Ready to Rebuild launch

At the end of last week UDIA WA launched ‘Ready to Rebuild’ which sets out a clear set of priorities for government to support jobs and a stronger economy post COVID-19.

Within the document we outline our recommendations to State Government on how to assist our industry and the broader economic recovery following the impacts of COVID-19.

As we begin to emerge from the initial health crisis, now more than ever, government support for industries that provide significant benefit and can lead our economic recovery is critical.

As an industry, we embrace our role in supporting the WA economy. UDIA WA is committed to continuing to work collaboratively with all levels of government to focus on the projects, reform and policy tools that when implemented, will have the greatest impact on jobs and future prosperity.

Our ‘Ready to Rebuild’ actions clearly map out priorities for the State Government to consider to keep the development industry operating and to transition successfully into a strong recovery.

We specifically look at how to stimulate the economy, prioritise infrastructure investment and cut red tape.

The actions that we recommend are rational, well considered opportunities to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our industry and the broader economy and it has been pleasing to see that with the latest government announcements on planning reform this week, we are already making inroads.

‘Ready to Rebuild’ can be accessed here.

State Government announces suite of planning reform changes

UDIA WA welcomed the announcement from the Premier and the Minister for Planning in bringing forward a suite of major planning reforms taken from the State Government’s Action Plan for Planning Reform in order to simplify and streamline the planning approvals process.

UDIA WA’s policy and advocacy team has worked tirelessly over the last few years to progress planning reform and streamline approvals systems.  We are pleased to see that years of consultation with industry is culminating in immediate and tangible outcomes that will support the industry in getting projects underway quickly so that we can boost economic recovery.

UDIA WA acknowledges Minister Saffioti’s determination in ensuring that many of the ongoing frustrations that industry has experienced in navigating the planning system are being addressed by these reforms.

Some of the significant reforms that have been announced this week include:

  • Streamlining Significant Developments

Proposed amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2005 will temporarily establish the Western Australian Planning Commission as the new decision-making authority for all development proposals of State significance.

  • Special Matters Development Assessment Panel

A new Special Matters Development Assessment Panel will be established to consider complex proposals which could include proposals located in areas with significant tourism, unique aesthetic qualities or other unique features.

  • Cutting Red Tape in the Planning System

The Planning and Development Act 2005 and the Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015 will be amended in order to progress a range of reforms aimed at ensuring local planning is easier to navigate and understand, provide greater consistency in how planning provisions are applied and improve efficiency.

  • Improving Community Engagement

The new reform measures acknowledge that under the existing system, the focus continually falls on individual projects, rather than on the scheme or planning framework under which these projects are delivered.

  • Expanding the suite of Design WA policies

The government advises that policy reforms to be delivered over the next six-twelve months will support the implementation of legislative and regulatory changes and help to create a modern planning system.

  • Flexibility for small business

Three streams of planning reform – legislative, regulatory and policy – are being progressed to assist small business including allowing for greater flexibility in change of uses.  This will assist in creating more vibrant and sustainable urban centres.

UDIA WA will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of industry in order to support our capacity to maintain jobs and play a significant role in economic recovery. For more information about any of the proposed changes, read our member alert here which also provides links to the State government’s fact sheets.

Join us for a live National Webinar with The Hon Michael Sukkar MP

UDIA is pleased to host a live webcast with Federal Housing Minister and Assistant Treasurer Hon. Michael Sukkar MP on Thursday 28 May from 11am-12pm (AWST). This is an exclusive opportunity for UDIA members to hear directly from the Minister on a range of issues relevant to the industry.

The Minister will discuss the importance of the development industry in these challenging times and the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19.

This is an excellent opportunity to hear the Minister outline the government’s plan for housing affordability and measures to unlock supply across the country. He will also discuss other incentives and reforms to improve housing outcomes for first home buyers and renters.

There are limited tickets available so be sure to secure your place now using the code UDIAWA2020 to receive the member rate when booking.

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

Greenfield market update

On Wednesday, Research4 Director Colin Keane delivered his annual Greenfields Development Masterclass for UDIA WA participants where he analysed the performance of the national Greenfield land market with a focus on WA.

During his presentation, Mr Keane also addressed the implications of COVID-19 on the existing and ongoing performance of the market.

To read an overview of Mr Keane’s presentation, click here.

HIFG report details struggling market

On Friday 15 May the Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG), of which UDIA is a representative member, released a revised forecast for the remainder of this financial year.

