From the CEO

I love it when a plan comes together.

It was a pleasure to join my industry colleagues yesterday with our Premier and Minister for Planning; Housing; Lands and Homelessness for the announcement of further planning reforms that assist in expediting the delivery of housing across the State.

As quoted by the Premier in Parliament yesterday, my message to the media was clear:

Every Western Australian deserves a place to call home. The private sector delivers the vast majority of housing across the country and any regulatory reform that will facilitate greater speed to market must be supported. It is the expectation of the UDIA that reform to facilitate housing supply has absolute bipartisan support – this is not an issue to play politics with.

The Office of Land and Housing Supply announced by Treasurer Rita Saffioti to be established within Treasury is another initiative that is demonstrative of the absolute priority the government has placed on the provision of housing across the continuum.

Yesterday, we held our AGM and declared our Council for 2023-2024 and what a brains trust we have. Our new President Richard Pappas will be supported by Vice Presidents Greg Rowe and Grant Shepherd and Treasurer Adam Shephard. They are joined by Nathan Butson, Jane Bennett, Paul Morgan, Danielle Davison, Glen McLeod, Justine Roberts, Lyle Kenny, Karl White, Craig Shepherd and Tiffany Allen. My sincere thanks and appreciation to outgoing Councillors who have contributed many years of their time and energy to UDIA – Darren Walsh, Avril Thomson, Jeremy Cordina and Anthony Rowbottam.

The words of our now UDIA National President, Col Dutton are always in the back of my mind. ‘Strategy, Structure, People’.

Col – the impact of your Presidency on our organisation over the last four years cannot be underestimated. Your strategic rigour and highly focused approach to our direction and execution has delivered enormous value to both UDIA WA and to me personally as CEO. I am proud to call you a close colleague, mentor and friend. UDIA National couldn’t have chosen a better leader and I will remain right behind you.

Richard Pappas to lead new-look Council

This week UDIA WA held our 51st AGM wherein Richard Pappas officially became our 26th UDIA WA President taking over from Col Dutton who is moving into the role of UDIA National President.

Richard will head up a Council Executive consisting of Vice Presidents Greg Rowe and Grant Shepherd as well as Treasurer Adam Shephard. They are joined on Council by Nathan Butson, Jane Bennett, Paul Morgan, Danielle Davison, Glen McLeod, Justine Roberts, Lyle Kenny, Karl White, Craig Shepherd and Tiffany Allen.

We extend our thanks to outgoing councillors Darren Walsh, Avril Thomson, Jeremy Cordina and Anthony Rowbottam for their time, commitment and energy to the UDIA WA Council.

During the AGM we also unveiled the 2022-23 Annual Report which can be read here.

State Government working to fix housing supply issues

After a strong and consistent advocacy campaign,  UDIA WA were pleased to welcome the announcement from the State Government on Tuesday of a new Housing Supply Unit that will be established within the WA Treasury Department that will look to address the state’s critical housing shortage.

The new Unit will report to the Residential Lands and Housing Delivery Ministerial Oversight Committee and be responsible for producing economic forecasts for WA and the development of market-driven housing policies including measures to boost supply and improve choice and affordability.

The placement of the Unit within Treasury will allow it to harness the Department’s strengths in providing budgetary and economic advice to Government, particularly given the strong links between housing supply and the State’s economic conditions, and economic diversification objectives.

The Unit will also support the push for WA’s fair share of funding from the Commonwealth from pools of funding such as the Housing Australia Future Fund, the New Home Bonus, Housing Support Program and funding through Housing Australia.

The unit was part of a recommendation in UDIA WA’s 2023 Policy Priorities published earlier this year and a key ask in ongoing talks with the State Government.

UDIA welcomed the announcement of the new unit as it demonstrates the priority with which the State Government is viewing the housing supply pipeline in WA.

“There is no silver bullet to a crisis that has been decades in the making. It is refreshing and a relief that we now have the long-needed emphasis on a strategic and forward focussed approach to housing supply across the continuum,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said to the media following the announcement.

For more information about the Housing Supply Unit, read our media release here or read the State Government’s announcement here.

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck was interviewed about the Housing Supply Unit on Channel 10 here (watch from 9:10), Channel 9 here (watch from 25:10) and ABC Drive with Jo Trilling here (listen from 1:40:00).

Latest tranche of planning reforms

On Wednesday the State Government announced that the latest tranche of planning reforms which are strongly aligned with UDIA WA’s ongoing recommendations in this space.   Legislation has been introduced to State Parliament with UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck welcoming the news at a press conference with the Premier, Minister Carey and fellow industry bodies.

The Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2023 proposes five key initiatives designed to facilitate and accelerate coordinated delivery of housing and other key infrastructure, including:

  1. A new permanent significant development pathway for projects;
  2. Reforms to clarify decision making in local government for single houses;
  3. Reforms to Development Assessment Panels, including:
  • Reduction in the number of panels from five to three (Metro-Inner; Metro-Outer; Regional) to improve consistency in decision-making;
  • Appoint full-time, fixed term specialist members, retain a pool of sessional members and reduce perceptions of conflict of interest;
  • Removal of previous mandatory thresholds of $20 million for the City of Perth and $10 million for the rest of the State, making the DAP system an opt-in pathway for any development proposal over $2 million (including grouped or multi-dwellings but excluding single houses and ancillary structures); and
  • Providing all community housing projects with the ability to opt into the DAP pathway regardless of the size or value of the proposal.
  1. Improving existing planning processes to cut unnecessary red tape, including removal of duplicate processes for the subdivision of land, streamlining the review of planning schemes and planning codes; and
  2. Reform of the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

The new permanent significant development pathway will be a refined version of the temporary COVID-19 pathway through Part 17 of the Planning & Development Act 2005, with amendments – including a timeframe for determination (120 days) – to make it suitable in a post COVID-19 environment.

