From the CEO

A profitless boom. Ouch.

That’s what we are experiencing here in Australia in development and construction according to RLB in the press today.

As we approach UDIA’s National Congress here in Perth next week with hundreds from industry gathering to hear from the country’s thought leaders on the key issues impacting our industry over the next year or two, we do so with a sense of trepidation as to what may lie ahead.

I’m looking forward to hearing from Mark Bouris AM. A few weeks ago he wrote “The government created this mess, now we’re paying for it. The increase in money supply over the last two years from the Reserve Bank was one of the most extraordinary in our economic history, and it’s why we are where we are now.” There are some that would draw parallels between this statement and the commentary here in WA about the building stimulus measures. As I’ve said before, hindsight is a wonderful thing. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t reflect and take learnings from unintended consequences.

The year ahead is also one of uncertainty and trepidation for our First Nations people, many of whom anxiously await the country’s response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart – which I encourage you to read here. Today our Prime Minister revealed the wording of one of the most important questions in Australia’s history on whether or not to support constitutional change to enshrine an Indigenous Voice in our Parliament. A very short, seemingly simple question with enormous weight behind the answer.

If you are one of the hundreds joining us next week, I encourage you to ask the hard and well-crafted questions not only of our speakers but of your industry fellows. The quality of our questions determine the richness and validity of the response and therefore guide the actions we take and the outcomes we achieve.

I also wish the WA finalists in the UDIA National Awards for Excellence the very best of luck as we reveal the winners at Crown Perth on Wednesday night. Regardless of the outcome, next week we will show the rest of the country that the best truly is in the West. And I couldn’t be more proud.

HAFF pass the right move to close affordable housing gap says UDIA

Following our evidence given at the Senate Economics Legislation Committee (the Senate Committee) Inquiry, UDIA National supports the recommendations to pass the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) Bill, the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council Bill and supporting amendments as the right move to close the affordable housing gap, boost housing supply and accelerate housing affordability.

Once enacted, the HAFF Bill would enable the Government to immediately activate investment from the critical $10bn Future Fund for affordable and social housing, design the investment mandate for delivering funds for housing and begin to target, monitor and manage housing supply around the country.

“This crucial milestone that will involve the entire market working together – Governments, CHPs and private housing providers –  in a shared objective to combat the chronic shortage of affordable and social housing.  If we don’t act now, we will soon see an irrevocable change to the demographics of our towns and cities, forcing young families to live further away from their support networks, skewing workforce participation and hobbling productivity,” said Maxell Shifman, UDIA National President.

Even to deliver the State and Federal Government promise of 50,000 houses over 5 years through the HAFF and the Accord, Government and CHPS would need to double their annual rate of affordable and social housing delivery. This is a significant issue as they are currently producing little over 8,500 dwellings a year.

There has never been a greater need to pump-prime housing supply. Even with housing demand crashing by 49% for greenfield land and new supply dropping by 40%, greenfield lot prices have risen by 20% on average. That is bad news for closing the housing shortfall, unless we start boosting development ready land immediately.”

The true falls in the greenfield completions data has been masked by the brought-forward productivity gains from Homebuilder 1 & 2 – which were critical to pulling Australia through the pandemic shutdowns. UDIA calls on all States around Australia to echo the Federal progress and move to incentive-based policies to boost dwelling supply.

The apartments sector, particularly in the capital cities, is where the supply battle will be won or lost.  The collapse in market supply and increasing costs are driving more demand to the social and affordable sector and the answer lies both in enabling apartment precincts with mixed tenure, just as much as the pipeline of development-ready land for the greenfield sector.

“UDIA National has recognised the impending crisis and is developing the Development Ready Land Pipeline metric that will enable Government to identify, manage and resolve barriers to housing supply.  We are keen to work with Government to formulate a HAFF investment framework that is critical to addressing the housing shortage,” said Mr Shifman.

WA set to host National Congress

The UDIA WA team are very excited to host the UDIA National Congress in Perth next week with the three-day event set to showcase the best and brightest that WA has to offer.

From the amazing line-up of world class speakers to the study tours that will highlight the best of the west before finishing with the UDIA National 2023 Awards for Excellence where we have a host of WA finalists set to battle it out for top honours this year.

We would like to pass our congratulations onto all of the finalists this year and we will be especially cheering for those representing WA including:

  • Rivermark by Hesperia
  • Beaumaris by Satterley Property Group
  • Canopy by Stockland
  • The Hales by Satterley Property Group
  • Golden Bay by Peet Limited and DevelopmentWA
  • Rosewood West Perth by Rosewood Care Group
  • Park Terraces by Celsius Property Group
  • Exchange at Curtin University by Curtin University
  • ABN Building by Hesperia

And our two individual finalists:

  • Tanya Trevisan in the Women in Leadership Award
  • Rachel Ezzard from Stockland in the Young Leaders Award

For more information about these finalists and all of the WA winners from the UDIA WA 2022 Awards for Excellence, check out our Awards for Excellence Winners Showcase magazine, here.

