HV pool signed

UDIA WA is extremely pleased to announce that following months of collaboration, discussion and consultation with Western Power, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck has put pen to paper, signing a new HV Pool Governance Agreement.

UDIA WA has been committed to delivering the agreement with Western Power for quite some time and it will allow for the establishment of a governance committee that will be made up of two Western Power representatives and two representatives from the Land Development Industry.

The committee will be responsible for the ongoing operation of the HV Pool and returning the HV Pool to a reasonable balance.

This is a great outcome for our members, the broader land development industry and Western Power allowing greater transparency on the balance of the HV Pool.

From here, UDIA will continue to work with Western Power on reducing the pool balance and providing refunds back to the land development industry.

UDIA bids fond farewell to State Council member

State Council member Vivienne Edwards has accepted an exciting opportunity to take up a position in Stantec’s Manhattan office and will be moving to New York at the end of next week.

Vivienne is a valued member of UDIA WA and has committed a great deal of time and energy to the institute’s endeavors during her time as a previous Women in Leadership award winner; Outlook Committee Chair; Infrastructure Committee member and State Council Member.  Her expertise, enthusiasm and valued input will be sorely missed.

UDIA WA would like to extend our most sincere thanks to Vivienne for all her hard work and we wish her and her family all the best for this new chapter!

One month to go for Jonathan Pain

There is just under a month to go before economist Jonathan Pain returns to Perth to provide his thoughts and predictions about how global events will impact Western Australia and our property market.

It was at our first industry luncheon of 2019 that Jonathan accurately predicted the RBA would lower the official cash rate to less than 1% within a year, a prediction that came true within 9 months.

Now, with the US and China looking to strike a deal, Britain on the verge of leaving the European Union and a host of other major global events occurring, we are eagerly anticipating what Jonathan will predict this time around.

To whet your appetite, Jonathan spoke to UDIA WA last month and gave us an insight into what he will talk about at the first luncheon of 2020. To listen to the lively interview, click here.

For those still looking to register for the event, click here.

UDIA WA is hiring

UDIA WA is on the search for a Research and Policy Officer to join our team on a 12-month maternity cover contract.

The new candidate will cover for our current Research and Policy Officer, Carissa who will be starting her maternity leave in April this year.

For more details about the position or to apply for the role, click here.

Site chosen for METRONET’s Midland Station relocation

Earlier this week the location for Midland’s new train station was confirmed with the current 51-year-old station set to be replaced with a new facility between Helena and Cale Streets, bringing it closer to the heart of Midland, Midland Health Campus and the Workshops precinct.

Set to include three platforms, a new bus interchange, car park, bicycle facilities and a new shared path, the new station will be better integrated with Midland’s growing commercial centre.

With the site now locked in, attention and planning will focus on the station layout and design in preparation for procurement and construction.

The business case for the project has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia and the project definition plan will be completed in mid-2020.

Nation’s second waste-to-energy plant to be built in WA

Perth’s Western Trade Coast (WTC) will once again play host to a waste-to-energy plant as news of Australia’s second plant was announced in December.

The plant which will turn household and other waste into renewable power and will be based in the WTC’s Rockingham Industry Zone just to the south of the Avertas waste-to-energy plant which began construction in the Kwinana Industrial area, also part of the Western Trade Coast, in March.

The new plant is anticipated to create 350 jobs with work expected to start this month on the $511 million facility, which will treat about 300,000 tonnes a year of residual waste left after recycling efforts from municipal, commercial and industrial sources.

It will generate 29MW of baseload renewable energy, enough to power more than 36,000 homes, and reduce emissions by more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2-e a year – the equivalent of taking about 64,000 cars off the road.

Builder sought for METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line’s main works contract

Earlier today a Request for Proposal (RFP) was released to the market as the State Government searches for a company to deliver the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line main works contract.

The RFP calls for companies to design, construct and commission the new METRONET rail line with the main works contract set to be the biggest of four works packages that will deliver the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, including the Bayswater Station upgrade and Tonkin Gap projects.

