From the CEO

As we edge closer to UDIA WA’s Annual General Meeting and the endorsement of our 2021-22 Council, I have been reflecting on the growth of this organisation since it was incorporated in the early 1970’s to what it has become today. We have come a long way, and achieved many advocacy wins that have helped smooth the path towards creating great places for the people of Perth and WA.

The key question I have now, is this. How do we make that quantum shift from holding back the tide of regulation, duplication and ever-increasing complexity to delivering a step change in how we create liveable, sustainable communities? As a collective of community creators, we are the city shapers. How we live in the future is very much influenced by the legacies we leave in our projects. So its time that we tackle the wicked problems. Tinkering around the edges with policy reform and regulation provides incremental change yes. Game changers? No.

As I map out the journey of what it takes to deliver a place to call from home, from site acquisition to handing over the keys to the buyer – I like many of you am both frustrated and dismayed at the enormity and complexity of a system of approvals and processes that don’t all add value, many detracting from efficiently and effectively delivering the most important asset in our lives.

So herein lies the challenge. In one of my favourite quotes, John Maynard Keynes says “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones.” We need action on both fronts. To that end, I’m pleased to have launched our inaugural thought leadership summit  – The Urbanist Impact Forum with a stellar line up of thought provocative speakers and ideas.

I’m excited at the opportunity to change the development game for the better. If not now, then when. I look forward to the journey ahead with the support of you, our valued members.

UDIA Awards recognise best of the best in 2021

On Saturday night UDIA WA were delighted to be joined by over 500 industry professionals and colleagues as the best and brightest in WA were crowned at this year’s Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner.

The most prestigious award, the Russel Perry Award for Urban Development Excellence, was awarded to Eden West by Edge Visionary Living, which also picked up the top honour in the High Density Development category.

On the night the two Judges Awards were presented to One Iluka Beach by Bode Property and Iluma Private Estate by Mirvac.

According to our esteemed judges, led by head judge Danielle Davison, the level of quality in this year’s awards was incredible, making each category a finely contested battle so a massive congratulations for all of this year’s winners and finalists.

To see a full list of this year’s winners and finalists, read the 2021 Awards for Excellence Winners Supplement here.

Big thanks to all of this year’s Awards for Excellence sponsors including Platinum Sponsor Western Australian Planning Commission, Gold Sponsors Lavan and Stantec and all our category sponsors who are listed in the supplement.

Housing Inquiry an opportunity to fix affordability woes

UDIA National has lodged its submission to a new inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue into housing supply and affordability.

The inquiry’s terms of reference span the impact of current taxes, charges and regulatory settings across all three tiers of government, factors that promote or impede responsive housing supply and examining the effectiveness of initiatives to improve housing supply.

UDIA National President Simon Basheer said our submission provided clear and implementable recommendations to support building durable housing supply pipelines.

“The market has long lacked the flexibility and development-ready pipeline needed to service demand and the end result is Australia has some of the world’s least affordable house prices,” he said.

“Given the Government’s own forecasts project a surge in demand once immigration and population growth return to business-as-usual settings, there is no time to waste.”

UDIA’s submission includes detailed analysis that shows Australia has averaged annual supply of 142,700 new homes over the past 20 years but:

  • The cumulative gap between supply and demand has widened to as much as 200,000 homes
  • Post-pandemic demand is forecast to rise to 178,800 homes per annum within two years
  • House prices have soared in each of our capital cities, and equity of access continues to shrink.

UDIA’s submission details sweeping policy reforms needed to overcome the high tax, planning and regulatory barriers that have doomed housing supply. These include:

  • The Commonwealth undertaking wholesale tax reform in partnership with the states to shift away from stamp duty
  • Fixing environmental approvals, with a particular focus on streamlining arrangements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act
  • Unlocking better land use outcomes from Commonwealth investment in infrastructure, and innovation solutions to fund enabling infrastructure
  • Making permanent the annual allocation of 10,000 places under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme which are exclusively available for new or newly constructed homes
  • Accelerating the research mandate of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), and
  • Applying a new incentives-based model that holds states accountable for the delivery of housing supply requirements and using league tables to transparently report on outcomes.

