time and expertise on Council and we are looking forward to continuing to work with him in the future.

Mr Pappas’s ascension to the Council was the only personnel change, with the remaining Council members continuing in their current roles for a further 12 months.

At the Council meeting following the AGM, Darren Walsh was voted in as the new Treasurer to complete the State Council Executive Team.

Your 2020-21 UDIA WA Council members are:

  • President Col Dutton, Stockland
  • Vice President Jane Bennett, CLE Town Planning + Design
  • Vice President Jeremy Cordina, Parcel Property
  • Treasurer Darren Walsh, Strategen JBS&G
  • Anthony Rowbottam, Lendlease
  • Danielle Davison, Davison Advisory
  • Paul Morgan, Peet
  • Richard Pappas, Celsius Property Group
  • Lyle Kenny, Perron Group
  • Avril Thomson, Cossill & Webley
  • Greg Rowe, Rowe Group
  • Craig Shepherd, PwC

The Annual Report was also delivered during yesterday’s AGM and anybody wishing to read this, can click here for more information.

Housing Strategy Breakfast

UDIA WA was pleased to co-host the launch of the new WA Housing Strategy 2020-30 at a breakfast event yesterday with the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Department of Communities.

Minister for Housing Peter Tinley provided an overview of the strategy and associated targets, primarily aimed at connecting 150,000 households to a home by 2030.

The Minister said that the strategy focuses on five key areas including Supply, Design, Housing literacy, Access, and Housing pathways.  Each area has associated measurable targets such as a six percent increase in social housing by 2030 and growing the number of transit oriented homes by 45 per cent.

UDIA welcomed the strategy given it’s focus on affordability, housing diversity and unlocking land supply across the state.

While we support the intent of the strategy, we have highlighted the need to ensure there is sufficient funds allocated to deliver the three implementation plans for affordable housing, regional and remote housing, and the social housing framework.

During the Q&A session, the Minister was asked to comment on the likelihood that the current Building Bonus timeframes would be extended, however he declined to comment specifically. UDIA has been advocating strongly at a national and state level to ensure the government understands the importance of ensuring a realistic timeframe for new home buyers to meet the requirements to receive the financial incentives on offer.

You can read more about the strategy here

And view UDIA WA’s media release here

Housing Industry Forecasting Group

The Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG), of which UDIA WA is a member, met this week to discuss property market conditions and dwelling commencement expectations for 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.

The HIFG is a joint industry and government body that provides independent commentary on the housing sector in Western Australia. UDIA WA provided feedback based on our latest market statistics and the lift in activity due to the current stimulus measures.

The HIFG will release its revised dwelling commencement forecast in the coming weeks.

Latest market commentary released

On Tuesday UDIA WA released the latest edition of our monthly Urban Intelligence Report.

This month’s edition continues to track the impact from the housing stimulus measures and highlights an uptick in Housing Approvals from previous months.

This edition also features an article from UDIA WA Director Policy and Research Chris Green about the impacts of last week’s budget releases and population growth on the development industry.

To view the latest edition of the Urban Intelligence, click here.

Urgent Bill introduced to continue support for WA businesses

Urgent legislation was introduced to parliament today that will allow the Government to provide additional payroll tax support for Western Australian businesses impacted by COVID-19, if they are needed after the March State election.

Current laws that give the Government the power to introduce payroll tax support measures to respond to economic impacts of COVID-19 expire in April next year.

The legislation is being introduced to extend these powers, given it is unlikely there will be sufficient time to deal with the legislation when Parliament resumes after the election in March 2021.

The Pay-roll Tax Relief (COVID-19 Response) Act passed through Parliament in April, giving around 10,700 small businesses a four-month payroll tax waiver, as well as payroll tax exemptions for payments made under the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper scheme.

The Act also included powers that would allow other payroll tax measures to be introduced as part of COVID-19 relief measures, if required. It will be automatically repealed on April 21, 2021, meaning any regulations and all regulation-making powers will cease.

The Bill introduced today will preserve the regulation-making powers in the event other payroll relief tax measures are required after April 20, 2021.

Community Titles update

Landgate advises that community schemes will be introduced to WA in 2021. Community schemes will provide an important new option in the State for the subdivision of land and creation of mixed-use developments.

They will be introduced to Western Australia through the Community Titles Act 2018 (CTA), which was passed by the WA Parliament in November 2018.

Landgate and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage are working on the regulations to support the CTA. The proposed regulations will be made available for public consultation in the coming months, before being finalised and delivered to Parliament.

For more information visit: https://strata.wa.gov.au/

Hatch RobertsDay

UDIA would like to congratulate the newly formed Hatch RobertsDay following the official announcement of these two companies joining forces.

RobertsDay has joined the Hatch group of companies bringing together Australian thought leaders in urban solutions with global experts in infrastructure, engineering and construction.

This integration offers a cohesive, multidisciplinary place-led design service that unites RobertsDay’s front-end spatial planning, urban design and placemaking capability with Hatch’s expertise in development strategy, economic analysis, infrastructure master planning, engineering, implementation and program management.

Hatch’s breadth of experience across 150 countries and RobertsDay’ focus on Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East will help deliver transformational ideas and solutions to clients globally.

For more information, see here.

City of Nedlands Design Review Panel

The Nedlands Council is searching for the best and brightest designers with expertise in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, sustainability, heritage or other design aspects, for its newly established independent Design Review Panel.

City of Nedlands Deputy Mayor, Cr Leo McManus says the Design Review Panel will play a vital role in improving the design quality and functionality of new developments within the City of Nedlands and improving the City in general.

