Western Power reduce clearance time frames

As a result of conversations between UDIA WA and Western Power regarding the building stimulus, Western Power will reduce clearance time frames from 21 to 14 days.

Applicants submitting clearance to Western Power can expect the reduction in turn-around time from Monday 27 July until further notice.

UDIA anticipate the reduction in clearance times will assist developer’s in the preparation of finalising titles and selling their lot(s).

UDIA and Western Power will continue to work collaboratively to support the land development industry.

Updated guidance on HomeBuilder Federal Stimulus Package

UDIA published a national member update yesterday outlining updated guidance on the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme.

UDIA National has been liaising with the Commonwealth Government to provide greater clarity on various elements of the scheme, as well as seeking to optimise its application and benefits.

The new guidance provides a more explicit confirmation that HomeBuilder indeed applies to sales contracts between buyers and developers – as is commonly the case on off-the-plan apartment and townhouse projects.

See our full Member Alert with relevant links here.

Building Stimulus: City of Gosnell to Support Bonding

Following the surge in demand for lots resulting from the building stimulus packages, UDIA WA has written to all of Perth’s growth area councils, requesting that should they not do so already, they accept bonding at limestone, with a 25% loading on the tendered price.

In addition to a number of councils confirming that this is their current practice, the City of Gosnells have advised that whilst the City’s preference to have conditions of approval fulfilled prior to clearances being issued, “to assist the property development industry through its recovery phase, the City will relax its position in relation to bonding for the remainder of 2020 calendar year in light of UDIA’s request.

In addition, the City will reduce the lasting on bonding from 87.5% to 25% of the quantum of the cost estimate.”

UDIA WA greatly appreciates the City of Gosnells for reconsidering its position in relation to this matter and looks forward to working with all tiers of government to ensure that as many West Australians as possible are able to benefit from the current State and Federal Government stimulus packages.

Planning for Water

UDIA WA recently made a submission on behalf of members on the Draft SPP2.9 Planning for Water and its accompanying Guidelines.

Perth has many existing and emerging water issues, and as much of the land identified for future development is challenged by water constraints, it is imperative that we have a contemporary planning policy framework that manages water issues effectively and efficiently.

While UDIA is supportive of the Policy’s guiding principles, we did raise concerns about the lack of emphasis regarding implementing a risk-based approach to decision making and when certain investigations are required.

We feel that there is a conservative approach to the wording of when studies are required, which when applied practically may result in authorities taking a conservative approach and applying all requirements to all sites.

Likewise, we feel a risk-based approach should be adopted for the requirement for additional studies, with reduced information requirements and government processing timeframes for lower risk proposals.

We also identified that while Urban Water management Plans are no long required if previous reporting has been undertaken sufficiently, the list of exemptions is lengthy and potentially will lead to at least 90% of developable land still requiring a plan.

To read our full submission including detailed comment on the draft policy elements read here.

Regional land boost launched

The State Government announced the Regional Land Booster program yesterday, a $116million package aimed at driving new residential and industrial development and boosting construction activity across Western Australia.

The Government, through Development WA, will make land more affordable for 1,095 development-ready industrial, commercial and residential lots across WA, saving land buyers a combined $116 million.

For more information visit: http://www.developmentwa.com.au/

Latest Urban Intelligence released

The latest edition of UDIA WA’s Urban Intelligence Report was released to members on Tuesday, providing a run down on the latest economic and market data relevant to the property industry.

Headline figures include a record surge in retail sales; national unemployment up to 7.1%; a close to 50% increase in new lot sales for the month of June; and a 0.6% increase in the residential property price index.

This edition also features an article by UDIA WA Policy Director Chris Green outlining Perth’s property market values in the face of current stimulus measures as well as a spotlight on the Peel region market.

The Urban Intelligence is a monthly report made available to UDIA members only here.

New housing for homeless initiative launched

The State Government has announced that Western Australia’s first ‘Common Ground’ will be built on the corner of Hill and Wellington streets in central Perth.

People with complex needs will be housed and supported alongside low-income earners in the purpose-built Common Ground complex, which will include at least 70 self-contained apartments.

The East Perth facility is one of two Common Grounds funded as part of the $71.7 million State Government funding boost for homelessness services announced in December to support the implementation of WA’s first 10-year strategy on homelessness.

The Common Ground model of supportive housing offers a mix of permanent, affordable housing that is linked with tailored, dedicated support services to address the root causes of homelessness.

The model originated in New York City more than 20 years ago and has since been adopted in other Australian States and Territories.

Registration of building engineers in Western Australia

Building and Energy has released a consultation paper proposing changes to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 to allow for the registration of building engineers and to introduce a code of conduct for engineers.

It will also require all types of registered practitioners to work within their area of competence.

The categories of engineer proposed to be registered include:

  • Civil
  • Structural
  • Hydraulic
  • Mechanical
  • Geotechnical
  • Fire safety

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 3 December 2020.

Download the consultation paper for details of the proposals and to have your say here.

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:

The R-Codes Interim COVID-19 Review (here), closes September 10th.   Please provide feeback to UDIA no later than Thursday 27 August.

