From the CEO

No doubt you would have seen the announcement this week from Premier Mark McGowan regarding the mandated vaccination policy that sets dates for when different industries need to be fully vaccinated by.

For the building and construction industry, it is first vaccine by 31 December and fully vaccinated by 31 January as the Premier highlighted the critical nature of these industries. UDIA supports this move from the Government as it provides clear guidance around what needs to happen and confirms the vital role of our industry to the long-term longevity and success of our state.

We were also delighted to confirm the members of our three new Strategic Committees following our AGM last week. These committees will receive support and advice from our Standing Advisory Groups and nominations for these groups closed last Friday. As is always the case with our committees, we have been inundated with nominations from across the industry and the team will review each nomination before we look to finalise the makeup of those groups over the coming weeks.

Don’t forget to look out for The Land Report in this Saturday’s edition of The West Australian. UDIA provides the data that supports this publication that provides an essential overview to those either in the process of buying or thinking about buying land.

Finally, I am looking forward to seeing a number of members tomorrow for our Industry Luncheon looking at Delivering Thriving Neighbourhoods and this theme goes to the heart of what UDIA is all about – representing the industry that is creating communities for the future. It is sure to be an interesting and thought-provoking discussion.

Toby Adams

UDIA is delighted to welcome Toby Adams to our team in the new role of Executive Manager – Research.

Toby has recently relocated to WA after working for UDIA NSW as General Manager – Strategy & Economic Research. He is an urban geographer with over 22 years experience working within a range of private and public sector organisations across Australia.

Specialising in housing, demographic and urban development research, Toby has a particular research interest in the residential sector and has developed various analytical tools for strategic decision making, trend analysis and forecasting.

We are very pleased to have secured his services and look forward to sharing his insights with members in due course. Toby will be at tomorrow’s Industry Luncheon so feel free to say hello.

Housing Industry Forecasting Group

UDIA is a representative on the Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) which held it’s bi-annual meeting on Tuesday to discuss forecast dwelling commencements for the next year, two years and three years.

Discussion around the table focused on the continued impact of the building stimulus measures on commencements in WA and UDIA provided an update on the latest movements in the land market, highlighting how strong land sales have continued into the September 21 quarter.

Challenges to future dwelling commencements included uncertainty around population growth, the ongoing skills shortage impacting building and construction timeframes as well as cost blowouts due to supply chain disruption and subsequent materials shortages.

The updated HIFG report will be released publicly, including forecast dwelling commencements, next month.

Advantages of alternative building materials

Last Saturday the latest episode of Home in WA went to air with this episode focusing on the benefits of utilising modern methods of construction in new builds.

In the piece presenter Hans Bruechle interviews UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck and Offsite Construction’s CEO Jarrod Waring detailing the sustainability, affordability and flexibility benefits associated with this style of construction.

To view this episode, click here.

On the topic of alternative building materials and highlighting the advantages of timber frame construction, the State Government has announced that six new social housing properties in Banksia Grove being delivered using rapid timber-frame builds are nearing completion less than five months after construction began.

Construction on the homes started in June this year with completion originally forecast for January 2022. However, construction has been ahead of schedule, with all six homes due for completion later this month.

Once the homes are completed, families will be allocated from the Department of Communities’ (Communities) housing waitlist and tenants will be able to move in as soon as possible. The six homes were part of the Communities land development project in Banksia Grove in partnership with LWP Property Group Ltd.

New IWA Chair announced

UDIA WA would like to congratulate Nicole Lockwood on being announced as the new Chairperson for Infrastructure WA.

Ms Lockwood takes over from inaugural and outgoing Chairperson John Langoulant AO, who was recently appointed Western Australia’s new Agent General representing the State’s investment and trade interests in the United Kingdom and Europe region.

Ms Lockwood, who has served as deputy chairperson since IWA’s establishment in 2019, brings extensive experience in infrastructure planning and delivery through her previous board roles with Water Corporation, Horizon Power, Westport Taskforce and Infrastructure Australia.

Inaugural Board member Terry Agnew has been appointed deputy chairperson and Rebecca Tomkinson, current chief executive officer of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Western Australia, has been appointed as a new Board member.

The Board is overseeing the finalisation of Western Australia’s first State Infrastructure Strategy, with the draft strategy released in July.

UDIA looks forward to continuing to work closely with IWA on the finalisation of this strategy.

Committee Nominations close

On Friday nominations for the UDIA WA Standing Advisory Groups and Other Committees closed and once again we have been inundated with nominations from across industry.

Our policy team will now review all of the nominations to ensure we have covered the necessary skills depth across the various areas before finalising the groups and announcing the results in about a month’s time.

We would like to thank everybody who took the time to nominate for a position and we look forward to working with the new advisory group and committee members over the next two years.

We very much appreciate the time and expertise that current committee members have provided to us over the last two years and we look forward to formally thanking members at our official committee thank you function in late November.

DPLH Medium Density Advisory Group Meeting

UDIA WA took part in DPLH’s Medium Density Advisory Group Meeting this week, receiving a project update and in particular an overview of the outcomes of further design testing.

