HomeBuilder Mark 2 submission

UDIA National has today unveiled the findings of new research and recommendations designed to support an extension and re-design of HomeBuilder given the extended economic downturn facing Australia as a result of COVID-19.

UDIA National has lodged a submission with the Commonwealth Government explaining how the loss of immigration and population growth will challenge the national economy. This results in a strong case for extending and modifying HomeBuilder to harness domestic demand to boost housing construction and economic growth.

To view this submission, click here.

Nominated Projects Booklet

UDIA WA is proud to release the 2020 Awards for Excellence Nominated Projects booklet which details each of the projects in the running to take out one of industry’s most prestigious awards.

The release of the booklet coincides with the judges visiting each of the projects this week as part of the official judging program for this year’s awards.

To view the Nominated Projects booklet, click here.

Our thanks to go our awards Platinum Sponsor Western Australian Planning Commission, our Gold Sponsors Lavan and Stantec and each of our Category Sponsors for this year’s awards.

Digital edition of The Urbanist #3 2020 now available

The latest edition of The Urbanist is now available for UDIA WA members and subscribers to view online.

Following the magazine’s physical launch at our sell-out Industry Lunch last week, the digital edition was released earlier this week.

This edition focuses on innovation and showcases how innovation is about more than just having access to the latest technology and gadgetry.  We feature how at the heart of true innovation is having the right culture to allow it to happen.

Articles range from looking into the issue of homelessness in Western Australia, the use of alternative materials to how new technologies are shaping the urban development industry.

Key local contributors to this edition include:

  • Paige Walker
  • Dr Josh Byrne
  • Minister for Community Services Simone McGurk
  • Western Power CEO Ed Kalajzic
  • Water Corporation CEO Pat Donovan

Hard copies of this edition will be available to collect at tomorrow’s lunch and one copy will be sent to each UDIA Member organisation’s key representative early next week when we will also release the digital copy.

To read the latest edition of the magazine, click here.

Medium Density Lunch highlights issues with current model

Last Friday UDIA WA hosted our first Industry Lunch since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.  It was a sell-out event with 400 guests hearing first hand from Planning Minister Rita Saffioti on the impending Medium Density Design Code, set to be released later this year.

Within her presentation Minister Saffioti provided a sneak peek at what the new code will entail as well as providing figures that clearly reflect how a ‘business as usual’ approach to Medium Density development in Perth could cost each year moving forward.

The Minister revealed that the economic cost to the community from more ‘battle axe’ type development and poor quality small-scale development that provides for little open space, could be more than $29,000 per dwelling over 20 years, or $117 million annually across the State.

The new code is designed to reduce the level of roof space and increase the number of green environments, housing diversity and community related infrastructure.  UDIA hopes that the Code will provide clearer guidance and leadership in this space and ensure greater consistency in decision making across local governments.

To read an overview of the event, as reported by The West Australian click here and to read a feature article in the latest edition of The Urbanist that specifically considers Medium Density Design, click here.

Our thanks go to CLE Town Planning + Design, Western Power, James Hardie and JDSi for sponsoring our Medium Density Design Code lunch.

Building Bonus Boost

While UDIA welcomed the State Government’s announcement of additional funding for its Building Bonus program to meet the higher than expected demand this week, we continue to advocate strongly for an extension to the timeframes to deliver titled land to market and for construction commencement.

A further $30 million has been allocated for the stimulus package, which is the first initiative under a new COVID-19 Industry Support Fund.  The new fund consists of some funding from relief measures that have been repurposed into a special COVID-19 Industry Support Fund to provide additional support and stimulus in areas it is most needed.

To view our media statement, click here.

Planning Engagement Toolkit: Industry Focus Group Engagement Session

This week UDIA, alongside representatives from other peak industry bodies took part in a workshop exploring the issues and opportunities associated with the development of a ‘Land Use Planning Pubic Engagement Toolkit’.

The session was hosted by Urbis following their recent appointment by the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage to develop the Toolkit on behalf of DPLH. The Toolkit is intended to be used by both planning authorities and development proponents when engaging with stakeholders, to promote best practice and improve consultation outcomes.

The Department estimates that the Toolkit will be finalised by late 2021/early 2022.

UDIA greatly appreciates industry engagement in this important project and supports the Departments intent to improve community understanding of the reasons for change and improve engagement in land use planning.

New apartment development set to revolutionise sustainable apartment design

A new apartment complex in Fremantle is set to save residents 50% on their annual strata levies thanks to a landmark renewable energy partnership between Power Ledger and OP Properties.

Montreal Commons, a new five-storey development by OP Properties will be one of the first carbon neutral apartment buildings in Australia and is expected to set a global benchmark for how sustainable apartment design is leveraged to generate a financial incentive.

