From the CEO

There are two types of people. Those who do the work and those that take the credit. (That’s a quote from Ghandi, for which I won’t take the credit).

I had a wry smile this morning reading today’s edition of The West Australian, where Professor Graeme Samuel told the “guys over in The Nightly (whom claimed credit for the Federal Government’s backdown on the Nature Reform) don’t get too excited. I doubt I’ll be red-faced when we see the laws being proposed… I think the backdown is grossly overstated.” Samuel then follows to tell the conservationists of Australia to sit and wait and take a ‘chill pill’.

UDIA has been extensively engaged in the consultation process to date along with many other industry peaks and our State Government which has resulted in the sensible slow down and assurance that an exposure draft will be made available before anything goes to parliament. If we had of known The Nightly had it all in hand, we could have put our feet up.

UDIA welcomed the news this week of the breaking up of legislation intended to prescribe the changes to the EPBC Act under the Nature Positive Reform. The Australian Government will now start with establishing the first national independent Environment Protection Agency (EPA) that will have shiny new powers and penalties to give the new watchdog some pretty big teeth for ensuring compliance.

The EPA will be supported by the EIA (Environment Information Australia) – which will hold national environmental data and report on progress towards the intended outcomes of Nature Positive which is positioned to be better for the environment and better for business. Time will tell whether this is the result. Establishing the EPA now to administer the current set of rules gives proponents the opportunity to see the relative benefit or hindrance of the model before it’s given a whole new set of rules. Try before we buy perhaps.

On our home turf here in WA, we are eager to see the progress of implementing recommendations made in the Vogel-McFerran Review on environmental processes, assessment and approvals. In terms of delivering housing supply, this is a top three constraint slowing down speed to market. UDIA WA has secured the key players in making this a reality at our industry breakfast on May 28. If you have any interaction with either the State or Federal environmental assessment process, I recommend you be there.

Exclusive Breakfast Launch

This week UDIA WA were pleased to launch an exclusive breakfast event designed for anyone who engages with the environmental assessment and approvals system at a State or Federal level. 

At this event you will hear first hand:

  • A progress report on the implementation of the recommendations from the Independent Review of WA Environmental Approvals, Process and Procedures
  • The State-based changes that will have the biggest impact on timeframes for developers and when you will see the benefits
  • The status of regional planning and a strategic approach to offsets 
  • How the integration between planning & environmental approvals will be tackled and when
  • The benefits and the concerns around the Federal Government’s Nature Positive Reform of the EPBC Act

UDIA WA has been advocating for a more strategic, planning led approach to environmental decision-making including through EPA reforms, SAPPR and its alternative in regional planning, and a strategic offsets framework.  

This event will hear the insights of Alastair Jones, Director General at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and David McFerran, Director at McFerran Advisory with further speakers set to be announced in the coming days.

Join us for this critical conversation around ensuring balance is struck between facilitating housing supply and enhanced environmental outcomes by registering here.

We extend our thanks to Mirvac and our Industry Partner Development WA for supporting this event.

This event will also see the launch of our brand new Sustainability and ESG magazine wherein you can showcase the incredible work you are doing in this space. For more information on available opportunities, click here or email Chris Thurmott on


Many of our members will be aware that UDIA WA has been working toward the publication of our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the assistance of our RAP working group.  The first draft of our RAP was lodged for certification with Reconciliation Australia earlier this year and we are now in the process of finalising the document for launch in June, in line with National Reconciliation Week.

UDIA WA has developed a Reflect RAP to provide greater leadership to the broader urban development industry in respect to Reconciliation and more meaningful engagement with the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we operate. As a membership organisation we can provide leadership and guidance both by leading by example within our own business and providing our members with the knowledge and tools to embark on their own Reconciliation Journey.

As part of that process, the RAP working group and members of the UDIA WA team participated in a workshop today with Kevin Wilson from Nani Creative, who are facilitating our engagement with a local Aboriginal artist to provide the artwork for our final RAP.  This is an exciting step, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to support a local artist during this process.

Reconciliation Week is coming up from 27 May -2 June and UDIA WA will be participating in events hosted by Reconciliation WA during that week.  Members of the UDIA WA team will attend the breakfast event at Optus Stadium on Monday 27th May and our whole team, members of Council and our RAP working group will participate in the Walk for Reconciliation on Friday 31 May.  If you would like to participate in any of these events or other events being held by Reconciliation WA during that week, follow the link here.

