From the CEO

Our world is full of inconvenient truths.

The inconvenient truth of the impact of climate change was brushed aside for decades. It is often far easier and more ‘convenient’ to bury ones head in the sand or brush things under the carpet when the implications of not responding to the reality of the situation are significant and not entirely tolerable to the masses.

Members of the Western Australian community and all industries are coming to grips with their obligations under the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021, which is another example perhaps of an inconvenient truth that to a large extent existed under the previous Act yet now has more teeth, more red tape and more cost in order to comply with.

This week, we add another inconvenient truth that has now been exposed and has far reaching implications. You know that cubby house you built for your kids out the back? And that water tank you put in to help deal with that ‘inconvenient climate change’ issue? I’d like to see your development approval please as required under the Metropolitan Region Scheme. Thought the deemed provisions under the Local Planning Scheme also informed the interpretation and development approval under the MRS? Think again.

On Monday, the State Administrative Tribunal exposed what many have known is the inconvenient truth that development approval is required under the MRS for everything other than the erection of a single dwelling house. How many swimming pools, shade sails, cubby houses and even West Coast Eagles flagpoles (actually, maybe not recently) have been installed without an MRS approval? Not to mention some property developments. Thanks to Monday’s SAT decision, an urgent response is now required by the State Government to either amend the MRS or the Planning and Development Act to address the issue.

From planetary emergency to planning emergency, it’s hard to escape the inconvenient truth when it now impacts your own backyard.

Nominate now to lead and leave a legacy with UDIA WA

Nominations are now open for eight vacant positions on UDIA WA Council, including the role of President. We are seeking leaders who want to play an active role in shaping the future direction of the Institute and the industry more broadly.

With a newly endorsed Strategic Plan in 2023 and a refreshed Purpose, Vision and Mission, this is a pivotal opportunity to join a team of passionate leaders to drive change.

These eight positions will join ongoing Councillors Jane Bennett (CLE Town Planning), Danielle Davison (Davison Advisory), Richard Pappas (Celsius Property) and Paul Morgan (PEET).

UDIA WA encourages applicants from a diverse range of professional backgrounds and experience to nominate for these leadership roles. Our goal is to establish and maintain a leadership group that reflects the diverse nature of the industry and the communities that we represent.

Nominations close at 5:00pm on Monday 14 August 2023.  Download the relevant documents with all the detailed information on the nominations process and key dates:

  • Council nominations kit here and nomination form here.
  • Access the UDIA WA Constitution here
  • 2023 UDIA WA Policy Priorities here.

The UDIA WA Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 October 2023 at the UDIA WA offices from 11:30am.

UDIA WA represents members on ACH Act Implementation Group

At the end of last week UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck attended the first Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act Implementation Group meeting hosted by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

The Implementation Group, comprised of Aboriginal representatives and key industry and government stakeholders, will share information on common and emerging issues while providing solutions in the first six months of operation of the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 and supporting Regulations and guidelines.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Hon Dr Tony Buti MLA, attended part of the first meeting to welcome members and thank them for their willingness to collaborate. Minister Buti also took the opportunity to notify members of the appointment of the first three Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services (LACHS).

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council has designated Yindjibarndi Ngurra Aboriginal Corporation as a LACHS for Aboriginal cultural heritage that falls within their Native Title determination area in the Pilbara region. Karajarri Traditional Lands Association will provide a LACHS role for their Country, which includes some 32,000kms of land and waterways from Eighty Mile Beach to just south of Broome’s Roebuck Bay. The third LACHS is also Pilbara based and will be announced later this month, at the conclusion of their Sorry Business.

A further 31 Aboriginal organisations have commenced the process to become a LACHS and the Department has disbursed a total of $2.3 million to date in initial grant funding to assist with their applications to the Council.

For more information and to read the full Communique following the first meeting, click here.

Policy Team In Action

This week the UDIA WA policy team lodged a submission to DPLH on the draft SPP 3.7 – Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas and the associated Guidelines.

Our main message was one of support for the movement toward recognising the difference in bushfire risk between built up and/or naturally low fire risk areas and that of the rest of the State. The maps detailing these areas are yet to be finalised however we intend to provide comment once made public by DFES later this year.

Other key messages included:

  • Reducing areas of potential confusion between developers, their consultants, and the relevant authorities; and
  • Ensuring that clarity on definitions and examples is provided within the finalised documentation.

Thank you to the members who provided their assistance in the consultation and drafting process.

DPLH anticipates that the finalised SPP 3.7 and Guidelines will be presented to the Western Australian Planning Commission in December 2023 or early 2024. Our full submission is available here.

Proclamation of Parts 6, 12 and 14 of the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020

UDIA WA has received notice from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage that the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020 (Amendment Act) received Royal Assent on 7 July 2020. However, commencement of some Parts was specifically deferred to future dates to be proclaimed.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is progressing the Proclamation of Parts 6, 12 and 14 of the Amendment Act, to occur in conjunction with publication of the Planning and Development (Region Planning Schemes) Regulations 2023. More details available in the document available here.

