From the CEO

Whilst it didn’t capture the hearts and minds of Australians as much as the Matildas match yesterday, National Cabinet’s commitments to deliver more housing supply certainly grabbed the attention of industry with an even bigger national target to build 1.2 million new ‘well-located’ homes over five years from 2024.

As we have learnt the hard way here in WA with the botched roll out of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act, the devil is always in the detail. How WA will benefit from their share of the $3 billion performance-based funding under the ‘New Home Bonus’ for surpassing our quota remains to be seen, however given the significant planning reform & social housing investment already committed we would at least be a favourite amongst the country to take home the gold.

A large carrot is now dangling in front of State & Local Governments to the tune of $500 million in order to unlock housing supply through the delivery of essential services infrastructure and local amenities however your project must be in a ‘well-located area’ to qualify. How this supports infrastructure funding alongside developer contribution plans will be an important consideration.

I will highlight confirmation of the rumblings for some months now that ‘consideration’ of a phased introduction of inclusionary zoning is on the table as part of the National Planning Reform Blueprint. The Prime Minister in his media statement made it clear that this would be done in a way that will not add to construction costs. The PM may need some other large carrots in his back pocket for this one.

Finally, another sign that we really are special and ahead of the nation here in WA, today the Federal Government announced the proposed start date of their version of WA’s long standing and envied shared equity model. Buyers will receive an equity contribution of up to 40% of the cost of a new home or 30% for an established one. A property price cap of $600,000 will apply to purchasers in Western Australia who will only require a 2% deposit with no lenders mortgage insurance. Commencement relies on the States passing legislation in the first half of 2024.

Although the stars didn’t align for the Matildas yesterday, they are most certainly aligning for industry with all levels of government backing a winner in housing supply supported with the money, commitment & shared goal of a place to call home for all Aussies.

Game on.

National Cabinet Housing Reforms

UDIA National has unpacked the critical outcomes of the National Cabinet Meeting in relation to housing supply and affordabilty held yesterday, including welcoming many of the announcements made by the Prime Minister.

Several initiatives announced yesterday will target the acceleration of housing supply, including:

  1. An increased hard target of building 1.2 million new homes over 5 years from July 2024 onwards – this is now a fixed milestone with housing targets for states (with carrots and sticks) rather than an “aspirational goal” like the 1 million homes over 5 years which had no KPI’s tied to it.
  2. The “carrot and stick” for this milestone is a new $3 billion New Home Bonus for states and territories which overperform on their share of the new home target of 1.2 million – meaning states are incentivised to find plans that boost their share of housing, but fall short and they wear the bill themselves.
  3. The accelerator for difficult regions is a Housing Support Program of $500 million targeted to local and state/territory governments to help with the “last mile” on projects to build housing and enabling infrastructure – this is the enabling infrastructure booster UDIA National and the UDIA states have been pressing for from Government.
  4. The tools for streamlined delivery is the new National Planning Reform Blueprint that will streamline and boost planning and zoning, as well as removing development approval barriers to accelerate housing, including bolstering medium and higher density housing and rapid delivery of social and affordable housing – These are the incentives for planning and regulatory reforms UDIA National and the UDIA states have called on.
  5. As a part of these reforms National Cabinet will also consider the phased introduction of inclusionary zoning and planning, to support permanent affordable, social and specialist housing in ways that do not add to construction costs – this either means government land/new zoned (unsold) land, or incentives like height and density or it will cannibalise housing and add to costs.
  6. The pathways to help renters immediately include stronger rights with the need for reasonable grounds for eviction, minimal rental standards and no more than one rental increase per year.Immigration is key to supplying our workforces and current levels of permanent and temporary visas have not yet overcome the deficit caused by the pandemic freeze. UDIA National will keep pressing for skilled immigration to alleviate labour shortages and to underpin the economically critical housing sector.

For more information, including a detailed overview specifically for our members, download UDIA’s National Member Alert here.

Podcast with Minister Carey

UDIA WA’s latest podcast features an exclusive interview with Minister for Planning; Housing; Lands and Homelessness the Hon. John Carey MLA.

The lively conversation between our host Tanya Steinbeck, CEO of UDIA WA and the Minister covers the latest on housing supply and affordability related policy and the State Government’s approach to housing delivery across the continuum.

This is certainly a timely topic and we thank the Minister for taking the time to provide his insights for this episode, which you can listen to here.

Policy Team In Action

This week the policy team submitted UDIA’s response to DPLH on the Draft Position Statement – Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

Our message was one of support for the Government’s championing of electric vehicles and the associated infrastructure in a movement toward a more sustainable future for Western Australia but that the onus should not be on the development industry to fund any shortfall in infrastructure which is not driven by their activities. While it is reasonable for the position statement to encourage the development industry to consider EV charging as a component of site design, to provide the back-boning infrastructure or capacity to facilitate charging options later, charging infrastructure requirements should not be mandated.  This would place increased cost pressures on the industry and the consumer at a time in which increasing supply is crucial.

Thank you to the members from our Built Form and Land Use Planning Standing Advisory Groups who provided their input. Our full submission can be viewed here.

On Monday morning we commenced our August committee meetings with the Urban Water SAG convening. The meeting featured a presentation on the Water Sensitive Communities Project as well as general updates from across working groups and Government agencies.