The reforms to decision making in local government for single houses will mean that most single houses and any associated development, except where heritage is involved, are now mandated to the local government administration for determination. These applications will be determined by technical experts, through the chief executive officer or local government employee, designed to ensure a more efficient process to speed up the delivery of housing.

Reform of the WAPC will improve efficiency in decision making, streamline membership and clarify its role as an expert advisor and independent decision-making body with the necessary technical expertise.

The planning reforms announced today are in line with recommendations made in the Institute’s Policy Priorities 2023 publication and in ongoing discussions, meetings and submissions.

For more information about the Planning Reforms, read our media release here or read the State Government’s announcement here.

Western Power Roundtable

As part of our ongoing engagement with Western Power to address the challenges for our industry, UDIA facilitated a roundtable on Monday morning with the CEO and senior representatives of Western Power for a range of our developer members and their electrical consultants, as well as representatives from Minister Johnston and the Premier’s office.

The discussion focused on the urgency of the situation and potential short- and longer-term actions to tackle the challenges being faced by industry in both a land development and in an infill context. Whilst our work with Western Power has been ongoing for almost 18 months, and several important actions have been progressed and improvements introduced over that time, this meeting was a necessary step for a shared understanding of the current state of play and to collaboratively identify further actions for urgent prioritisation.

A list of agreed actions was captured and shared with Western Power to agree timeframes for progression.  Actions have been identified around addressing grey areas associated with the UDS, enabling increased design conformance to reduce delays and re-work, process efficiencies and enabling clearance issuance.

The detailed actions and timeframes will be communicated shortly.

We look forward to working with Western Power to progress the agreed priority actions to ensure that the development industry can continue adding housing supply across the continuum at a time that it is critically needed.

UDIA WA thanks volunteers

Following UDIA WA’s 51st AGM on Wednesday, UDIA WA hosted a ‘thank you’ event for volunteer members of our Council, Strategic Committees and Standing Advisory Groups.   There are over 100 individuals associated with the UDIA WA committee structure and we value the contribution of knowledge, expertise and time that members input into these groups.

The willingness of our members to assist with both policy and strategic objectives of the organisation is appreciated by the UDIA WA team immensely.

In passing the Presidential ‘baton’ to incoming President Richard Pappas, outgoing President Col Dutton added his appreciation for the support of fellow Councillors and committee members in driving the successful advocacy agenda of the Institute.

Mr Pappas said he was looking forward to working with the new tranche of committee members as they are reformed in 2024 along with the UDIA staff to continue to grow the organisation and drive our strategic objectives.

WA unemployment rate drops again

Western Australia’s unemployment rate fell 0.5% in September, the largest recorded seasonally adjusted fall across the country to leave our unemployment rate joint lowest at 3.3%.

Nationally the unemployment rate recorded a more modest 0.1% fall to sit at 3.6% with the underemployment rate falling 0.2% to 6.4%.

In WA the underemployment rate fell 0.1% to 5.8%, the lowest rate of all states with the participation rate here sitting at 68.7%, the highest of all states despite a 0.7% drop on the previous month.

Referencing the national results Kate Lamb ABS head of labour statistics said the fall in the unemployment rate in September mainly reflected a higher proportion of people moving from being unemployed to not in the labour force.

“The participation rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 66.7 per cent from last month’s record high of 67.0 per cent but remained well above levels before the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The small increase in employment in September followed a large increase in August.

“Looking over the past two months, average monthly employment growth was 35,000 people, around the average growth we’ve seen in the past year,” Ms Lamb said.

The employment-to-population ratio fell 0.1 percentage point to 64.4 per cent, back to its average level for the past 12 months.

Win $1,000 to spend at Crown

UDIA WA are happy to share an opportunity for our members to go into the draw to win a $1,000 voucher for Crown Perth.

Simply complete our Member Survey here by COB on Tuesday October 31 to go into the draw for a chance to win the voucher.

Land Report published

Over the weekend UDIA WA were pleased to present the latest edition of the Land Report in The West Australian.

Released twice a year the Land Report provides readers with an overview of the current status of the land market across the Perth Metropolitan area with in-depth analysis of the northern and southern corridors.

The latest edition highlighted a continued strengthening in the number of lots sold with land prices across Perth registering a moderate growth compared with the previous quarter.

In addition to using exclusive UDIA WA data the bi-annual publication provides readers with insights from UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and our members on a range of core issues impacting the industry at the moment.

Read the latest edition here.

Sponsorship Opportunities at National Congress

Looking to boost your organization’s brand and product awareness? Look no further than the UDIA National Congress!

This event provides a unique opportunity to consolidate industry relationships and engage with key decision makers in the property development industry. With a variety of partnership options available, your organization can market to a large audience from across Australia and benefit from strong brand exposure leading up to and throughout the Congress promotional period.

Don’t miss out on this chance to make valuable connections and elevate your brand!

Reach out to Nichola Byrne at for more information and to secure one of the limited remaining sponsorship opportunities.

Big thanks to the 2024 UDIA National Congress Presenting Partner nbn for their support.