While most Amendments relate to the Planning and Development Act 2005, Part 6 contains some Amendments that relate to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 regarding referral of Planning Scheme Amendments. Following publication on the Western Australian Legislation website here, on 12 July 2023, more details and supporting documents will be available on the Department’s website. The commencement of Parts 6, 12 and 14 will occur on 1 August 2023.

Online information sessions on changes associated with Local Planning Schemes, referred to in new section 83A, will also be scheduled. To register your interest to participate in an information session, or if you have any queries, please contact the Planning Reform team at

Awards for Excellence nominated projects announced!

UDIA WA are pleased to present the projects vying to be named best in the West for 2023 with the release of our Nominated Projects booklet for the UDIA WA 2023 Awards for Excellence.

Our prestigious awards program is widely regarded as the pinnacle for the urban development industry in terms of achievement in community creation, innovation and sustainability and we have crowned some of WA and Australia’s best projects.

View the 2023 Nominated Projects booklet, here.

With the release of the Nominated Projects booklet, we have also opened registrations for the industry’s night of nights at the Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner.

To make sure you get your ticket and be there to celebrate another incredible year of success, click here.

Big thanks to the 2023 Platinum Sponsor Western Australian Planning Commission, Gold Sponsors Lavan and Stantec, Category Sponsors Taylor Burrell Barnett, Longreach Recruitment, Wormall Civil Pty Ltd., nbn® Australia, Stockland, Slick Design Pty Ltd, Spirit Bar Sponsor Harvey Norman Commercial Division and Photo Booth Sponsor

There are limited sponsorship opportunities for the gala dinner still available.  Contact for more information.

Federal Government announces net zero by 2050 plans

UDIA National welcomed the announcement earlier this week from Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, to develop an Economy-wide Net Zero by 2050 with a series of sector plans including the built environment.

“The development and construction industry has been working hard to unpick the problem of decarbonisation of the built environment and is at the cutting edge of efforts to provide sustainable solutions,” said Max Shifman, UDIA National President.

“UDIA National has advocated that the built environment is a critical sector in need of a bespoke, long-term strategy and pathway on climate adaptation. The Government has listened to industry with this announcement,” Mr Shifman said.

The scale of the effort and change needed to get to net-zero is equivalent to a second industrial revolution and the development and construction industry is already developing the technology needed to shift to low carbon, sustainable structures.

With the headwinds being experienced by industry and the housing crisis on our doorstep, it is vital that any move towards net-zero be involves a clear and responsible strategy that incentivises innovation and bolsters productivity and market confidence – this includes thinking through and providing for the transition for low income households as well as small to medium sized businesses which represent 85% of the housing industry.

UDIA National is keen to work with Ministers Bowen, Husic and McAllister to drive forward a sector plan that supports our net-zero ambitions.

Join the first industry regional roadshow

Join us for the inaugural REIWA, UDIA WA and Property Council WA Regional Roadshow.

For the first time, WA’s three leading property industry bodies have joined forces to bring the latest information to the regions in relation to housing, development and planning policies impacting developers, real estate and businesses in the South West.

Hear directly from industry heads Cath Hart, CEO – REIWA, Tanya Steinbeck, CEO – UDIA WA and Sandra Brewer, WA Executive Director – Property Council WA on the hot topics that matter to your organisation:

  • State of the rental market, sales statistics and current trends in the South West
  • Latest information on the Residential Tenancies Act and addressing the current rental crisis
  • Tracking residential land supply & opportunities for a development ready pipeline to address shortages in the region
  • National housing policy, taxation and local planning policies impacting on housing delivery and potential solutions

An interactive panel session will follow the presentations to provide an opportunity for the audience to join the conversation and further determine how industry can collaborate to safeguard the future liveability and economic prosperity of the region.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to network after the event with light refreshments provided.

For more information and to book, click here.

UDIA National TV with Hugh Hartigan

UDIA is pleased to invite you to a special complimentary event to hear from the organisation trusted with building Australia’s national housing future, The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

In view of the Housing Affordability Future Fund negotiations and the ambitions of Australia’s National Housing Accord, NHFIC will be the linchpin to make it happen. The housing agenda across the spectrum is dominated by the need for supply and our industry is a crucial player.

Hugh Hartigan, Head of Research at NHFIC will discuss the organisation’s plans and successes in accelerating Australia’s affordable and social housing agenda. Hugh will give you a snapshot of NHFIC’s plans to help rewrite the story on housing supply over the next decade.

This complimentary UDIA TV event takes place on Wednesday 2 August from 11am-12pm (AWST).

Register here.