Call to Action – Support an industry response on the POS policy

As part of our ongoing advocacy efforts with respect to the Draft Operational Policy 2.3 Planning for Public Open Space, we are finalising our response for submission in the coming days. In addition to this, we will be issuing a joint letter with the Property Council of Australia expressing the industry’s strong opposition on the matter, any members who would like to be signatories to the joint letter, please email by COB Monday 21 August.

Awards Judging complete!

Judging for the 2023 Awards for Excellence is now officially complete with attention now turning to revealing who will be crowned the best and brightest in WA for another year at the 2023 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner in just a few weeks’ time.

This year’s Gala Dinner at Crown Perth is set to take place on Saturday 16 September and will be MC’d by Channel 7’s Tim McMillan, who, along with some fantastic live entertainment will provide the perfect backdrop to the Industry’s night of nights.

To register for the Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, click here.

Following the Awards night we will release the 2023 Awards for Excellence Winners Showcase magazine, a glossy magazine that highlights all of the Winners and Finalists at this year’s Awards.

Hard copies of the publication will be posted to all of UDIA WA’s member companies with the digital edition emailed directly to our entire email mailing list as well as being promoted across our social media channels with over 15,000 followers.

There are still limited advertising spaces available within this publication, for more information about showcasing your company in this premium publication, contact Chris Thurmott at

We extend a massive thanks to our judges this year Gail McGowan, Lex Barnett and Paul Lakey who travelled the length and breadth of the Metropolitan Area and the South West to judge all of the incredible projects in the running this year.

We also extend our thanks to the 2023 Platinum Sponsor Western Australian Planning Commission, Gold Sponsors Lavan and Stantec, Category Sponsors Slick Design Pty Ltd, ReGen Strategic, Longreach Recruitment, nbn® Australia, Wormall Civil Pty Ltd, Western Power, Stockland, Taylor Burrell Barnett, Spirit Bar Sponsor Harvey Norman Commercial Division and Photo Booth Sponsor

Join us for the first event in UDIA WA’s new Market Masterclass Series!

This event series will focus on providing in depth analysis and discussion on specific market segments and topics to ensure UDIA members are ‘top of the class’ when it comes to their knowledge and understanding of current market trends and information impacting on the property industry in WA.

This first event will consider how an aging population is increasingly finding itself asset rich but cash poor. With the older demographic living in housing stock that is increasingly unfit for purpose, developers are ideally placed to respond to the steady increase in demand from this segment of the market.

With potential downsizer property sales of $1.7 trillion over the next five years and the increasing desire to ‘age in place’, understanding buyer intentions and market capacity in a Perth and broader Western Australian context is essential to maximise the take up of housing product that meet or exceed expectations.

UDIA invites you to join us for breakfast with an exclusive presentation from respected Former Chief Economist of CBA Michael Blythe. Now Economist in Residence at Downsizer, UDIA WA’s new Research Project Partner, Michael will present exclusive, locally focused insights on the Downsizer market in Western Australia including:

  • Downsizer count and average equity release across Australia and drill down to WA and Perth sub regions
  • Downsizer intentions in WA
  • Population and demographic trends
  • Buyer preferences and behavior
  • Incentivising downsizing

A local panel featuring development industry experts will unpack the Downsizer analysis and discuss what that means for developing housing solutions for downsizers and changing the perceptions of downsizers in WA.

To register for this event, click here.

We extend our thanks to Technology Partner nbn, Event Sponsor CLE Town Planning and Design and Research Project Partner Downsizer for supporting this event.

UDS Manual Updates and Safety Design Requirements

Over the past year, Western Power have reviewed the Underground Distribution Schemes (UDS) Manual in consultation with industry stakeholders. This review, initiated in 2022, was temporarily placed on hold pending the outcome of the network capacity review. As a result, in April 2023, Western Power announced the introduction of the new standard power supply allocation across the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). 

Western Power have informed UDIA WA that the UDS Manual review has now recommenced. They will implement updates to the manual in stages over the next 18 months. For more information, click here.

Western Power have informed UDIA they will continue to seek feedback from stakeholders on staged UDS Manual updates prior to publication. The revised first stage updates are expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

WA unemployment rate drops again

The national unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7% in July (seasonally adjusted), according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

WA’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 percentage points to sit at 3.4%, second only to NSW which recorded an unemployment rate of 3.3%, 0.4 percentage points up on the previous month.

Referring to the national figures Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “with employment dropping by around 15,000 people and the number of unemployed increasing by 36,000 people, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 per cent.

“The fall in employment follows an average monthly increase of around 42,000 people during the first half of this year. Employment is still around 387,000 people higher than last July.

“While unemployment increased by 36,000 people in July, to 541,000, it was still around 172,000 lower than before the pandemic.”

The employment-to-population ratio fell 0.2 percentage points to 64.3 per cent. The participation rate also decreased 0.1 percentage point to 66.7 per cent.

“Despite these falls, both indicators were still well above pre-pandemic levels and close to their historical highs in May,” Mr Jarvis said.

In WA, the participation rate sits at 68.4%, 0.3% increase MoM and the highest of all States with the underemployment rate here 0.1% down at 5.9%, the lowest of all States.