From the CEO

Welcome to our first edition of Urban Express for 2023!

As our members start to trickle back from what was hopefully a restful summer break for many, here at UDIA WA we are kicking things off at full speed as we lead up to hosting National Congress here in Perth in March.   It is fitting that we are hosting the biggest event on our national calendar here in Perth this year, as we are also celebrating 50 years of UDIA in Western Australia.  A significant milestone that is testament to the ongoing value that our industry brings to the state and the community.

Before we get to Congress in March, we are looking forward to hosting our first breakfast for the year featuring former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration Abul Rizvi on February 7th.  Throughout the last year, one of the most pressing issues for our members has remained access to skilled workers.  The need to attract the right skills to WA is at the forefront of our advocacy agenda this year, primarily our call to address issues like the priority occupation list.   Dr Rizvi has a wealth of knowledge and recommendations for what needs to happen at both a State and Federal level to attract more people.  Dr Rizvi is well qualified to provide a clear picture of migration given his Phd on Australia’s migration policies and decades working in Australian government. I’m looking forward to his insights.

We also have a fantastic lunch topic lined up for February 17 as we launch the highly anticipated UDIA Development Ready Pipeline pilot project.  If you have an interest in how we can collaborate with government to ensure a reliable pipeline of housing to the market, then this is a not to be missed event.  We are pleased to also host the Minister for Housing John Carey and John Ross from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) to share their thoughts on the housing pipeline.  I am keen to ensure that the conversation focuses around keeping a lid on affordability and ensuring we are being realistic about the delivery of housing to the market to meet demand.

I hope to see many of you at one of these events in February before we hit the big one in March!  May your 2023 be a positive and fruitful year, here at UDIA WA we are looking forward to a 50th anniversary year to remember.

State Budget Submission

Before Christmas UDIA WA submitted our 2023-24 State Budget Submission with the State Government.

Our submission builds upon our endorsed Policy Priorities platform, which sets out recommendations to improve economic, social, and environmental outcomes to benefit our state.

In lodging our submission we acknowledged the government’s collaborative approach to reform including several important commitments made during 2022.  However, we also highlighted that the limited capacity in our rental housing and supply of new homes threatens our longstanding housing affordability and ability to attract and house the skills WA desperately needs.

Unless urgently resolved, these challenges will jeopardise the economic opportunities the government has worked hard to build, with implications for our growth moving forward.

We believe the upcoming State Budget is a great opportunity to prioritise addressing these challenges, and our submission provides practical and achievable recommendations across three key focus areas:

  1. Filling the skills gap;
  2. Creating capacity and boosting housing supply; and
  3. Building a secure platform for sustainable growth.

We look forward to continuing to work with the McGowan Government over in the coming year and we will keep members updated over the coming months.

To read the State Budget Submission click here.

Engagement with the Department of Communities

This week UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and Executive Director of Strategy and Policy Sarah Macaulay met with the Department of Communities Director General, Acting Deputy Director General and Director Office of the DG for the first quarterly meeting of 2023.

Matters discussed included the Government’s social housing delivery program and Housing Diversity Pipeline, the Federal Government’s Housing Accord, as well as other priorities aligned with UDIA’s 2023 State Budget Submission.

Planning Reform Update

Earlier today our Executive Director of Strategy and Policy Sarah Macaulay attended a briefing by DPLH on the planning reform where an update of priority projects for the Planning Reform Team was provided.

Priority projects for the Planning Reform team in 2023 include:

  • The Region Scheme Review – with consultation on the draft Planning and Development (Region Planning Schemes) Regulations 2022 having commenced this week.
  • Approach to the use and application of discretion
  • A consistent approach to car parking standards in non-residential zones
  • Zones, land use definitions and permissibility for Local Planning Schemes
  • Clarifying the purpose and rationalising the use of Local Planning Policies
  • Reviewing scope and rationalisation of use of Local Development Plans
  • Social Housing Density Bonus Incentive
  • Amendments to the LPS Regulations.

UDIA looks forward to continuing engagement and collaboration with the Planning Reform team and will keep members updated as and when updated information is provided to us.

National Congress

Join us for an informative National Congress that will also showcase the very best Perth has to offer!

On top of a comprehensive speaker program, delegates can enjoy the sights of our growing City and experience just how much Perth has evolved in recent years.

From the Oliver Hume Corporation Opening Night which will kick start your Congress experience perfectly, to the informative and educational study tours, before finishing off with the 2023 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, this year’s National Congress will take you on a journey of discovery through picturesque Perth.

Visit the UDIA National Congress website to view the full program including all confirmed speakers and to register, click here.