This RFP process will lead to the main contract being awarded later this year, adding to the construction that will already be underway as part of Bayswater Station and Tonkin Gap. The main works contract will include the design, construction and commissioning of rail track, systems and five stations at Ellenbrook, Whiteman Park, Malaga, Noranda and Morley. This will include bulk earthworks and retaining, structures, grade separations, roads and drainage.

Figures show building approvals struggling to rise

The latest figures from the ABS revealed that in November the number of WA house building approvals fell 1.3% MoM and 12.1% YoY to 1,006. Despite the small drop in approvals from October to November, this figure was higher than building approvals recorded in June, July, August and September.

The value of residential building jobs for new houses rose 0.2% in November to $294.8 million but this was 13.0% below levels at the same time in 2018, despite values in November being at their highest level since May 2019.

The total value of new residential building jobs fell 2.2% MoM and 8.2% YoY to $392.9 million, 5.5% below the 12-month average. This total consisted of: $350 million for new construction jobs (-0.7% MoM; -7.0% YoY); and $42.8 million for alterations and additions (including conversions) (-13.1% MoM; -17.1% YoY).

In retail trade news, WA retail turnover for November lifted 3.5% year-on-year (YoY) to sit at $3.1 billion, forming 10.5% of national retail turnover for the month ($29.5 billion).

We value your feedback!

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

  • Environmental Protection Act 1986 amendments consultation (here). Submissions close January 28, 2020.
  • Native Vegetation in Western Australia Issues Paper (here). Submissions close February 10, 2020.
  • Draft Position Statement: Special Entertainment Precincts (here). Submissions close February 14, 2020.

Government seeking feedback on KPBG

At the start of the month the State Government put out a call for the public to come forward and provide views on how Kings Park and Botanic Garden should be used and managed over the next five years.

The survey was released on January 3 and will remain open until January 31 and seeks the views of everyday Western Australians. Feedback from the community survey will inform the draft Kings Park and Botanic Garden Management Plan 2020-2025.

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA), which manages Kings Park, recently established five strategic priorities for the next five years:

  1. Truly local experiences: Immersing visitors in experiences of nature and local identity.
  2. Community wellbeing: Encouraging community health and social inclusion through connection to nature, culture and identity.
  3. Culture and heritage: Conserving, enhancing and celebrating the cultural and natural heritage of our parks.
  4. Science and conservation: Protecting local biodiversity and tackling complex environmental challenges facing our world.
  5. Western Australian Botanic Garden: Conserving and enhancing the WA Botanic Garden as an iconic cultural, educational and research institution.

Five-year management plans are a legislative requirement for BGPA. The draft Kings Park and Botanic Garden Management Plan 2020-2025 will be available for public comment in May 2020 with the final plan submitted to the Minister for Environment for approval in mid-2020.

The survey can be completed online and is available here until January 31, 2020.

Funding for studies into Hydrogen

Last week the State Government announced it will invest $1.68 million to support feasibility studies across seven proposed renewable hydrogen projects for Western Australia as part of measures to kick-start the renewable hydrogen industry.

The studies, funded through the Renewable Hydrogen Fund, include examining creating solar hydrogen for waste collection and light vehicle fleets in Cockburn, a hydrogen refuelling hub in Mandurah and the potential for an electrolysis hydrogen production plant in the Great Southern or Wheatbelt.

Other proposals include a standalone power system for an indigenous community in the Pilbara using 100 per cent renewable energy; a hydrogen production facility near Kununurra using existing hydro generation; examining the compatibility of the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas transmission pipeline with blended hydrogen and looking at the integration of renewable hydrogen with isolated power stations.

Site Security Update

Crime reports for January have been relatively low following the Christmas and New Year break and the industry returning to full capacity.

December 2019 crime reports were also down and the full 2019 statistics can be viewed here.

Despite the low number of reports 2020 has started well with the recovery of 5 stolen hot water units after a hot water system, fitted with GPS tracking, was stolen from an Impressions site in Banksia Grove. For more information about this incident, click here.

The traditional Illegal rubbish dumping issues over the Christmas and New Year break continued this year with countless builders skip bins and estate verges impacted.