East Wanneroo District Structure Plan Submission

At the end of last week UDIA WA delivered a submission about the East Wanneroo District Structure Plan (EWDSP) detailing some strategic concerns to be addressed prior to its adoption.

The draft EWDSP is a critical document, setting out the framework for rezoning land; identifying future infrastructure needs; pinpointing future activity centres; recognizing conservation and heritage areas; and proposing public transport requirements.

The submission in response to the EWDSP was split into three main sections, which detailed UDIA’s concerns regarding Infrastructure Provision, Hydrology and Groundwater Management and Environment.

Within the Infrastructure Provision section the submission raised concerns around the absence of funding details within the EWDSP as well as the absence of any infrastructure funding detail or guidance.

Alongside this, the submission highlighted that the proposed dwelling yields appear to be overly optimistic, which will undermine the EWDSP’s objectives and the long-term sustainability of infrastructure within East Wanneroo. There is also a concern that efforts to minimise the impact of infrastructure on development yields, and therefore total development costs, have not been appropriately identified or considered by the EWDSP.

Among the recommendations to alleviate these concerns the submission suggested the application of Development Contribution Schemes is limited to the EWDSP’s development precincts to ensure the need and nexus principle of SPP3.6 is fully satisfied; that State and Federal Government Funding be sought to support the delivery of infrastructure within the EWDSP sub-region; and that infrastructure corridors use land efficiently and are thoughtfully designed to minimize development costs.

Regarding Hydrology and Groundwater Management the submission highlighted that the management of East Wanneroo’s water resources and the transition from water intensive land use to urbanisation presents significant opportunities and challenges for the EWDSP. There was also a particular concern highlighted regarding the accuracy of the groundwater modelling used within the EWDSP as the PRAMS model used is not generally used for assessing urbanization outcomes and raises legitimate concerns around the accuracy of modelling forecasts. Added to this, very little information is provided with respect to the PRAM model, its calibration, scenario and final results. Therefore, it is not possible to undertake a robust technical review of the model’s outcomes.

Recommendations for Hydrology and Groundwater Management included a request for the modelling inputs and parameters used to be made fully available and proposed further groundwater modelling exercise(s) be undertaken using a fit-for purpose, refined model that will accurately account for land-use change and outline the potential implications for future development. Other recommendations included a request that consultation is undertaken with the development industry to ensure the accuracy of parameters and inputs used to calibrate groundwater modelling.

In terms of environmental issues the submission noted that, if appropriately implemented, the proposed rehabilitation strategy could improve the condition of the Pinjar complex vegetation as well as potentially expand its current extent within foreshore reserve areas. The EWDSP highlights ‘Priority Areas for Further Investigation’ but future open space in the DSP are not identified within this. As such, the submission requests confirmation that this position has been discussed with the EPA / EPA Service branch of DWER to confirm they support the loss of some Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) vegetation. If this is not supported, UDIA recommends that the priority areas also be identified as potential parklands subject to further investigation.

The recommendation for the Environment was that State and Federal funding should be sought to assist the rehabilitation of native vegetation.

On the whole UDIA is supportive of the East Wanneroo District Structure Plan in that it outlines an exciting future for the East Wanneroo area but we encourage the need for these potential challenges be addressed before the plan is finalised.

To read the submission in full, click here.

Finalisation of committees nearly complete

UDIA WA is the process of finalising our committees and has started sending out correspondence regarding some of the committees.

While one or two committees are awaiting final deliberations and confirmations, UDIA has been able to complete most and we are looking forward to a productive two years working with these new committees.

UDIA would like to extend our thanks to all committee nominees and we pass our congratulations to all successful new and returning committee members.

Latest Urban Intelligence released

The latest edition of UDIA’s monthly Urban Intelligence report was released on Tuesday and revealed some encouraging results for the Pilbara property market that might suggest a similar uptick in the Perth property market over the coming year.