UDIA will be active participants in the Inquiry given its critical importance to our industry and for the aspirations of thousands of Australians of home ownership and access to the housing market.

UDIA National’s full submission is available here.

Women in Leadership Award

This year’s UDIA WA Women in Leadership award was presented to CLE Town Planning and Design Managing Director Jane Bennett at the gala event on Saturday.

Jane is well known to many in the industry and the judges highlighted her as a passionate and inspirational leader, with her expertise widely sought after by the private and public sector.

Jane is a member of the Western Australian Planning Commission, a Director of Development WA and Vice President of UDIA WA.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, a Masters in Business Administration and an Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Diploma. Jane has been actively involved in the industry as a long term member of UDIA WA Council and is currently a Chair of the UDIA Planning Committee and was made a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia in November 2015 for her contribution to planning.

The UDIA WA Women in Leadership Award acknowledges and promotes the positive contribution of women in the WA development industry and all of the finalists and our winner are fantastic ambassadors for the sector.

The two finalists in this year’s Women in Leadership award were Anna Evangelisti from DevelopmentWA and Catherine Cunningham from Wormall Civil.

To see a full list of all of this year’s winners and finalists, read the 2021 Awards for Excellence Winners Supplement here.

Young Development Professional

Continuing a strong record for Outlook Committee members, Renee Gumina was presented with the 2021 Young Development Professional Award at this year’s Awards for Excellence.

Renee is a Project Marketing Manager at Cedar Woods, having made rapid careers progression from a Marketing Assistant in 2014. The judges said Renee demonstrates both passion and commitment to her role and the development industry as well as having a can-do attitude.

Renee actively contributes to the industry through her role as an Outlook Committee member, while also seeking new ways to contribute with her innovative ideas.

This year’s Young Development Professional Finalists were Lachlan McCaffrey from Now Living and Nathan Varma from DevelopmentWA.

A big thanks goes to Stockland for continuing to support young professionals with their sponsorship of this category.

To see a full list of all of this year’s winners and finalists, read the 2021 Awards for Excellence Winners Supplement here.

IWA Water Roundtable

Last week, UDIA representatives attended an InfrastructureWA roundtable that examined the draft Strategy’s water actions.

The Roundtable included a variety of Government and industry group representatives and discussed a range of actions including modernizing the regulatory framework, the better management of demand, ensuring climate resilient water security, water for agricultural uses and protection of the Jandakot groundwater system.

UDIA greatly appreciates the opportunity provided by InfrastructureWA to contribute towards the development of the Infrastructure Strategy and looks forward to further engagement as the 10 year infrastructure plan is prepared.

UDIA Urban Water Committee meet with DWER

Representatives from UDIA’s Urban Water Committee met with Department of Water and Environmental Regulation officers this week to discuss issues and challenges regarding water availability and opportunities to better encourage the trade and transfer of water licenses.

At the meeting, DWER also provided an overview of its work analysing water availability and shortfalls across the Perth and Peel Regions.

UDIA looks forward to further collaboration with DWER in progressing solutions to these strategic issues and will keep members informed of progress.

Keep an eye out for the next issue of UDIA WA’s The Urbanist magazine which will feature an opinion piece from DWER Director General Michelle Andrews.

UDIA guides the next generation

On Monday, Director of Policy and Research Christopher Green provided a presentation to Curtin University property students, providing an overview of the economy and housing market conditions.

Within the presentation Chris delivered an outline of the current and emerging challenges facing the apartment market in particular, highlighting the need for more investment in the apartment market to increase the rental stock available.

He showcased that overall, the proportion of investors in the WA market plunged to just 16% of new housing loans in February 2021, compared with 36% in February 2017.

One of UDIA WA’s key recommendations for addressing the rental crisis was extending the stamp duty rebate for Off the Plan apartments, a move we welcomed in last week’s State Budget when the Government announced the rebate would be extended for a further 2 years at a 50% rebate.

UDIA fully supported the introduction of the rebate scheme in October 2019 and it has been demonstrably successful in getting more new apartment projects off the ground and creating jobs.

In addition to potentially increasing the level of rental stock, increasing the supply of apartments will also assist many older households ‘age in place’ and support them to transition from a house into an apartment, freeing up desperately needed family housing stock in centrally located areas.

