UDIA WA launches COVID-19 web page

With information, advice and health protocol surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 currently being updated on an almost daily basis, UDIA WA has created a one-stop shop for the latest advice and assistance for our industry.

UDIA WA’s website now features a dedicated page reporting and collating the key information and resources relevant to the development industry.

From details of the latest Government stimulus packages (both State and Federal) to key resources to assist companies through this unprecedented time, the site is filled with useful information.

To view the new page, click here.

UDIA creates industry pulse survey

UDIA WA is working swiftly to ensure we have a clear understanding of the impact of the current pandemic on our member organisations.  We have created a Covid-19 Industry Pulse Check survey to understand how your business is dealing with the current situation.

The results of the survey will assist us to establish the most useful and relevant guidance and support to members in the coming weeks and months. It will also inform our advocacy work on behalf of members in relation to government support and communicating the real and immediate impacts to the urban development industry.

We will share the results of the survey with members to help you make informed decisions.

To complete the survey, please click here, it will take just two minutes to complete,  however please note it will close COB tomorrow, Friday 20 March.

UDIA WA implements measures in response to COVID-19

In prioritising the health and wellbeing of our staff, members and stakeholders, UDIA WA has implementing new measures in response to COVID-19 and official government advice.

Please be assured that while we are taking all necessary precautions, UDIA WA will continue to provide a range of opportunities to learn, advocate and engage with industry as we move through these unprecedented times.

Given the rapidly changing nature of government advice and requirements, we will continue to keep members up to date in the coming days and weeks.


UDIA WA has reviewed the status of all events up to 30 June 2020.

Anyone that has already registered for an event scheduled during this time period will be contacted directly by our events team. Depending on the event or Professional Development program, every effort is being made to hold the event virtually or to reschedule, with cancellation as a last resort.

We appreciate your patience as we work through the implications and logistics of making these changes. Please direct any event enquiries to events@udiawa.com.au.

The team at UDIA WA is working on establishing a range of online options for delivering learning and engagement opportunities in lieu of ‘face to face’ events and we will be providing information on these options in the coming weeks.

We are dedicated to ensuring our members are provided with options to continue to hear and engage with our expert speakers wherever possible.


UDIA WA will be implementing virtual committee meetings for the next round of committee meetings due to commence in late March/ early April.

Committee members will be contacted directly to make appropriate arrangements.


UDIA WA is maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach to member services with the exception of our events program at this stage. We are also limiting face to face meetings and opting for phone or online meetings instead wherever possible.

We are also implementing additional measures to reduce the risk to our staff by offering the option of working remotely. Our commitment to our members will remain unchanged. UDIA WA staff remain accessible and ready to assist you in relation to all member services.

We thank you for your understanding during what is a challenging time. We look forward to continuing to provide maximum value to our members.

RBA cuts rates to ease pain of virus fallout

Earlier today the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official cash rate for the second time this month to Australia’s lowest ever rate of 0.25%.

The RBA made the out-of-cycle cut following the unprecedented impact on the economy following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the move from several countries around the world, including Australia, to restrict the movement of people across borders.

The rate cut was part of an economic package agreed upon by the RBA board to support the Australian economy and has been designed to complement the fiscal response from governments across Australia. The full economic package announced by the RBA is as follows:

  1. A reduction in the cash rate target to 0.25 per cent.
  2. A target for the yield on 3-year Australian Government bonds of around 0.25 per cent.
  3. A term funding facility for the banking system, with particular support for credit to small and medium-sized businesses.
  4. Exchange settlement balances at the Reserve Bank will be remunerated at 10 basis points, rather than zero as would have been the case under the previous arrangements.

In a statement announcing the cut, RBA Governor Dr Philip Lowe said “at some point, the virus will be contained and the Australian economy will recover. In the interim, a priority for the Reserve Bank is to support jobs, incomes and businesses, so that when the health crisis recedes, the country is well placed to recover strongly.

“The various elements of this package reinforce one another and will help to lower funding costs across the economy and support the provision of credit, especially to small and medium-sized businesses.

“Australia’s financial system is resilient and well placed to deal with the effects of the coronavirus.”