“This is a unique opportunity for designers of the future, with a passion for their industry, a respect and love of Nedlands’ character and context, and a drive to create excellence in design,” Cr McManus said.

“The Panel will consist of up to six built form and design professionals and two specialist members.”

The City of Nedlands Council resolved at its September 2020 meeting that Design Review Panel members should preferably have a connection to the City, either as a ratepayer, resident or elector however, suitably qualified applicants from outside the City will still be considered.

“The role of the Panel is to improve the overall design quality and functionality of new developments wherever possible by providing applicants with qualified, independent feedback both before and during the planning assessment process,” Cr McManus said.

For more information on the Design Review Panel, Terms of Reference and Nomination Guide, visit here.

Nominations close at 5pm, Friday 23 October 2020 – Enquiries to Adam D’Alessandro, Senior Urban Planner on 9273 3500 or email council@nedlands.wa.gov.au

Finbar acquires prime East Perth development site

The eastern gateway to the Perth CBD will be home to a twin tower apartment development and new microbrewery under plans from Western Australian company Finbar.

Finbar has been selected as the successful proponent for a prime 5,335sqm corner site in Riverside, East Perth.

Lot 101 Hay Street was released to the market by Expressions of Interest through DevelopmentWA in November 2019.

Finbar’s plans for the site comprise a two-tower residential development, and the adaptation of an existing heritage component as a microbrewery in tower one.

Tower one will include 130 apartments and 820sqm of commercial space, while tower two will include 210 apartments and 535sqm of commercial space.

Construction of the first tower is expected to commence by the end of 2022. An estimated 500 jobs are expected to be created through the construction period.

Draft planning scheme for Swan Valley released for public comment

The first standalone planning scheme for the Swan Valley has been publicly released, following the introduction of legislation to Parliament and delivery of the Swan Valley Action Plan.

The draft Swan Valley Planning Scheme will replace two existing schemes – the City of Swan Local Planning Scheme and the Metropolitan Region Scheme – to streamline land use planning and development in the region once the legislation passes.

The scheme is designed to improve guidance for planning decisions in the region, create a new priority agriculture zone, introduce measures to protect existing and potential farming of rural land and provide greater clarity to landowners, residents and businesses about subdivision, minimum lot sizes, development and land use.

The scheme accommodates innovative proposals that preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the Swan Valley while supporting viticulture, lifestyle and equine uses, and suitably scaled local food and beverage tourism.

Community members can share their views on the draft scheme until November 14, 2020 here.

The scheme will come into effect under the new Swan Valley Planning Bill 2020 and is consistent with the Planning and Development Act 2005.

For more information, click here.

DPLH Urban Tree Canopy Dashboard

The Western Australian Planning Commission’s (WAPC) Better Urban Forest Planning guide and Urban Tree Canopy Dashboard are designed to assist local governments and other urban forest managers, with best practice actions and data to support the ongoing management of their urban forests.

The Urban Tree Canopy Dashboard is an interactive snapshot of the extent of tree canopy coverage across the Perth and Peel regions.

For more information, click here.

WA unemployment rate dropping

Across the country the unemployed rate increased to 6.9% but on a positive note for WA, the unemployment rate here dropped to 6.7%.

The improvement in WA’s employment market has seen a dramatic turnaround from when WA recorded one of the highest unemployment rates in the country to now having one of the lowest.

Much of this turnaround will be due to several industries being able to return to a relative normal following more than six months without a community case of COVID-19 in the State.

Returning resident numbers drop in August

Nationally for the month of August a total of 3,030 short-term trips were recorded and the number of Australian resident returns from overseas decreased 21.5% MoM to 8,070 trips.

For visitor arrivals to WA there were 460 short term arrivals recorded, with the largest source countries being India (80), the UK (60) and New Zealand (40).

For visitors arriving in WA for a long-term trip (1 year or more) there were nearly 80 arrivals, with an additional 10 international students.

Building activity dropped in June

Nationally, for the June quarter, the seasonally adjusted estimates for dwelling units commenced numbered 42,448 representing a -5.6% decrease QoQ (-8.0% YoY).

Within this new private sector houses numbered 25,397 (-0.8% QoQ, -1.7% YoY) and new private sector other residential building numbered 15,966 (-14.1% QoQ, -17.3% YoY).

Within WA, the total number of residential dwelling units commenced (total sectors) numbered 2,794 (original numbers) representing a -21.52% decrease QoQ (-30.86% YoY). This was comprised of 2,410 new houses (-4.06% QoQ, -17.75% YoY) and 377 other residential (-63.47% QoQ, -65.76% YoY).

The total number of residential dwelling units completed (total sectors) numbered 3,412 (original numbers) representing a -4.32% decrease QoQ (-24.36% YoY). This was comprised of 2,526 new houses (-15.38% QoQ, -22.28% YoY) and 878 other residential (-56.23% QoQ, -29.36% YoY).

The total number of residential dwelling units under construction (total sectors) numbered 10,379 (original numbers) representing a -5.73% decrease QoQ (-12.07% YoY). This was comprised of 6,184 new houses (-2.03% QoQ, -5.01% YoY) and 4,137 other residential (-10.80% QoQ, -20.85% YoY).

UDIA requests for feedback

UDIA is working on submissions and responses in relation to the following.  Members are encouraged to provide feedback and comments to inform our submissions to policy@udiawa.com.au by the specified dates below:

Review of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 (here) DUE 27 November

Discussion Paper ‘Waste Not, Want Not – Valuing Waste as a Resource – Proposed legislative framework for waste-derived materials’ (here) DUE 18 December