From the CEO

If not now, then when? A very simple question asked repeatedly in an advocacy context yet appears to be incredibly difficult to answer. I can apply this to questions about real tax reform in the context of stamp duty and land tax at a State level, funding and committing to a strategic environmental assessment framework that everyone knows is an inevitable requirement and looking holistically at the increasingly wicked problem of lack of housing supply. Our State Budget Submission released today talks to all three of these issues.

Here in Western Australia, we are consistently reminded that we are in an envious budget position. We have a strong Cabinet, with a popular Premier/Treasurer and a party that is likely to remain in power for a third term. COVID has forced the public sector and legislators to act fast out of necessity – for the sake of the economy. And we have witnessed some of the benefits of a more responsive and agile government.

An agile, responsive and interconnected public sector is essential to deliver systemic regulatory reform. The proactivity of planning reform is acknowledged, yet stifled if the clunky cogs of agencies turn so slowly that the ultimate beneficiary of our industry – the community – is impacted. A refreshing perspective would be to view industry as a customer. There’s a lot to be said for good old fashioned customer service. So again I ask – if not now, then when?

State Budget Submission

Earlier today UDIA WA lodged our 2022-2023 State Budget Submission with the State Government as we outlined the key recommendations for the Government to make provision for in the upcoming budget.

Our State Budget Submission has been prepared to align with the recently released Policy Priorities 2022 document and reflects the current state of the market in Western Australia.

To view the 2022-2023 State Budget Submission, click here and to view our Policy Priorities, click here.

Brand Refresh

UDIA WA was pleased to launch our ‘new look’ corporate branding at State Conference earlier this month.  Our brand refresh has provided an opportunity to clearly articulate our organisation’s purpose and identity by introducing the new tagline ‘For the Community Creators’.

The brand refresh showcases an updated logo with the incorporation of the new tagline, a bright new colour scheme and imagery that better reflects our members role as community creators.

One of UDIA WA’s key priorities this year is improving community education and engagement around the role of the urban development industry in creating communities and better understanding community expectations around Perth’s urban growth.

Our new branding is being implemented across all of our communication platforms and you can check it out on our refreshed website here and social media (don’t forget to follow us) LinkedIn here ; Facebook here; Twitter here and Instagram here.

A big thanks to our design agency and longtime friends at Slick Design for providing their fantastic support and creativity during our brand refresh journey.  We hope our members love the result as much as we do!

Falinski Shows the Way – Housing is Critical not Political

Home ownership and supply was front and centre for Federal MP Jason Falinski, at this week’s special presentation on UDIA National TV.

Speaking ahead of this week’s release of his recommendations from the Inquiry into Housing Supply & Affordability, Mr Falinski MP, Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue, said housing is for everyone, from private homeowners to those who need access to social housing.

Urban Development Institute of Australia agrees.

“The goal of home ownership is intrinsic to the Australian psyche, yet it is becoming increasingly out of reach. The pressure to fund safe affordable housing across the housing continuum is increasing. Much of Australia is experiencing an unchecked affordability crisis which is restricting access to home ownership and housing choice across different socio-economic groups,” said Maxwell Shifman, National President, Urban Development Institute of Australia.

Mr Falinski MP, posed the questions to the audience that if you think ownership matters, affordability matters and affordable housing matters, you will enjoy reading the report being tabled on Friday.

“Having a place to live is critical and it is just as important that the people living in it own the house.” he said.

“There are massive benefits to home ownership that improve society. We have trouble providing those society benefits without home ownership.

Critically, Mr Falinski MP pointed directly at lack of supply as a key feature of the problems we face with housing.

“We looked at all the underlying causes and the more we looked, the more it came back to supply… long term home ownership and price stability depends on supply.” he said.

He pointed out that not every solution to improve delivery of homes to Australians has to be expensive and involved. He noted the excessive delays in planning approvals and the need for infrastructure to enable delivery of housing.

“We can fix a lot of the constraints…just by sitting down and figuring out how we administer it better.”

Urban Development Institute of Australia couldn’t agree more, as highlighted in its comprehensive submission to the Inquiry.

The common thread impacting across the entire housing spectrum is the imbalance of supply and demand, which ultimately feeds into housing affordability.

UDIA National’s own State of the Land Report 2022, confirms critically low housing supply in key cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne is restricting housing delivery and holding back families from finding a home, pushing more and more Australians who need government support to find a home.

Balancing supply and demand across the housing spectrum will have the greatest impact on access to housing. The Federal Government needs to put the aspiration of home ownership and supply across private, affordable and social housing, at the centre of its thinking, to help more Australians realise their dreams,” said Mr Shifman.

Infrastructure Australia Report

Infrastructure Australia have released a new report looking at Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps, which has been welcomed by UDIA National.

Commenting on the report, UDIA National President Maxwell Shifman said “Greater investment in infrastructure and job creation is needed in regional area as Australians changes their work and lifestyle choices post-pandemic.”

The greatest issue impacting housing affordability and delivery of new housing supply is the urgent need to provide enabling infrastructure in both urban and regional areas to turn vacant land into development ready land.

“Affordability issues in regional areas are caused not by a lack of vacant space, but by shortage of development ready land, land that is zoned, serviced and with biodiversity arrangements in place.” said Mr Shifman.