To read the full statement from Dr Lowe, click here.

State of the Land 2020 – Challenges ahead for housing markets

Earlier this week, UDIA National released its annual State of the Land Report which details a comprehensive overview of Australia’s Capital City housing markets.

Prepared in partnership with CoreLogic and Research4, the report flags a looming supply shortfall that risks feeding into the affordability equation facing homebuyers.

Key findings of the 2020 State of the Land Report include:

  • 117,000 new homes and apartments were completed in major capital cities 2019 – which represents a fall of 7 percent on the prior year, and is the lowest since 2015
  • Greenfield lot production dropped by 25 percent in 2019, down to 35,740 lots across the major capital cities in 2019
  • Greenfield lots sales also fell – down to 28,000 in 2019, almost half the number recorded just two years ago
  • The peak of apartment construction has passed, with 69,090 new units completed in 2019 – but multi-unit stock is the dominant product in the market, accounting for 60 percent.
  • New multi-unit sales fell 11% over the year to just 16,570 units, which is only 26% of the new unit sales recorded in 2015.
  • The pipeline of new supply is under threat with only 113,980 dwelling approvals recorded in 2019, down 27% on the year.

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

McGowan Government releases stimulus package

Following the Federal Government stimulus package announced last week, the Western Australian State Government followed suit with a $607 million stimulus package aimed at providing relief to Western Australian families and small businesses and help support the State’s economy to respond to COVID-19.

As part of the package, it was announced there would be a freeze on household fees and charges, including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, the emergency services levy and public transport fares.

The package also included an allocation of $91 million to double the Energy Assistance Program in 2020-21 to provide additional support to vulnerable Western Australians, increasing the payment from $300 to $600 for eligible concession card-holders.

The stimulus package also includes $114 million in measures to support Western Australian small and medium businesses.

Payroll tax paying businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them to manage the impacts of COVID-19.

The State Government also announced the fast-tracking of additional payroll tax relief for small businesses, with the payroll tax threshold increasing to $1 million from July 1, 2020, six months earlier than planned.

The $114 million payroll tax announcement builds on the payroll tax package announced by the Government in October. As part of the package announced last year, the payroll threshold increased to $950,000 from January 1, 2020, and was due to increase again to $1 million from January 1, 2021.

In addition, small and medium sized businesses affected by COVID-19 can now apply to defer payment of their 2019-20 payroll tax until July 21, 2020.

The deferral is available to employers who pay $7.5 million or less in Australian Taxable Wages and have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19, compared to normal operating conditions.

Further information can be found here.

Small business support services boosted in response to COVID-19

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) has been set up by the State Government to provide dedicated, timely guidance on available support options as a one-stop resource for advice and guidance on managing the impacts of COVID-19.

The SBDC’s refocused 133 140 hotline number and website will deal specifically with queries from business owners looking to navigate the wide range of recently announced Federal and State government measures to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19.

This includes information on available stimulus packages and eligibility requirements; advice on preparing businesses to manage impacts; and other resources.

For businesses not currently eligible for financial support packages, SBDC can provide business advice to help owners manage their situations.

To access the service, contact 133 140 (8.30am-4.30pm weekdays) or visit here.

New METRONET precincts to unlock potential of Perth’s east

The state government announced today the formal establishment of redevelopment area boundaries with Bayswater, Forrestfield and Midland forming the new METRONET East projects.

A METRONET project area will be put in place around Bayswater train station and town centre to maximise development opportunities arising from the station upgrades and help create a well-designed and connected community hub.

The area around the future Forrestfield train station has also been designated a METRONET project area, paving the way for the area to be transformed into an activity centre and employment hub.

DevelopmentWA will progress the METRONET East Redevelopment Scheme to guide future development, in consultation with local government and the community.

The METRONET East Redevelopment Scheme is expected to be in effect by late 2020. Once in place DevelopmentWA will assume planning authority for the project areas from respective local governments and the Western Australian Planning Commission.

Short-term visitor numbers healthy in January

There were 73,300 short-term visitor arrivals to WA in January, representing a 24.4% YoY increase, which was the largest percentage increase for any month since November 2002.