For more information about this new development, click here.

Committee cycle in full swing

UDIA’s Land Use Planning Committee kicked off the cycle with an early meeting to contribute to upcoming UDIA submissions regarding several key pieces of proposed legislation including the R-Codes Interim COVID-19 Review, amendments to the Local Planning Scheme Regulations, and WAPC Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for School Sites.

On Monday, the Environment Committee met and enjoyed a presentation by Development WA’s Sustainability Manager, Greg Ryan on alternative energy initiatives across the Development WA portfolio. Other key topics of discussion included an outline of UDIA’s continuing advocacy regarding policy solutions to cumulative impacts on the Swan Coastal Plain, the recently endorsed Kangaroo Management Position Paper, and the independent review of the EPBC Act and draft WA Bilateral Agreement relating to environmental approvals.

This morning, Western Power and the Water Corporation provided the Infrastructure Committee with their regular bi-monthly industry briefing, with the ensuing discussion focused on ongoing contingency planning for risks associated with the roll out of the stimulus and UDIA’s continued advocacy for resolution of the issues industry faces regarding management and delivery of Developer Contribution Scheme funded projects.

UDIA is currently seeking member feedback on the proposed amendments to the WAPC Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for School Sites, which can be provided to policy@udiawa.com.au

R-Codes submission

At the end of last week UDIA WA provided comprehensive submission in response to the proposed amendments to State Planning Policy 7.3 – Residential Design Codes: Volume 1 (R-Codes).

Whilst supporting the intent of the proposed amendments to the R-Codes, UDIA’s submission highlighted industry concerns regarding the timing of the proposed amendments and the potential impact of the changes on the delivery of the State and Federal Governments building stimulus programs.

The submission also highlighted concerns regarding the longer-term impact of the proposed changes on housing affordability.

To read the submission in full, click here.

We would like to thank those members that provided feedback and assistance in the creation of this submission.

Time running out to attend Future Proofing the Urban Environment

There is just one week left to register for our October breakfast looking at Future Proofing the Urban Environment that will provide an unmissable opportunity to hear from esteemed environment commentators on the merits and advantages of proposed environmental regulatory reform and its anticipated impact.

Join us as we will hear from keynote speakers Darren Walsh and EPA WA Chair Tom Hatton who will deliver informative insights during an interactive Q&A panel discussion and bring you up to speed on all things environment.

For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Our thanks go to our environmental partner Strategen-JBS&G for sponsoring this event.

Innovation at the heart of the conversation

There is just over a month before the next UDIA WA Industry Lunch when we will investigate Innovation and Best Practise in the urban development industry.

This not to be missed event will feature a focused look at the way in which advances in the energy, water and technology sectors are opening up opportunities for the development industry to deliver more innovative and sustainable outcomes.

With increasing pressure to ensure sustainability features in homes are commercially viable, demonstration projects are vital to highlight real world challenges and opportunities for innovation.

During the lunch we will hear from Lance Randall, Managing Director of CarbonEMT, Dr Josh Byrne, Director of Josh Byrne & Associates and Ben Haddock, Associate at ARUP as they feature case studies that highlight best practice in the spaces of energy, water and technology, respectively.

For more information to register for what will be an incredible event, click here.

Our thanks go to event sponsors Department of Communities, Parcel Property and JDSI.

Employment rates moving in the right direction

Western Australia has recorded the strongest monthly rise in employment on record, with an increase of 32,200 jobs in August.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released today shows Western Australia’s economic and social recovery continues with employment up 2.4% (32,200 jobs).

The ABS data also shows 71% of jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic have now been recovered.

The ABS Labour Force report for August reflects the easing of restrictions to Phase 4 which occurred on June 27. The previous Labour Force for July captured only the first two weeks of Phase 4.

Nationally, Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.8%, down from 7.5% in July and in Western Australia the unemployment rate dropped to 7% in August, down from 8.3% in July, which saw WA fall from the second highest unemployment rate to the fourth highest.

Work begins on EnviroDevelopment certified project

Work has commenced on the Hamilton Senior High School Site to transform it into a new innovative, sustainable residential estate.

Around 400 workers will be involved in the construction of the DevelopmentWA ‘Innovation through Demonstration’ project, which will feature approximately 232 lots and more than 330 new homes.

The diverse housing products to be created include single residential lots, split-level lots, 125sqm compact lots and five grouped housing sites.

The estate will also include two small mixed-use commercial sites and set a new industry benchmark for quality residential infill.

The project has received Urban Development Institute of Australia EnviroDevelopment certification and the maximum 6 leaves for its high standard sustainability initiatives.

Bruce Roberts named Registrar of Titles for second time

Last week, Bruce Roberts was sworn in as Western Australia’s 26th Registrar of Titles by Justice Rene Le Miere, following approval of his designation by the Governor in Executive Council.