Our thanks go to the 2023 National Congress Presenting Partner nbn® Australia for their support.

Change is coming

Following feedback from Members, UDIA WA are pleased to announce we will soon be launching a brand-new Member Portal.

The new UDIA WA member portal has been developed based on feedback from members and to ensure an enhanced member experience. A new, unique log in will be available to ALL individuals who are an employee of a UDIA WA member organisation.

Our new Member Portal will be going live soon and we will provide more information next week.

Included in the member portal is exclusive access to:

  • Our new and improved Members Directory, which includes contact details for all of our current members
  • Every edition of our thought-leadership magazine The Urbanist
  • Every edition of monthly data publication Urban Intelligence
  • Every edition of quarterly property market publication the Urban Development Index
  • Our Diversity Toolkit – designed to guide members through developing a Diversity & Inclusion policy
  • Our weekly Land Snapshot of land sales across Perth
  • And much more!

ABS stats reflect low dwelling commencement numbers

The latest ABS figures showing the number of dwellings commenced, completed, under construction and in the pipeline, underscore UDIA National’s ongoing messaging that the nation faces a chronic housing supply crisis, exemplified by critically low levels of rental accommodation across most major housing markets and sky-high housing affordability pressures.

“With the total number of dwelling units commenced in Australia falling 5.2% to 45,489 dwellings in the September quarter, and the absence of rapid supply improvements, it is clear that things are set to get materially worse in the face of a significant uplift in demand, flowing through a higher than anticipated increase in international migration,” said Maxwell Shifman, UDIA National President.

September quarter commencements were 21.5% lower than 12 months earlier, the fifth consecutive quarter of reduced commencements. This highlights the new home builds stimulated through the HomeBuilder scheme have largely washed through the system and new dwelling starts are trending sharply downwards, particularly in multi-unit residential.

“Reinforcing the alarming trend of pipeline retraction, total dwelling approvals for November 2022 declined 4% on a three-month average basis and were down 19% on a rolling 12-month basis – showing that the nation-wide housing shortage is not being adequately addressed via properly enabling new supply,” said Mr Shifman.

New UDIA WA Team Member

UDIA WA are delighted to announce Ashleigh Santich has recently joined the team as our new Member Services Officer.

Ash started with us last week and in addition to being our new Member Services Officer, she is currently studying Development and Valuation as part of the Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University, specialising in Urban Planning and Design.

Ash will likely be on the other end of the phone if you call into the office and will be on hand to assist our members with their enquiries. She said she is looking forward to getting to know our members at our events and functions throughout the year.

On top of working for us and studying her degree, Ash has just returned from Borneo where she was helping to build a sensory playground for a special education school.

Consultations on reforms under the EPBC Act

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is currently consulting on:

The UDIA WA team is attending briefing sessions for the above consultations, and we will be feeding into submissions being coordinated by UDIA National.

Unemployment figures

Latest figures from the ABS show that the unemployment rate across the country remained at 3.5% during December whilst WA’s rate increased marginally to sit at 3.6%.

WA’s rate is joint third lowest of all States alongside Queensland and just above the 3.2% and 3.5% rates recorded by NSW and Victoria respectively.

The underemployment rate nationally remained steady at 6.0% with WA’s rate also remaining steady at 5.7%, the second lowest of all States, just behind the 5.6% recorded in NSW.

The participation rate both nationally and locally in WA remained steady with respective rates of 66.7% and 69.1% with WA’s rate being the highest of all the States.

Certificate IV Course – Enrolments for February 2023 Intake Now Open

Enrolments for our next intake of the BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development course are now open.

BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development is the only nationally-recognised qualification of its kind that teaches the project management competencies unique to the property development industry.

The course has been written by UDIA NSW in partnership with its members and vocational education experts. The course teaches the critical skills of project management such as identifying project scope, managing time, cost and quality, contract negotiation, team engagement and stakeholder communication.

The qualification is delivered over 18 weeks through a blended method of online self-directed learning and regular tutorials. Upon achieving a competent result for all course units of competency, graduates will attain a BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development issued by our RTO, McMillan.

For more information and to register your place, click here.

Community Benefits Contribution – Have your say

The Town of Mosman Park has prepared a draft Local Planning Policy No. 32 – Community Benefits Contribution – Mixed Use Development and Apartments and is seeking feedback from industry.

The purpose of the policy is to create a statutory framework for the assessment of community benefit proposals and provide guidance to proponents regarding the types of community benefit that may be incorporated as part of significant development proposals.

The consultation for the Policy will run from the 10th of December through to the 4th of February.

For more information, click here.