Call for nominations: Diversity & Inclusion working group

UDIA WA is establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group that will report directly to the UDIA WA Education, Connection & Excellence Strategic Committee and provide advice and oversight of the Institute’s performance in relation to diversity and inclusion.  The Group will be appointed for a 20-month term, commencing in May 2024 and ending in December 2025.

Overall, the group will provide a forum for discussion of diversity and inclusion related issues within the organisation and more broadly in the urban development industry, as well as provide advice in relation to UDIA WA policy, performance and activities in relation to diversity and inclusion.

If you are interested in nominating for this group, please follow the link here to the nomination form and more detailed Terms of Reference.  Any questions about the group can be directed to UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak:

Exciting new opportunity to join UDIA WA

Following an internal transition that will see current Communications Officer Chris Thurmott move into the newly created role of Business Development Officer, we have an opportunity for a new team member to join us as a Digital Media and Communications Officer.

The Digital Media and Communications Officer will be responsible for the day to day coordination and content creation of UDIA WA digital media platforms and delivery of communication and marketing strategies across a range of external channels.

Perks of working with UDIA WA include our great team environment (including office dog Gracie providing daily entertainment), the fact we are Great Place To Work certified and enjoy office space in vibrant Subiaco among other incredible benefits.

For more information on the new role and the benefits of working with UDIA WA, click here or reach out to for a full role description.

Only one team left for Golf

There is just one remaining space for a team at the upcoming UDIA WA Annual Golf Classic so make sure you register your team now to ensure you’re included, however if you miss out on the last spot, there are some exceptional sponsorship opportunities, which will enjoy exposure to over 200 attendees.

Available sponsorship positions include the Major Prize Sponsor, Half-Way House Sponsor, the 19th Hole Networking Sponsor among a host of awesome opportunities.

For more information about the available opportunities, read the full Golf Sponsorship prospectus here or email

Last chance to book in for WA’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage course

There are just a few days left to register for UDIA WA’s professional development course providing comprehensive understanding of the updated Aboriginal Heritage Legislation and your responsibilities.

While you may have worked with the legislative and policy framework previously, things have changed. If you’re a developer, planner, engineer, engagement specialist or other practitioner involved in the planning, design, and delivery of urban development projects, this course is for you.

Led by experienced presenters from WA, the program is designed to increase the understanding of:

  • The changes to WA’s Aboriginal Heritage legislative and policy framework and the requirements and implications in an urban development context;
  • Landowner obligations, how to comply and considerations for project feasibilities and timeframes;
  • How to assess and minimise risk of harm to Aboriginal heritage; and
  • How to undertake business and consultations in a sensitive, respectful, and appropriate manner, including how and when to best engage with Aboriginal people during the development process.

Registrations close on Register here.

Join us for the CEO Sleepout

UDIA WA are pleased to share we will once again be forming a team, including our CEO Tanya Steinbeck, to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.  We’re calling for our members to support and join our cause on the night!

The event, which aims to raise vital funds and awareness to assist homelessness initiatives, takes place each year with CEOs from various organisations across WA sleeping out at Optus Stadium for a night.

UDIA WA has been involved with the event for the past few years taking a committed team of members helping to raise thousands of dollars each year and we’re looking to do the same this year.

If you would like to join the UDIA WA CEO Sleepout team, find more information here and click on ‘Join Us’ if you wish to be part of the team.  Otherwise you can also donate to the cause via the same link.

Time running out to feature in The Land Report

Time is quickly running out for any of our members who are keen to secure exclusive advertising space in the new edition of the Land Report, which will be published in The West Australian in May.

UDIA WA is proud to partner with The West Australian on this long running lift out that features data from our quarterly Urban Development Index as well as a range of editorial that is designed to inform and educate readers on the latest trends in infill and greenfield development, creating a connected and vibrant city plus ways to improve housing supply and affordability.

The report is an opportunity to reach up to 481,000 readers of The West Australian on Saturday through advertising and advertorial content.

Anyone who books into the Land Report by Tuesday 23 April will also be able to enjoy complimentary editorial within the publication. Click here for more information or reach out to Carla Wray at

Bigger Sustainability Showcase magazine

Since announcing the launch of our new Sustainability & ESG magazine, we have been thrilled by the response from our members keen to showcase their sustainability and highlight the great work they are doing in this space every day.

Such has been the response to the initial call for members to be involved with the magazine, we have decided to increase the size of the magazine to make it an even bigger and better showcase of sustainability.

If you would like to be included in this special edition of our magazine, click here to view the prices for including an advert in the edition or reach out to Chris Thurmott at to secure your spot.