At the end of Chris’ presentation the students were given the opportunity to put him on the spot with a number of questions put forward.

UDIA is very supportive of students seeking a pathway into the property industry and welcome the opportunity to engage with the next generation of development industry leaders.

Penultimate Round of UDIA WA Committees underway

The penultimate round of 2020-21 UDIA WA committee meetings commenced this week.

On Tuesday UDIA’s Environment committee received a presentation from Dr Ruth Harvey discussing wetland science and multicriteria data methodology for informing wetland mapping.

Brad Ellet gave an overview of fire restriction and oil containment requirements for electrical substations to UDIA’s Infrastructure committee this morning.

Tomorrow the Urban Water Committee will meet before the Industry Workforce & Diversity and the Outlook committees meet next week.

A huge thank you to all of our volunteer committee members who dedicate significant time and expertise to informing UDIA’s advocacy agenda and activities. Please look out for details of our committee nominations in your inbox in the coming weeks.

The Urbanist Live Podcast

UDIA WA are delighted to announce the latest episode in The Urbanist Live Podcast series has been released.

The new episode forms part of our special diversity and inclusion series and features two of UDIA WA’s Industry Workforce and Diversity Committee members Jey Shivakumar and Shane Highman.

In this episode, UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck talks to Jey and Shane as they explore the topic: Fostering diversity in small and medium sized businesses and look at the assistance available for SMEs including UDIA WA’s Diversity Toolkit.

To listen to this new episode, click here.

For more information about UDIA WA’s Diversity Toolkit, click here and to listen to all episodes in The Urbanist Live Podcast, click here.

Speakers announced for IMPACT

The full list of speakers set to revolutionise thinking in the development industry were released earlier this week as we revealed who will join keynote speaker Holly Ransom at our inaugural The Urbanist IMPACT FORUM on 5 November.

Joining Holly will be:

  • Jey Shivakumar, Principal Electrical Engineer at Cossill & Webley Consulting Engineers
  • Kate Oosterhof, Principal at KO&Co.
  • Professor Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University
  • Nicole Lockwood, Director at Lockwood Advisory
  • Tim Greenhill, Associate Director at Urbis
  • Tristan Morgan, Co-Founder Intensive Fields Lab [ifLAB]
  • Daniel Giuffre, Co-Founder Intensive Fields Lab [ifLAB]

Pushing the boundaries of the urban landscape, this event is designed to give individuals a one-of-a-kind opportunity to present their most innovative, thought-provoking ideas to the WA development industry.

From redefining our contributions to community, to the use of autonomous electronic vehicles in our suburbs, this event will explore a diverse range of ideas and concepts that could fundamentally influence or change the way that Perth evolves over the next 30 years.

For more information and to book tickets to what will be the most thought provocative development forum in the southern hemisphere, click here.

Home in WA

The latest Home in WA episode was published on Saturday 11 September, with this episode focusing on the fantastic work the development industry does each and every day to create excellent communities across Western Australia.

UDIA WA’s partnership with Home in WA has provided a wide range of great opportunities to visit our members and industry representatives, showcasing the great work they do every day.

Click here to view the latest episode and check out all previous episodes here.

Chance to be included in The Land Report

UDIA are proud to once again partner with The West Australian to produce The Land Report, a special liftout that provides land and homebuyers with an insight into the current state of the land market in WA, including the latest market data and analysis.

The upcoming edition will be published in The West Australian on Saturday October 23 and will be read by an audience of 459,000 readers with plenty of opportunities for UDIA members to feature an advert and advertorial in this edition.

For more information click here or to book, email

EOI for Contaminated Sites Committee

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is seeking expressions of interest from people looking to join the Contaminated Sites Committee in 2021 and 2022.

The Committee comprises between three and five members who are appointed for terms of up to three years. Three committee positions will become vacant in December 2021 and two in December 2022. This EOI is intended to be used to fill all five vacancies.

Senior professionals, particularly those with knowledge, skills and expertise in environmental or contaminated site management, auditing and other related fields are encouraged to apply. Expressions of interest are also sought from legal practitioners, preferably with experience in environmental or property law.

Current members may also indicate their interest in re-appointment.

Expressions of interest must be received by 5pm, Friday 17 September 2021. For more information, click here.