This edition also highlights a correlation between WA’s Gross State Product (GSP) and house approvals, with previous trends highlighting a two-year lag between the two.

As of June 2017, WA’s GSP hit its lowest point before starting to rise again which suggests a similar rise might well be in the offing for house approvals, backed up by consecutive quarterly increases in the number of land sales figures in the June and September quarters 2019.

To read the full Urban Intelligence, click here.

UDIA WA CEO returns to The Big Issue

For the second year running UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck will be taking to the streets of Subiaco to sell copies of The Big Issue as part of the CEO Selling campaign.

The Big Issue magazine is sold on streets around Australia by people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage. CEO Selling, held during International Vendor Week, is an annual event that celebrates the vendors who are working hard to change their lives.

Tanya will be based at 4 Wexford Street, Subiaco on Friday February 7 and would welcome your support for this worthy cause. Each copy of The Big Issue costs $9 and proceeds from Tanya’s sales will be used to support the Vendor Support Office in Western Australia. The office holds events such as fortnightly breakfasts for vendors. Like many vendors, Tanya will be part of The Big Issue’s digital revolution, taking credit card payments via tap-and-go and the mobile app Beem It.

For more information, click here.

API’s new approach towards solving professional indemnity crisis

The Australian Property Institute Valuers Ltd (APIV) has introduced a new two-tier cap approach to professional liability within its industry-leading Professional Standards Scheme.

The introduction of the two-tier cap approach to liability within the Scheme will ease the professional indemnity problem and improve consumer protections and help secure the ongoing viability of the property profession as a whole, according to API CEO Amelia Hodge.

The first tier of caps comprises seven categories which relate to ‘low risk’ valuations of real property – that is, valuations which present little risk of being subject to legal action.

The second tier applies to real property valuations that are not considered low risk. This tier categorises an APIV member’s maximum liability per claim and the minimum professional indemnity (PI) cover required for their next PI policy, based on the highest single valuation they completed in the 12 months immediately prior to the inception of their current PI policy.

For more information and to read the full media release from the API regarding this, click here.

Collie to be home to first-of-its-kind training facility

As part of efforts to diversify Collie’s economy and create more jobs, the State Government has delivered $2.7 million to WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings to create the southern hemisphere’s first Caterpillar autonomous technology training facility.

The initiative is designed to encourage  people from all over the world to visit the town to use the facility and in turn support the local economy.

The training facility will be located at Coolangatta Industrial Estate and will deliver training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment.

It is expected to train approximately 204 students during the first year of operation and is projected to grow to 320 students in its third year, delivering training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment and to support the growth of this technology in mining.

New WAterWays Masterclass Series

New WAter Ways has announced it will be running a Masterclass series this year aimed at providing stakeholders with more of the soft skills required to deliver water sensitive development outcomes.

Starting on February 19, the Masterclass series is made up of four sessions taking participants on the journey from planning for resilient and liveable cities and towns through to collaboration, building a business case and communication.

The Masterclass series will hear from a variety of expert presenters and was developed by Clearwater and Monash University and have been customised for WA.

For more information, click here.

WA data assists with bushfire response

Landgate has provided data in the form of topographic maps of Western Australia to the Australian Defence Force to support Operation Bushfire Assist in the event WA is severely impacted by bushfires for the remainder of this bushfire season.

The maps provide a summary of the landscape and terrain while displaying important physical (natural and man-made) features including road names, contours, spot heights, cities, towns and buildings.

They are particularly useful in remote areas where terrain and lack of internet access can affect operations on the ground.

National datasets for areas burnt during the current fire season have also been provided to support the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy in carrying out environmental impact analyses, and Landcare Australia in their community group recovery efforts.

WA’s visitor numbers and spend hits new heights

The number of visitors to WA and their spend has reached an all-time high according to the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia.

In the year ending September 2019 WA had 2.87 million out-of-state (international and interstate) visitors as recorded in the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visitor survey (IVS) released at the end of last week.