Continued low unemployment rate

The unemployment rate remained at 3.5 per cent in June (seasonally adjusted), in line with the updated figure for May, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The WA unemployment rate saw a small -0.1% seasonally adjusted decrease in June to sit at 3.6%, equal third lowest State with Queensland and behind only Tasmania (3.5%) and NSW (2.9%).

WA’s underemployment rate sits at 5.9% a -0.4% decrease on the month before to be the lowest of all the States ahead of NSW’s 6.2% and Victoria’s 6.5%. The National underemployment rate remained steady at 6.4%.

Speaking on the National results Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “with employment increasing by around 33,000 people and the number of unemployed decreasing by 11,000 people, the unemployment rate remained at 3.5 per cent.

“The rise in employment in June saw the employment-to-population ratio remain at a record high 64.5 per cent, reflecting a tight labour market in which employment has recently increased in line with population growth.

“In addition to there being over a million more employed people than before the pandemic, a much higher share of the population is employed. In June 2023, 64.5 per cent of people 15 years or older were employed, an increase of 2.1 percentage points since March 2020.”

Call for new Heritage Council members

The search is on for six people to become members of the Heritage Council of Western Australia.

Nominations are now open for experienced and qualified individuals committed to helping identify, conserve, and ensure the sensitive and sustainable development of the State’s heritage places.

The Council comprises of nine members who have experience and technical skills in one or more fields outlined in section 14 of the Heritage Act 2018.

The Council makes recommendations to the Heritage Minister on entries into the State Register of Heritage Places and assists relevant authorities in making informed decisions relating to the effective management and development of those places. It also determines the State’s heritage strategy and policies.

The six positions will become vacant at the end of 2023. The Heritage Minister will appoint the new members, and the appointments will be made for terms of up to four years.

All applicants should be able to demonstrate knowledge of, or experience in heritage matters.  Those with specialist knowledge from diverse fields and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to nominate for this rewarding opportunity.  Nominations are particularly sought from those with experience in the fields of Aboriginal cultural heritage, engineering, law or landscape architecture.

Further details and application packages are available through the Heritage Council’s website Heritage Council of Western Australia (, or by contacting (08) 6551 8002.

Applications close Friday, 11 August 2023.

Certificate IV Course – Enrolments for July 2023 Intake Now Open

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

The course teaches the critical skills of project management such as identifying project scope; managing time, cost & quality; contract negotiation; team engagement; stakeholder communication & human resources management.

This course is the only nationally recognised qualification of its kind that teaches the project management competencies unique to the property development industry.

The course content has been written by education experts and industry professionals who provide real life relevance and focus on the practical application of knowledge. Tools, techniques and examples provided are real and what is currently used in the industry.

This qualification is uniquely designed for those who work, or aspire to work in project roles within property development. It 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.

There is also a special member only discount available where you can save 10% if you register three or more attendees.

For more information and to book your spot, click here.

Advertising Opportunities

UDIA WA are delighted to present a range of advertising opportunities for the new financial year including a variety of new options to enhance your marketing campaign.

UDIA WA have a number of advertising opportunities including through our thought-leadership publication, The Urbanist, our weekly newsletter Urban Express, our Podcast The Urbanist LIVE, our annual Awards for Excellence Winners Showcase magazine in addition to new opportunities for the new financial year including featuring in our highly coveted research publications Urban Intelligence and the Urban Development Index.

Among the new options available this year is the ability to support our podcast The Urbanist LIVE with two fantastic opportunities available, depending on your preferred budget and exposure.

The first option is a Full Year Sponsorship that includes naming rights in the title of the podcast. The second option is to purchase a 30 second advertisement that will play in the half time break within a selected episode.  These advertisements can be purchased as a single or as a package.

To view our 2023-24 Advertising Opportunities document that provides more information and the rates for all of the current opportunities, click here.   If you have any questions,  need any further information or would like a personalised package sent through, reach out to Chris Thurmott at

Sponsorship Opportunities

In addition to the extensive advocacy and research agenda, UDIA delivers over 40 events annually and we are pleased to share how you can be involved with and support the successful delivery of these events through our various sponsorship opportunities.

UDIA WA events focus on bringing the industry together to share crucial information and updates affecting the development sector, with the intention of facilitating learning, discussion and debate.

Sponsors gain extensive exposure alongside these prominent and well received events. In addition to a comprehensive marketing promotional campaign, sponsors receive direct exposure to, and the opportunity to engage with, industry leaders, key decision makers, and influential representatives from a broad cross section of agencies and businesses involved with development in WA.

At UDIA, we collaborate with your business to ensure your marketing efforts are maximised with every opportunity presented, whether it’s for branding, networking, opening doors or business product promotion, we have the platforms to assist you.

To view the various sponsorship opportunities available, click here or if you have any questions, need any further information or would like a personalised package sent through, reach out to Georgia Scott at