In releasing the report Infrastructure Australia said it had long acknowledged the importance of Australia’s regions to the national economy. From food bowls and resource regions to tourism and service centres, each of Australia’s regions are unique, and so too are their infrastructure needs.

This inaugural research aims to provide a national view of the diverse strengths and infrastructure gaps facing Australia’s regions in order to enable the identification of priority areas for future planning and analysis. By identifying infrastructure challenges and opportunities, Infrastructure Australia hopes to encourage governments, industry and the community to come forward with solutions to address these challenges.

Within the report Infrastructure Australia used the Regional Development Australia boundaries in order to support a comprehensive view of the nation. The report was developed through engagement with more than 1,000 stakeholders, including focused engagement in each region.

In releasing the report Infrastructure Australia are inviting comments that can strengthen the evidence base or provide new data.

For more information and to read the report, click here.

DPLH Workshop: Non-residential Car Parking Standards

UDIA WA took part in a workshop today hosted by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) examining potential approaches to non-residential parking rates in a range of different precincts.

UDIA welcomes any feedback members may have in relation to non-residential car parking requirements and looks forward to working with DPLH and the project team to develop a contemporary set of standards.

WA’s unemployment rate on the rise

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics have found Australia’s unemployment rate dropped -0.2% to sit at just 4% but Western Australia’s rose 0.4% to sit at 4.1% in February.

The increase sees WA sitting third of all States behind Tasmania and New South Wales which recorded 3.9% and 3.7% unemployment rates respectively. The Northern Territory and the ACT recorded the lowest unemployment rates in the country with 3.5% and 3.0% respectively.

Despite the slight increase to the unemployment rate, the participation rate in WA also rose in February to be the only state with a participation rate of 70% or above.

With the national unemployment rate dropping to 4.0% in February, it marks the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008 and only the third time in the history of the monthly survey when unemployment was as low as 4.0 per cent.

For more information and to read the full results, click here.

Version 1.4 of the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas

The Western Australian Planning Commission published Version 1.4 of the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (the Guidelines) in December 2021. The three-month transition period for this version to come into full effect, ended on 13 March 2022.

Planning proposals and applications where State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (SPP 3.7) applies should be assessed against the updated criteria.

As of 13 March 2022, Version 1.3 of the Guidelines, Planning Bulletin 111/2016 and the Position Statement: Tourism land uses in bushfire prone areas have been rescinded and can no longer be used in decision-making.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (the Department) has a training package available online to explain the changes incorporated into Version 1.4 of the Guidelines.

New Work Health and Safety rules to begin March 31

In two weeks time new Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws will commence improving protections for all Western Australian workers.

Set to come into effect on Thursday March 31 the new laws recognise modern work relationships such as subcontractors and gig economy workers, and introduces the term ‘person conducting a business undertaking’. This means anyone who engages a WA worker has a duty to protect their health and safety.

Industrial manslaughter laws will also begin, carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $5 million fine for an individual and a maximum $10 million fine for a body corporate.

The new laws confirm that officers (senior decision makers) must exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the laws, ensuring that the responsibility for workplace safety sits with those at the top of an organisation’s hierarchy.

Insurance will no longer cover penalties, ensuring that persons conducting a business undertaking are held accountable for their actions and are responsible for financial penalties.

As a national first, the new laws bring together WHS for general industry, mines and petroleum operation under a single WHS Act.

The new laws harmonise WA with other States and Territories, except Victoria, although amendments have been made to tailor the laws to reflect our unique State. This means companies that operate across Australia will have similar obligations and requirements in each State and Territory. For more information, visit here.

Updated requirements for entering UDIA WA office

As Perth, Peel and beyond begin to experience an increase in Omicron cases due to community transmission, it is more critical than ever to ensure that UDIA WA takes all the necessary steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

The WA State Government has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for many Western Australian workplaces. Further to consultation and endorsement from UDIA WA Staff and Council, UDIA WA has implemented a new COVID-19 Vaccine Policy that requires all workers and visitors to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the workplace premises in Subiaco. This means that all personnel conducting work at the UDIA WA workplace must have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

From 31 January 2022, all visitors to the UDIA WA workplace (Level 1, 3 Wexford Street, Subiaco) will be required to allow a staff member from UDIA to sight their vaccination status or proof of exemption. Anyone who doesn’t show evidence when requested will be denied entry.

In line with Western Australian government health directions, our event venues could also start to introduce mandatory entry requirements.

Crown Perth have stated that as of 31 January 2022 all visitors (aged 18 years and over) to the Casino and Pearl Room and visitors (aged 16 years and over) to all other venues including hotels, Crown Spa and events and conferencing facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Crown Perth will request official proof of vaccination or medical contraindication certificate for guests wishing to gain access to these venues. Entry will be denied if official proof of vaccination or a medical contraindication certificate cannot be presented.

Please ensure you keep an eye on our event pages for any venue entry mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.

Please note that in line with the State Government policy, the requirement to manage the COVID-19 vaccinations for your organisation’s personnel solely resides with your organisation.

Further information from the State Government can be accessed via the following link here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Access to UDIA WA website changed

Access to the UDIA WA website recently changed as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all login details for the website were removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative was granted access initially and the Key Representative can now provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information was emailed to Key Representatives last week and can be accessed here for more information.

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email