UDIA WA lodges DAP reform submission

UDIA WA has made a formal submission on behalf of our membership to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage in relation to the proposed reforms to Development Assessment Panels.

While we have provided our strong support for the success of Development Assessment Panels in relation to improved decision making on complex development applications, UDIA WA has outlined several concerns in relation to the proposed draft regulations. Primary concerns raised are in relation to the appointment of presiding members; failure to replicate aspects of the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU); SMDAP membership and application criteria.

The draft regulations are out for public consultation until COB Friday 22 April.

Our full suite of UDIA WA comments and recommendations can be read in our submission here.

Home Guarantee Scheme caps raised

UDIA National welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to extend the house price caps within the Home Guarantee Scheme earlier this week, assisting more Australians to purchase a home.

The new capital city and regional city price thresholds will apply from 1 July and boost the cap by $100,000 in each of those cities. The regional centres definition includes cities with a population over 250,000, recognising that dwellings in regional centres can be more expensive than other regional areas.

According to the Government, the new price caps for regional areas will ensure that the supply of new builds in regional Australia is supported, helping ease supply constraints that are being felt outside of the major cities. The adjusted caps will also assist in accommodating larger families under the Family Home Guarantee.

The capital city price thresholds apply to regional centres with a population over 250,000, recognising that dwellings in regional centres can be more expensive than other regional areas. Regional centres include: Newcastle and Lake Macquarie; Illawarra (Wollongong); Geelong; Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

To participate, borrowers will still have to meet the usual loan and repayment assessments from their financial institutions. This ensures that home buyers are protected against entering into a loan arrangement that could result in substantial hardship.

The new price caps will come into effect on 1 July 2022. Information on how to apply, eligibility requirements and the participating panel of lenders is available on the NHFIC website.

Bold migration targets needed to secure long term economic growth

Border closures during the COVID freeze on immigration will wipe $17.9 billion off economic growth by 2025 unless political leaders immediately support initiatives to close the population gap, according to new commentary on the Federal Election released by UDIA National.

Migration remains intrinsic to Australia’s history and prosperity. It has helped power our economy, improve our global competitiveness, it supports the growth of new markets, balances our demographic profile, fills knowledge and labour gaps and sustains the tax base. Population growth was at the core of our global record of 28 years of uninterrupted economic growth, until we felt the impacts of COVID lockdowns.

However, the Centre for Population estimates Australia’s population will be 1.1 million lower by 2031 than pre-COVID forecasts.

“While Australian Governments took measures to underpin jobs and protect incomes during the pandemic, it doesn’t alter the fact that we have lost two years of positive economic uplift from immigration,“ said Maxwell Shifman, UDIA National President.

“UDIA analysis shows that there is a direct and positive correlation (+0.7) between increases in migrant intake and growth in GDP per capita. Equally, a fall in migration rates puts severe downward pressure on economic growth leading to declining national productivity across all businesses and less jobs,” he added.

More here.

Medium Density Housing Code update

Last week UDIA’s Land Use Planning Standing Advisory Group received an update from the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage on the status of the Medium Density Housing Code and discussed possible options regarding the implementation of the Code and its transitional arrangements. UDIA greatly appreciates the project update provided by the Department to our members and looks forward to continuing to work together to ensure the successful implementation of the code following its anticipated release towards the end of the year.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 co-design process

Before the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 comes into operation, the Government needs to develop the regulations, statutory guidelines and operational policies to support the new Act and ensure it will have its intended effects.

UDIA WA has been invited by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to participate in a facilitated two-day work

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together representatives from organisations that will play a key role in implementing the ACH Act to put forward their views on matters being co-designed.

If members have any initial feedback to share with our team prior to our participating in the workshop, please get in touch at policy@udiawa.com.au

Gain lessons from our leaders

UDIA’s Outlook group is pleased to host our annual Lessons from the Leaders event on Thursday 19 May.  This event is always a popular opportunity for young professionals to meet and learn from a range of leaders with a breadth of experience across our diverse industry.

The format of the event allows for participants to talk directly with our leaders in a ‘round table’ style discussion with the opportunity to ask questions that are industry specific or in relation to career development and professional advice.

To find out more about the participating leaders and to register for this event, see here.

New guidelines released – DWER

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has published the new Guideline: Applications for a permit to clear native vegetation relating to carbon farming projects.  It provides guidance on matters that the department will consider when making a decision on a clearing permit application which relates to a registered carbon farming project.

A copy of the Guideline may be accessed here.

If you have any queries about the new guideline, please contact DWER’s Native Vegetation Regulation branch by phone on (08) 6364 7098 or via email to info@dwer.wa.gov.au

RBA minutes released

The latest RBA minutes reflect members concerns that the combination of high inflation, declining real wages, rising interest rates and falling consumer sentiment has clouded the near-term outlook for global growth. While measures of consumption and business conditions in advanced economies had been resilient to the Omicron outbreak, global growth forecasts had been revised downwards notably since the invasion of Ukraine.

At a local level, it was noted that shortages of materials and labour across the country had contributed to delays and rising costs in the construction industry. This had affected activity in both residential and non-residential sectors. The RBA also notes that despite challenges, a large pipeline of residential construction activity and public infrastructure projects remain.

More details about the latest decision to keep interest rates on hold can be found here.

Opportunity to source an intern

Integrated Graduate Pathways (IGP) is a Curtin exclusive program which offers small-medium sized enterprises the opportunity to connect with Curtin Science and Engineering penultimate year students through a summer internship and professional skills development.

IGP is open to undergraduate students across many disciplines, including agriculture, environment and sustainability; engineering and mining; physics, chemistry and mathematics; and IT and computing.

Expressions of interest from interested industry partners close on 6 May 2022 with the selection process occurring from June 2022. More information here.