The HIFG has revised down its forecasts for 2019/20 dwelling commencements in WA from 15,500 in November 2019 to just 12,500, which reinforces the need for more support for our industry from the State Government.

The Group was also unable to accurately predict the outcome for the 2020/21 Financial Year due to the current uncertainties in the market, however they will meet again in July to see if a dwelling commencement forecast for 2020/21 can be provided.

For more information, read UDIA WA’s media release here.

Social housing fund brought forward

Prior to the announcement of planning reform measures on Wednesday, the State Government announced on Tuesday morning that they would be bringing forward funds for a $150 million social housing package.

While we are very supportive of the State Government bringing these funds forward, we issued a media release calling for Federal and State Government collaboration and commitment to direct stimulus for the housing and construction industry.

Within the release we emphasized the need for a much bolder approach from the State Government to take critical measures to support our industry.

Due to the lag effect of revenue being received in our industry and the ineligibility for Job Keeper, we will now start to see the true and highly damaging impact that this pandemic is going to have on the housing and construction industry over the next six to twelve months and beyond.

UDIA WA is calling for the Premier to use the National Cabinet process to influence the Morrison Government in implementing a time limited, direct stimulus for housing construction and then support it with a supplementary measure at the State level.

For more information, read our media release in full here.

MOU agreed between PACT, WA Police and Industry bodies

UDIA WA is pleased to announce we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Braven Group Services, Master Builders Association WA, the Civil Contractors Federation WA and the WA Police Force to launch the Partnership Against Crime Taskforce (PACT).

The aim of PACT is to curb theft on Western Australian construction sites and central to the program is an online crime reporting platform, where building and construction contractors can quickly and conveniently report crime that may previously have gone unreported. There is also a 24/7 phone number for members of the community to report crime and suspicious activity.

Braven will work with WA Police, ensuring all incidents are recorded, and sharing information that will assist in investigating the crime and improve the likelihood of the offenders being caught.

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said this was an important initiative given the obvious financial implications of theft and vandalism as well as it being critical to community safety.

“This pact not only addresses the significant cost impact of theft and vandalism, it adds a level of comfort for residents knowing that their street or neighbourhood is being closely monitored and any crime will be reported swiftly,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Braven Group Services Director Craig Pages-Oliver said partnerships such as PACT had enormous potential to reduce crime and provide a significant saving of police resources.

“PACT will provide a conduit for businesses and the community to report crime with minimal effort,” Mr Pages-Oliver said.

“This will mean more crimes are reported and we can build up a more accurate picture of the extent of construction industry crime.”

Latest edition of Urban Development Index released

On Tuesday, the latest edition of UDIA WA’s quarterly Urban Development Index (UDI) was released to members highlighting how the market fared over the first three months of the year.

This edition of the UDI also included analysis of the four corridors within the Perth Metropolitan Region and an overview of the Peel and Regional markets.

The March 2020 quarter land market data featured in this publication was largely unaffected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the virus’ emergence in late December 2019 on the global stage, the impact during the first quarter on Western Australian markets remained relatively limited. The true scale of the impact was largely unknown until late in the quarter, with the WA Government’s declaration of a state of emergency on the 16th March.

The UDI represented a 12% increase in land sales for the March 2020 quarter, and a significant 37% lift in sales over the full 12 months from March 2019.

Increased sales may be interpreted as early signs that the property market was headed for more positive growth during 2020, following five years of subdued activity.

Future editions of the UDI will represent the COVID-19 related impacts on the market more clearly and these figures provide important context for measuring that impact.

Please note, we have updated the UDI from the previous version sent out due to minor updates with some of the information received. To read the latest edition of the UDI, click here.

Latest edition of the Land Report published

The latest edition of the Land Report ran in The West Australian on Saturday 16 March and included a range of interesting and insightful articles informed by UDIA WA research and commentary.

The report featured the latest land market data from UDIA WA’s March Quarter Urban Development Index, providing a snapshot for readers on how the market performed over the three months.

A range of more broad industry related articles were also published in the report, including an overview of the placemaking movement from Town Teams Founder Jimmy Murphy as well as articles about the benefits of living by water; climate change in the development industry; and the latest EnviroDevelopment project to achieve the full 6-star certification.

To read the latest edition of the Land Report in full, click here.

TBB celebrating 50 years

Town Planning & Design firm Taylor Burrell Barnett (TBB) this year celebrates a special milestone, marking 50 years in business.