Nationally, January saw a 4.9% YoY increase in the total number of short-term visitors arriving in Australia, however following the outbreak of COVID-19 and increasingly tightened travel restrictions these numbers will soon dissipate as we face a short-term future with few, if any, overseas arrivals.

Government builds on first year of innovative policy

At the start of this week the State Government implemented seven new enhancements to the Market-led Proposals (MLP) policy it released in April 2019.

MLPs are proposals from the private or not-for-profit sector to build or finance infrastructure, or provide goods or services where the State Government has not requested the proposal.

According to Premier Mark McGowan, the first year of the policy has seen 27 proposals received from more than ten different industries.

The policy was designed on the principle of continuous improvement and included a first anniversary review. Based on industry feedback seven key updates are now in effect for the second year of the policy.

These include:

  • providing clearer guidance on the justification for exclusive negotiations;
  • introducing a first mover advantage to provide incentives and reward good ideas;
  • streamlining processes by reducing the total number of stages from four to three;
  • committing to stage 1 completion within 99 business days;
  • communicating earlier advice for proposals that do not meet the scope of the Policy or State Government priorities;
  • making a clearer link to State Government priorities; and
  • updating terms and conditions to reinforce probity.

The government has advised that policy updates will not disadvantage any proposals currently under consideration and they continue to welcome feedback from industry and further policy updates will be considered on an annual basis.

A single-entry portal provides support to industry to press plans for Market-led Proposals.

Further information is available here.

Employee health and wellbeing: UDIA WA member’s return on investment

Australians spend nearly more than one third of their day at work. Have you ever stopped to think about the role the workplace can play in promoting, or stopping, their employees to reach their optimum health and wellbeing?

To read this guest blog post written by Emma Marshall – Program Coordinator, Healthier Workplace WA, click here.

Integrated Urban Water Management — Why a good idea seems hard to implement

A new research paper was released on Wednesday that examines the policy and implementation frameworks currently governing the urban water sector to identify where there may be impediments to the adoption of Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM).

IWCM refers to the joint management of water resources in the urban environment and spans the provision of water, wastewater and stormwater services.

As Australia’s cities face pressure from population growth and climate change, many people see IWCM as a holistic solution that can deliver a range of environmental and urban amenity outcomes over and above those provided by traditional water services.

IWCM may be the most efficient way to meet these broader objectives, but who should decide which projects are worth pursuing and how they should be funded?

For more information and to read the research paper, click here.

Issues paper looks at new infrastructure’s impact on greenhouse emissions

At the start of the month a new issues paper Reshaping Infrastructure for a net zero emissions future was released.

Around 70% of Australia’s emissions are associated with infrastructure projects, according to the issues paper published in partnership by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), ClimateWorks Australia and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).

The issues paper is designed to progress a new conversation to better understand the challenges and opportunities in reshaping transport, energy, water, communications and waste infrastructure for a net zero emissions world.

To read the issue paper in full, click here.

We value your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to policy@udiawa.com.au

  • Building Code 2016 Discussion Paper (here). Submissions close 3 April 2020.
  • Waste Reform consultation papers (here). Submissions close 15 May 2020:
    • Closing the loop: Waste reforms for a circular economy
    • Review of the waste levy

Site Security Update

PACT Site Security received a total of 48 reports in February made up of 13 burglaries, 31 stealing, 4 damage and 6 illegal rubbish dumping.

Hot spot areas were Coolbellup with 9 reports, Dayton 7, Treeby 4 and Southern River 3 as 64% of all reported crime occurred in the southern suburbs.

There was an increase in the theft of electrical and mains cables in February with multiple sites affected in Coolbellup, Southern River and Aveley. To view the full February statistics, click here.

Inquiries are continuing after onsite trade observed a male stealing a water meter from a Home Group building site in Oakebella Estate, Wellard. The area is currently a crime hotspot with 5 x stealing and 1 x burglary reported to date this month.

Ensure you report all crime and suspicious activity to assist in the identification of high crime areas and offenders who continue to target the building and construction industry. More information can be found here.