Mr Roberts will fulfill the role of Registrar in addition to being Landgate’s General Manager of Registration Services. Having been at Landgate for over 28 years Mr Roberts has worked on major legislative reforms including changes to the Transfer of Land Act 1893 which enabled WA’s digital land title register, and the creation of the Land Administration Act 1997.

Having served as Registrar from 2003 to 2012, Mr Roberts makes history as the first person to hold the position twice since its establishment in 1875.

Mr Roberts takes over from Jean Villani who was WA’s first female Registrar and held the position for more than eight years. Ms Villani oversaw the introduction and maturation of electronic conveyancing in Western Australia as well as undertaking the role of the Chair of the Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council which together with her national colleagues led electronic conveyancing reform across Australia.

Changes to the DevelopmentWA Board

UDIA WA congratulates Alan Carpenter, newly appointed as a Director on the DevelopmentWA Board, which comprises both the Western Australian Land Authority (WALA) and Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) boards.

Mr Carpenter has been appointed to sit on both the WALA and MRA boards for the next two years.

In addition, current Director Dale Page will have her tenure on both the WALA and MRA boards renewed for a further three years.

Housing Industry Forecasting Group

Last week it was revealed that the Housing Industry Forecasting Group, of which UDIA WA is part of, increased its new dwelling forecast for 2020-21 financial year to 17,000, up from the expected 14,500 in the 2019-20 financial year.

The full report has now been released and is available to be viewed here alongside the previous updates and reports from the group.

New AHURI report looks at what do we want from our homes

Earlier today AHURI released a new report called The housing aspirations of Australians across the life-course: ‘closing the housing aspirations gap’ which looks into the Australian housing system and whether it still meets the needs of Australians.

Among its key findings the report noted that the Australian housing system no longer meets the needs and priorities of many moderate to lower-income Australian households and while it enables a large majority of households to meet their short-term housing aspirations, only 36% of young adults believe their current housing will enable them to achieve longer-term housing aspirations.

The report states that supporting households to sustain their current housing and allowing households to maintain ownership through critical life events is essential and ongoing tenancy reform which helps replicate the safety and security aspects of home ownership is a key element of this support.

Additionally, the report highlights that a lack of housing diversity and choice is a major barrier to aspirations and that policy settings need to deliver greater choice across dwellings and locations.

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

Have your say on METRONET East – Bayswater project planning

DevelopmentWA is developing a planning framework for the Bayswater Project Area which will set out the vision for Bayswater’s revitalisation and help create a well-designed and connected town centre.

As such they are seeking input on the future of Bayswater that will help to build on previous community feedback and planning work to date, confirm understanding of the community’s vision, and identify any gaps and priority areas.

The findings will inform the preparation of the draft Bayswater Project Area Design Guidelines and Redevelopment Strategy.

To complete the survey, click here. The survey will close on Sunday 27th September at 11.59pm

Overseas Arrivals and Departures continue to remain low

Unsurprisingly, short term overseas arrivals to Australia continued to decrease in July 2020 with the 3,530 trips 34.6% down on the month before. Australian residents returning from overseas also decreased 34.7%, compared with the previous month with 10,280 trips.

The number of permanent arrivals were also low with just 620 recorded in July (-91.97% YoY) and the number of long term residents returning numbered 2,450 (-78.16% YoY), while the number of long term visitors arriving numbered 380 (-99.51% YoY).

Closer to home and short term visitor arrivals to WA decreased 99.3% YoY with 460 arrivals recorded originating mainly from the UK, New Zealand and Indonesia. There was a decrease of 9,270 international student visa holders (-100% YoY).

Residential Property Price Indexes struggle across the country in June

The weighted average of the eight capital cities residential property price indexes decreased 1.8% during the June quarter.

Sydney and Melbourne experienced the biggest decrease at -2.2% QoQ and -2.3% respectively, followed by -1.4% QoQ in Darwin.

Brisbane decreased -0.9% QoQ, Adelaide decreased -0.8% QoQ, and Hobart decreased -0.4% QoQ.

Canberra increased was only State or Territory to record an increase with an 0.8% rise over the June quarter.

The Perth Residential Property Price Index decreased -0.7% QoQ following a rise of +0.6% in the March quarter. The House Price Index decreased -0.3% QoQ, and the Attached Dwellings Price Index decreased -2.1% QoQ.

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:

Proposed amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 here – due 18 September 2020

WAPC Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for School Sites (here), closes 5pm 19 October – review has been an opportunity to improve strategic school site planning, address known issues on locational and physical site requirements for schools, and provide clarity and transparency on the methodology and application of developer contributions for public primary schools.