In half a century, our society has experienced changes beyond the imagination of all but the most visionary among us. We may lament the change or we may celebrate it; but if one thing is certain in this uncertain world, it is that change is inevitable. The Planning profession has a social responsibility within our society. It is at the heart of how our society evolves, physically, socially and economically.

Taylor Burrell Barnett has been a part of the planning and urban design landscape for half a century now; we have seen the change; we have been a part of the change; indeed, we have led much of that change. It is a significant milestone for any professional practice to reach, and TBB are extremely proud to now celebrate this achievement.

TBB recently launched its 50th Anniversary commemorative book that was produced specially to mark the occasion. The book highlights some of TBB’s more meaningful contributions to the shaping of communities over the last 50 years and offers some insights for planning the communities of the future.

“We are extremely proud of our achievements over such a long period of time and of the positive contribution we have been able to make to our state’s growth and development,” TBB Managing Director Lex Barnett said. “We have every intention of carrying on the good work and continuing the legacy of a professional practice founded on the values of integrity, authenticity and loyalty.”

If you would like a copy of the commemorative book please contact or visit to download the e-book.

We hope you enjoy.

Royalty rates for construction and industrial minerals fixed for five years

Late last week Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston announced that specific rate royalties applied to minerals used by Western Australia’s building and construction sector will remain at their current levels and not increase for the next five-years commencing July 1, 2020.

The unchanged rate royalties are Amount A (73 cents) and Amount B (117 cents).

Amount A includes aggregate, clays, dolomite, gravel, gypsum, construction use limestone, rock, (common) salt and sand; while Amount B includes: building stone, chemical use limestone, metallurgical use silica and talc.

Australian Building and Construction Commission – Industry Update, May 2020 Edition

The Australian Building and Construction Commission recently released its latest Industry Update including advice for tendering for Australian Government funded work.

The update also included details of a number of projects currently under construction using funding from the Australian Government with more than half of these subject to the Building Code.

For more information and to read the latest edition, click here.

Climate change, clean energy and water

The Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) recently launched an initiative that combines carbon emission goals and economic stimulus in a bid to meet challenges presented by climate change.

With a focus on stimulating innovation in industry to reduce carbon emissions, the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has opened the $9.28 million Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF). More information about this new department managed fund is available here.

Climate change impact on water supplies is a significant issue for Western Australia’s south west land division, one of the most-affected places in the world in terms of reduced rainfall.

Over the past three years the Western Australian Government, through DWER, has invested over $12 million in water carting and grants for new or upgraded strategic water infrastructure in dryland agricultural areas. In the past year about $1.5 million has been spent on 37 community water supplies in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern.

Unemployment on the way up

The seasonally adjusted WA unemployment rate increased from 5.4% to 6%, just under the national rate of 6.2%. April data shows there are now 82,800 unemployed persons in WA, with state underemployment also increasing to 201,900.

Comparatively, WA suffered the fourth largest decrease in employment after NSW, QLD and Victoria.

Weekly payroll update showcases WA’s struggles

Between the week ending 14th March (100th COVID-19 case in AU) and week ending 2nd May 2020 nationally payroll jobs decreased by 7.3% and total wages paid decreased by 5.4%.

WA suffered the highest drop in total wages paid decreasing by -7.0%, while payroll jobs fared better with the second lowest drop nationally of -5.9%.

The construction industry has experienced a -6.5% drop in payroll jobs for the same period from 14th March to the 2nd May, with an overall -2.25% decrease in total wages paid.

Comparatively the WA construction industry experienced a -5.9% decrease in payroll jobs and a -7.0% decrease in total wages paid, significantly higher than the national decrease of -2.2%.

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

  • Waste Reform consultation papers (here). Submissions close 15 July 2020:
    • Closing the loop: Waste reforms for a circular economy
    • Review of the waste levy
  • Public Comment on Infill Typologies
    • CRCWSC Infill Typologies Catalogue for informing better infill design is now available for public comment (here).

Need Fill? Surplus sand available

In the process of constructing the Roe Highway/Kalamunda Road grade separation project, Georgiou have obtained a large amount of surplus fill material, which would be ideal for consultants, planners, developers and other stakeholders that may have a use for this material for their projects.

The fill material can be obtained by getting in touch with Georgiou direct who can provide more information about the specific details. Depending on yours and the project’s requirements (timing, quality and the amount required), the fill may be free of charge or a fee may apply.

For further information or to make an enquiry about the fill material, contact Jason Fletcher on