From the CEO

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you applied the accelerator and the brakes at the same time?

We may be about to find out. As the critique of the Federal Budget continues to roll out, it was well summarised in this article in the AFR that Treasury is worried the economy is weaker than the RBA thinks it is. So they were quite content in putting the foot down on the ‘fiscal pedal’ whilst the RBA has it’s foot firmly on the brakes.

The $24 billion about to land in the form of the stage three tax cuts are expected to boost household cash flows by about the same amount as four interest rate reductions. Described by Chris Richardson as ‘poking the inflationary bear’, for us here in WA it compounds the inflationary challenge when you add the WA energy bill rebate and handout to parents with school aged kids.

According to REA, a typical homebuyer’s borrowing capacity will rise by tens of thousands of dollars next financial year as a result of the tax cuts designed to lower the cost of living. Welcome in terms of more Australians getting their foot in the door of their own home, though not necessarily going to help the affordability issue. In our current housing market in WA, it could lead to even greater demand that we are unable to meet with adequate supply.

Assisting those Australians suffering with cost of living pressures is admirable and needed. It also assumes that Aussies will do the right thing and not splash the cash savings around on items they don’t need. (Cue flashback of buying a large screen TV with the baby bonus.)

So back to my question at the start. At high speed, applying the accelerator and brake simultaneously leads to vehicle instability, loss of control and ultimately an accident. Time will tell whether the risks in this budget were worth it, or if it’s an inflationary car crash waiting to happen.

Federal Budget falls short on housing supply

On Tuesday Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers presented the 2024-2025 Federal Budget which builds on the Government’s initiatives for housing, the environment, infrastructure and cost of living pressures.

The Budget extends existing measures which expand access to housing for ordinary Australians and boosts infrastructure and housing supply.

This budget is largely about cost of living and inflation fighting.

Overall, there are valuable industry announcements in the Budget, however there remains significantly more work to be done on housing, particularly given limited housing supply and deteriorating affordability.

For a full round up of the 2024-25 Federal Budget, read our member alert here.

Operational Committee May Meeting Wrap Up

Over the past two weeks, the UDIA WA Operational Committees convened for their second meetings of the year. Each committee discussed and finalised their key priorities moving forward, providing a clear set of actions for each group to progress.

Community and Consumer Conversations

The Community & Consumer Conversations committee have established three working groups to progress actions under each of their strategic priorities.  These priorities include looking at ways to improve the reputation of the development industry; sharing more consumer information to position UDIA’s website as a ‘one stop shop’ for community and consumer information and furthering our community engagement activities.   The identified working groups will meet in the coming weeks to progress these items and report back to the main committee.

Environment & Climate Action 

The Committee received a presentation from DPLH on the Urban Greening Strategy for Perth and Peel and, in conjunction with other Committee representatives will continue to engage with DPLH to ensure positive outcome from the work being undertaken. In addition, significant discussion around regional planning for greater certainty and better environmental outcomes as well as more interim solutions to assist in improving the process and reducing complexity. 

Infill Developments & Precincts

The Committee received a presentation from Pras Suraweera and Mark Price from Summation on the upcoming NCC and Green Star changes and their impact on built form development. There was also discussion of recent experiences in the social and affordable housing landscape, ongoing State Government work in this space and where the Committee feels they are best placed to assist. The group is also exploring ideas for potential reframing of UDIA WA’s Pre-Budget Submission items in light of the 2024/25 State Budget and upcoming State Election.


Key discussion points focused on infrastructure bottlenecks and exploring potential solutions to the associated challenges.  Updates from the DCP Model; Infrastructure Requirements; and HV Pool Working Groups were received and discussed, as well as updates from Western Power and Water Corporation on their current and future work in relation to the housing supply pipeline.

Masterplanned Communities 

The Committee discussed DCPs, how they are evolving and being renewed as well as changes the group would like to see fed into the DCP Model Working Group. The merits of concurrent approvals processes and where these would be appropriate was discussed as well as updates on various ongoing matters with UDIA involvement including the Liveable Neighbourhoods Advisory Group.

Professional Development

In their role to support UDIA in enhancing our professional development opportunities for members, the committee agreed to form working groups on various potential professional development courses and opportunities, including establishing a new course on Sustainability & Climate Action. Stay tuned for more information on this and other exciting new opportunities as part of UDIA’s professional development offering.

Strengthened focus on distribution customer power connections

Western Power recognises industry’s reliance on the efficient connection of their projects.

To demonstrate its commitment to reducing connection timeframes and providing a value-add service to customers, it has taken the step to dedicate a delivery function to distribution connections.

The Customer Connection Services function will now focus solely on distribution connections, improving response times and customer relationships. Transmission and major connections will be managed through a new, dedicated major works function.

To take the function forward, Anthony Whiteaker has been permanently appointed as the Head of Customer Connection Services.

Anthony is a seasoned Western Power employee with experience across various technical, customer service, continuous improvement and program delivery roles, both in metropolitan and regional areas. He recently spearheaded various project timeframe improvement initiatives, which are helping to bring land development projects online sooner.

This dedicated function will drive Western Power’s work to improve customer connection times, and better meeting rising customer and network demands.

Perth lot sales reach highest point since September 2020

Yesterday UDIA WA launched the latest edition of our Urban Development Index (UDI) report exclusively to members.  The report revealed 3,169 lots were sold in the Perth Metropolitan Region in the March 2024 quarter, which was 29.9% higher than the December quarter figures.