The next stage in the policy development process will be testing the cost and feasibility implications of the policy with industry.

UDIA looks forward to working with DPLH as part of the next testing phase and will keep members updated of progress.

Land Report this Saturday

This Saturday the latest edition of UDIA’s Land Report will be published in The West Australian. This bi-annual publication provides an update on the state of the land market in Western Australia using UDIA WA’s exclusive data from our Urban Development Index.

The new publication will show that land sales have picked up once again in the September quarter, increasing 35% over the quarter. While the 2,221 lots sold is a 35% reduction on the record land sales numbers recorded last year, it is very encouraging the numbers remain significantly higher than the same time in 2019.

Not only have sales numbers lifted this quarter, the average price of new land has also increased marginally by 5% over the quarter and up 11% compared with the September 2020 quarter figures.

For further insights into the land market in the September quarter, pick up your copy of The West Australian on Saturday for The Land Report and we will be releasing the full Urban Development Index publication to members next week which will include the full round up of results.

Become a key player in sustainable development

Are you a developer or consultant with an appetite for sustainable development? Join us on November 25th for a 3-hour webinar that is a direct stepping stone to becoming a certified EnviroDevelopment Professional (EDP) or certifying your own project.

The course offers the opportunity to gain knowledge of the EnviroDevelopment program and stay in touch with the latest trends and technologies in green communities across Australia.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become an EDP.

The course focuses on all facets of EnviroDevelopment program including the foundations, the technical standards, the certification process, the practical application and case studies.

To book now, click here and for more information email EnviroDevelopment Manager Taylor Hood on

Awards video

UDIA are delighted to share a highlights video of our 2021 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner which crowned the best and brightest from across the property industry in glitzy fashion in early September.

A big thanks goes to David Broadway and his team for putting this together and we hope you all enjoy looking back on what was an incredible night of celebration for our industry.

To view the video, click here.

Heritage Awards finalists announced

The finalists for this year’s Heritage Awards were announced this week with 31 finalists named.

Over 60 nominations were received for this year’s awards program, illustrating the high level of commitment from individuals and organisations to developing and celebrating the history of their local community.

The Heritage Awards, now in their 29th year, recognise outstanding contributions to conserving and protecting historic places for future generations, and celebrate innovative and exemplary practices in the interpretation and promotion of our State’s heritage.

Seven Western Australians have been acknowledged as finalists in the individual award categories for their voluntary or professional commitment to the heritage sector.

A Judges Award, and the lauded Gerry Gauntlett Award, will also be presented to one of the category winners in acknowledgement of their outstanding excellence in the field and commitment to preserving Western Australia’s history.

The 2021 Western Australian Heritage Awards ceremony will be presented on November 19. More information on the finalists can be found here.

Minutes: Reserve Bank Board Monetary Policy Meeting

Earlier this week the minutes from the RBA’s October Monetary Policy Meeting were released which confirm the decisions from the meeting to maintain the cash rate target at 10 basis points and the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances of zero per cent; maintain the target of 10 basis points for the April 2024 Australian Government bond; and continue to purchase government securities at the rate of $4 billion a week until at least mid-February 2022.

The meeting started with a discussion of international economic developments wherein members noted the increased economic activity following higher vaccination rates, however labour force participation was still well below pre-pandemic levels in a number of large, advanced economies, including the United States, the euro area and the United Kingdom.

Domestically, members noted that the rapid increase in vaccinations, particularly in states with outbreaks of the Delta variant of COVID-19, would see restrictions on activity eased sooner than previously expected.

Information from the Bank’s liaison program indicated that many firms were preparing for the lifting of restrictions, and timely indicators of household spending and hiring intentions suggested the recovery in activity and employment would be well under way by the end of the year. Nonetheless, members acknowledged that the recovery was likely to be uneven across the economy and that uncertainty would be a feature of the outlook for some time yet.

In considering the policy decision, members observed that the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 had interrupted the recovery of the Australian economy and the available data pointed to a material decline in GDP in the September quarter. However, the setback was expected to be only temporary, with the economy anticipated to bounce back as vaccination rates continue to rise and restrictions are eased.

In the central scenario, the economy would return to growth in the December quarter and to its pre-Delta path in the second half of 2022. Members also observed that the economic recovery was likely to be slower than in late 2020/early 2021. Much would depend on health outcomes and the nature and timing of the easing of restrictions on activity.

To read the minutes in full, click here.

Western Power’s first disconnected microgrid

This week Energy Minister Bill Johnston announced an opportunity for Western Australian businesses to explore the development of a disconnected microgrid pilot in the Mid-West, Wheatbelt or Great Southern regions.

Western Power is seeking registrations of interest to understand the capability and capacity of the market to develop a disconnected microgrid, which is a small, isolated network operating independently from the rest of the grid.

A modular network of remote power systems, including stand-alone power systems and disconnected microgrids may be a more cost-effective way to supply smaller regional communities in Western Power’s service area.

Western Power’s pilot could provide industry development opportunities for local manufacturers and providers.

For more information or to register interest, visit here.