The number of total overnight visitors was 11.8 million people who, together with day-trippers, spent $10.9 billion in the State – an increase of 17.9 per cent on the previous year. Of this, $5.2 billion (48 per cent) was spent in regional WA.

International holiday visitors were the highest on record for Western Australia, with the number increasing by 13.2 per cent to 521,800 – the highest amount of international holiday visitors WA has ever seen.

International holiday spend was also the highest WA has ever seen, with a year-on-year increase of 25.2 per cent to $870 million. As a result, total international visitor spend in WA increased by seven per cent, to $2.31 billion.

The NVS results revealed WA had 1.9 million interstate visitors in the year ending September 2019, an increase of 22.7 per cent on the previous year. These visitors spent $1.94 billion, with both figures the highest on record.

Of those interstate visitors, 478,000 came to WA for a holiday – a 9.6 per cent increase on the same time last year – and spent $822 million.

The NVS also showed growing numbers of Western Australians are holidaying at home, with intrastate holiday trips increasing by 15.1 per cent to 3.79 million – the highest figures on record – and corresponding spend up 17.2 per cent to $2.3 billion.

To view the detailed NVS and IVS results for the year ending September 2019, visit here.

Open for public consultation: Town of Victoria Park draft revised LPP 29

The Town of Victoria Park is currently looking for feedback on its Draft Revised Local Planning Policy 29 – Public Art Private Developer Contribution.

The Draft Revised LPP 29 was created following a review that was presented to the Town of Victoria Park Council and is looking for comment from organisations or individuals that may be affected or have an interest in the delivery or development of public art, particularly where it is facilitated through the private development process.

The draft revised policy is available for comment until Thursday, 6th February 2020. For more information, click here.

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 policy@udiawa.com.au

  • Environmental Protection Act 1986 amendments consultation (here). Submissions close January 28, 2020.
  • Native Vegetation in Western Australia Issues Paper (here). Submissions close February 10, 2020.
  • Draft Position Statement: Special Entertainment Precincts (here). Submissions close February 14, 2020.

Employment market showing strength

December saw the WA unemployment rate continue to decrease, falling 16 basis points (bps) month-on-month (MoM) to sit at 5.3% (5.4% seasonally adjusted). This was down 99bps from the same time the year prior and the lowest rate since June 2019 (5.3%).

In addition, the number of employed persons in WA increased marginally on a monthly basis to sit at 1.365 million, up 1.3% year-on-year (YoY).

Both of these figures are moving in the right direction for a strong and sustainable Western Australian economy and it is hoped this result in an uptick for the property and development markets.

Lending Indicators suggest a struggling market in November 2019

The latest figures from the ABS for November 2019 show first home buyer (FHB) housing finance commitments fell 3.4% month on month (MoM) to 1,183, which was 8.4% down Year on year (YoY) and formed 12.2% of the national total (9,729 (-2.6% MoM; +1.1% YoY)).

Added to this, the value of housing finance commitments made by FHB in decreased 0.7% MoM and 2.3% YoY to $411.2 million, making up 10.1% of the national total ($4.063 billion (+2.1% MoM; +16.3% YoY)).

The number of housing finance commitments made by investors (excluding refinancing) also fell 10.7% MoM to 685. While the value of these commitments increased 1.4% MoM to $236.4 million, this was still 9.0% down from the same time in 2018.

The number of total owner-occupier housing finance commitments (exc refin) decreased 3.1% MoM to 3,055. The value of total housing finance commitments (exc refin) increased 10.2% MoM and fell 3.7% YoY to $1.160 billion.

Gail Kelly confirmed for UDIA National Congress

Former CEO of St George Bank and Westpac Group Gail Kelly has been confirmed as the latest speaker added to the UDIA National Congress line up in Sydney.

Set to speak in the closing session on Wednesday March 18 Ms Kelly is the author of Live Lead Learn which charts the life and leadership journey of the first female CEO in a big four bank in Australia.

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