This level of lot sales is also the highest level seen in the Perth Metropolitan Region since September 2020 at the height of the building stimulus rush.

The increase in lot sales, accompanied by supply struggling to keep up has seen the median lot price increase 5.2% on the previous quarter and 15% on the same quarter in 2023 to sit at $279,974, its highest level since March 2008.

The latest edition of the UDI also reveals there are 5,513 lots set to be constructed over the next 12 months which is 30.5% higher than the December quarter and 52.6% higher than the March 2023 quarter.

This edition also includes a feature article from Urbis Director Tim Connoley that analyses the latest results.

For more information and to read the full results from this edition, log in to the new UDIA WA website here.

Waterwise development awards

Earlier this week East Village at Knutsford by DevelopmentWA was announced as the 2024 Waterwise Development of the Year.

Fremantle’s East Village at Knutsford received the accolade for its urban greening design that aims to reduce mains water use by 80% and for creating a microclimate that uses run-off from streets and lanes to sustain trees and public green spaces.

Fruit and nut trees, watered with the run-off and supplemented by ground water, are planted along verges and in public spaces, supplying residents with seasonal produce including mangoes, olives, avocados and almonds.

Developed by DevelopmentWA, each of East Village at Knutsford’s 36 town homes has its own rainwater tank. 

The award is part of Water Corporation’s Waterwise Development Program, created in 2014, in partnership with UDIA. It supports developers to implement best-practice water efficiency standards in the design and delivery of new land developments.

Twenty-seven developments have been endorsed under the program, with Peel Business Park joining the ranks of waterwise developments in WA.

The Waterwise Development Program supports the WA Government’s Kep Katitjin-Gabi Kaadadjan (Waterwise Perth Action Plan 2) to establish leading waterwise communities for Boorloo (Perth) and Bindjareb (Peel) by 2030.

For more information, visit here.

Annual Golf Day scores a Hole-in-One

Last Friday UDIA WA were delighted to welcome over 200 players across more than 50 teams to take part in the 2024 Annual Golf Classic at the picturesque Joondalup Resort.

Luckily, the predicted inclement weather stayed away and the players enjoyed stunning conditions as they swung their way around the course.

Winners on the day were the MNG Team #3 made up of Steven Ding, Ch Ling, Steve Denman and Kim Lai, who returned a score of 55.852 to beat the team from Interphone & Fibrenet (Chad Henville, Mark Martin, Damien Scott and Andrew Steedman) in second with 57.750 and the team from Oakfield Strata (Mitchell Zile, Stuart Manson, Dennis Chew and Steven Young) in third with 58.250.

We pass our congratulations onto all the winners of the main prizes and also acknowledge the NAGA recipients from Team Structerre and the following novelty winners:

Oakfield’s Nearest to Pin (Q3): Gary Lightbody
RAC Finance’s Nearest to Pin (D4): Josh Van Vogelpoel
Opticomm’s Longest Drive (Q1): Ben Wilson
Niche Planning Studios’ Nearest to Pin (Q7): Steve Denman

Big thanks go to our valued sponsors for this year’s event including Major Sponsor – Landscape Australia Construction, Drinks Cart Sponsors – Wormall Civil, Winning Commercial & Electrolux, and Interphone & Fibrenet and Hole Sponsors – RAC Finance, Longreach Recruitment, Richard Noble, Opticomm, Oakfield, Niche Planning Studio, Landnow and WINconnect.

To view images from the day, click here.

UDIA data features in The West

Last weekend the Land Report was once again published in The West Australian, which utilises exclusive land data from UDIA WA’s Urban Development Index as well as key insights and updates from UDIA WA and our members.

The latest edition featured extensive commentary including a state of the market overview from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck, curated reports on the Northern and Southern corridors, plus insights from UDIA WA members Celsius Developments, Mirvac and Peet.

To read the latest edition, click here.

Call for nominations: Diversity & Inclusion working group

UDIA WA is establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group that will report directly to the UDIA WA Education, Connection & Excellence Strategic Committee and provide advice and oversight of the Institute’s performance in relation to diversity and inclusion.  The Group will be appointed for a 20-month term, commencing in May 2024 and ending in December 2025.

Overall, the group will provide a forum for discussion of diversity and inclusion related issues within the organisation and more broadly in the urban development industry, as well as provide advice in relation to UDIA WA policy, performance and activities in relation to diversity and inclusion.

If you are interested in nominating for this group, please follow the link here to the nomination form and more detailed Terms of Reference.  Any questions about the group can be directed to UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak:

Join us for the CEO Sleepout

UDIA WA are pleased to share we will once again be forming a team, including our CEO Tanya Steinbeck, to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.  We’re calling for our members to support and join our cause on the night!

The event, which aims to raise vital funds and awareness to assist homelessness initiatives, takes place each year with CEOs from various organisations across WA sleeping out at Optus Stadium for a night.

UDIA WA has been involved with the event for the past few years taking a committed team of members helping to raise thousands of dollars each year and we’re looking to do the same this year.

If you would like to join the UDIA WA CEO Sleepout team, find more information here and click on ‘Join Us’ if you wish to be part of the team.  Otherwise you can also donate to the cause via the same link.