A Stronger Tomorrow State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion paper (here), closes Friday 21 August. Please provide feedback to UDIA no later than Friday 7 August.

State Budget Submission

Following its deferral due to COVID-19, the WA State Budget will be handed down on October 8th, 2020 and UDIA WA will be providing a submission to government in the coming weeks outlining our suggested priorities.

Our submission will cover a range of issues linked to economic growth and market recovery in the wake of COVID-19 including tax reform, population growth, infrastructure planning and provision, affordable housing, environmental assessment and planning reform.

We welcome members feedback on any issues you believe we should be addressing in our submission by COB Friday 24 July 2020.

Building approvals fell in March

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest building approvals data shows nationally the value of total residential building work done during the March 2020 quarter fell by 11% YOY, compared to a 6% fall YOY over the same period for WA.

In terms of new residential building work done, the value of work done on new houses fell 1.3%, while new ‘other residential’ building fell 4.8%.

Nationally the trend estimate for new private sector house commencements rose 0.3% in the March quarter following a fall of 1.5% in the December quarter. The trend estimate for new private sector ‘other residential’ building commencements rose 3.1% in the March quarter following a rise of 2.4% in the December quarter.

In original terms, nationally the number of dwelling units commenced decreased by 10% for total new houses yet increased 12% YOY for total other residential.

In WA an overall increase of 4% for total number of dwelling units commenced was led by a 42% YOY increase in total other residential, with a 6% YOY decrease in total new houses.

In original terms, nationally the total number of dwelling units completed across all sectors for new houses decreased by 11.5% YOY, while total other residential decreased by 8.6% YOY. In WA the total number of dwelling units completed for new houses increased 7.7% YOY while total number of other residential decreased by 33.4%.

Nationally, the number of dwelling units under construction decreased by 9% YOY for houses, and 14% YOY for other residential.

In WA the number of dwelling units under construction decreased by 7.85% YOY for houses, and 14% for other residential.

Families evolve over four decades

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released an interesting overview of the evolution of families and households in Australia since 1980.

Some of the key trends include the rise in one person and older person households; the increasing diversity of households including Indigenous and immigrant households; growing positivity in relation to family relationships; and a decline in families with children.

More detailed information on this trends can be found here.

Subi East Masterplan released

The draft Subi East Master Plan has been released by the state Government for public comment.

The Master Plan provides the blueprint for revitalising the area between Subiaco Oval and the former Princess Margaret Hospital site, including land along the rail line at West Leederville Station, into an inner-city village and new gateway to the Perth CBD.

According to the government, Subi East is expected to generate 2,700 jobs during construction and more than 660 ongoing jobs once fully developed. The project, which will take shape over the coming 20 years, is expected to attract some $1 billion in private sector investment and early works are anticipated to begin next year.

As an inner-city village, Subi East will offer housing choices through apartment living, ultimately to be home to more than 4,000 Western Australians across more than 2,000 dwellings.

The draft plan which is open for comment until September 10, 2020.

Details on how to provide feedback can be found on http://www.developmentwa.com.au/subieast, including information on a public webinar to be held at 6pm Wednesday July 22, 2020.

UDIA supports upcoming SHIFT Cooperative Innovation DigiConference

UDIA WA is pleased to support the upcoming DigiConference organised by Town Teams.

If you missed the inimitable David Engwicht at our State Conference in February, here is your chance to hear from the man himself, as he provides the keynote address along with a range of other thought-provoking speakers from around the country.

Exploring topics including recovery after crisis, helping retailers post-COVID, placemaking and place-branding, this conference is not to be missed.

Find out more and purchase tickets here.

While this conference is online, the after party is not!  Join fellow Perth delegates at The Rooftop at The Rechabite from 4pm – 6pm on the day of the conference to meet face to face and discuss what you have learned.

Covid-19 and homelessness

Shelter WA is hosting a free event to discuss sector, community and government perpecitves on the impact of Covid-19 on homelessness.  The event will be held on Monday 3rd August from 9:30am to 1:00pm.

Featuring an overview of the homelessness taskforce, scenario planning and what this means for the Homelessness strategy and services will be provided by the Department of Communities.

Professor David Gilchrist from UWA will facilitate a panel discussion between taskforce members, government and industry will reflect on the current and projected impact of COVID on the community, what they are seeing on the ground and what this means for service provision moving forward

More information and to register click here.

Site security update

Midland Detectives charged a 35-year-old Middle Swan man with four counts of Burglary and five counts of Stealing after investigations into building site thefts in the Dayton area where hotplates, ovens and hot water systems were stolen.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing there has been a continued reduction in building site crime during June, with a 36% reduction in reported crime compared to pre-COVID-19 months.

Illegal rubbish dumping reports have increased with locals assisting in the removal of rubbish. See June statistics HERE.

With significant increases in land sales and building activity since the introduction of state and federal government stimulus packages, it is expected that crime will increase over the coming months. To assist the industry in reducing the impact of crime and illegal rubbish dumping ensure you report all incidents efficiently and effectively HERE.