Our thanks go to the 2023 UDIA National Congress Presenting Partner nbn and all our valued sponsors and supporters who make this event possible.

Applications open for $80 million infrastructure fund to boost housing

This week the State Government started calling for applications for its inaugural $80 million Infrastructure Development Fund, which they say will help to remove barriers for new housing developments across Western Australia.

The Infrastructure Development Fund was established to unlock land and facilitate development and has three streams – a targeted apartment rebate, funding to unlock priority infill precincts and funding to support the delivery of regional worker accommodation.

Up to $10,000 per multiple dwelling is available to support new apartment developments in selected local government areas, METRONET Station precincts and Housing Diversity Pipeline sites.

The second funding stream is available to tackle more complex infrastructure bottlenecks and facilitate medium to high density housing projects in priority infill areas across metropolitan Perth, particularly where it is not feasible for a single developer or landowner to coordinate services for a broader precinct.

In addition, developers, landowners and local governments can also apply for funding through a third stream for proposed key worker accommodation projects within (or in the vicinity of) an existing regional centre, townsite or community.

The Infrastructure Development Fund will also unlock the potential of land identified through the State Government’s Housing Diversity Pipeline.

A number of proposals received for nine State Government-owned landholdings are currently under assessment including a combination of long-term ground lease, partnerships and build-to-rent models.

The Infrastructure Development Fund can support the cost of servicing these large parcels of land that have potential to deliver medium to high density housing close to existing and new train stations.

Funding has been allocated equally with $40 million available for metropolitan and regional WA projects. Apartment developments receiving funding under the program will be required to commence within two years of approval and complete construction within four years.

Applications are open for 18 months, until 6 September 2024. For eligibility guidelines and to apply, visit

Young Professional Perspective on Medium Density Code

UDIA WA are pleased to launch a new Outlook event that will provide the Young Professional Perspective on the Implementation of the Medium Density Code.

The recent release of the State Government’s Medium Density Code (the Code) has the potential to reshape our city, in both an infill and greenfield context.

Its application is far reaching and will impact numerous disciplines across both built form and greenfield sectors in the urban development industry.

This event will feature Georgia Young, Senior Planner at Hames Sharley, Lachlan McCaffrey, Development Manager at Stockland, Matt Delroy-Carr, Owner, Architect at MDC Architects and Nicholas Temov,  Principal Planner at Hames Sharley providing their views on how the Code will impact the industry.

As the long-term users, it is important for young professionals to come together to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the Policy’s implementation.

For more information and to book, click here.

Thanks to our Outlook Partners Cedar Woods and Parcel Property for supporting this event.

Members appointed to new Advisory Group on homelessness

The McGowan Government has appointed 17 community and Government leaders, experts and people with lived experience to the new Housing First Homelessness Advisory Group.

The new advisory group sees the consolidation of several homeless working groups into a single Housing First Advisory Group to the Minister, focusing on Housing First approaches to reduce rough sleeping.

The Housing First Homelessness Advisory Group is made up of 11 women and six men, who have expertise from a range of areas including tenancy law, front line support services, local government and Community Housing Organisations.

The membership also includes people with personal or family lived experience of homelessness and those who deliver or have delivered services in regional and remote areas of Western Australia.

The Group will support and guide implementation of All Paths Lead to a Home: Western Australia’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-30 (Strategy). It will provide advice to the Minister for Homelessness about reforms towards a Housing First and No Wrong Door approach across the homelessness sector, including addressing barriers in the system.

The Group, which will meet quarterly, will be chaired by Mr Mike Rowe, Director-General of Communities.

The 16 other members are:

  • Mr Andrew Brien, Chief Executive Officer, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder;
  • Ms Bettina (Tina) Ugle, Managing Director, Noongar Mia Mia;
  • Ms Cath Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Real Estate Institute of Western Australia;
  • Ms Corina Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Family Legal Service;
  • Mr Daniel Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation;
  • Mr David Pearson, Executive Officer, WA Alliance to End Homelessness and Chief Executive Officer, Australian Alliance to End Homelessness;
  • Ms Debra Zanella, Chief Executive Officer, Ruah Community Services;
  • Mr Jonathon Lake, Design Leader, Gresley Abas Architects;
  • Ms Jude Thomas, Director Place and Community, City of Mandurah;
  • Ms Kath Snell, Chief Executive Officer, Shelter WA;
  • Ms Kim Robinson, Program Support Officer Social Policy, WACOSS;
  • Ms Louise Olney, Director Building Communities, Minderoo Foundation;
  • Mr Michael Chester, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Uniting WA;
  • Ms Natalie Sangalli, General Manager, Housing Choices Western Australia Ltd;
  • Ms Samantha Drury, Chief Executive Officer St Bartholomew’s House (St Bart’s); and
  • Ms Sharon Gough, Chief Executive Officer, Indigo Junction.

For more information about the Housing First Homelessness Advisory Group visit the Department of Communities here.

Western Power Land Development Process Review

Further to our previous updates on Western Power’s process review (which considers all forms of land development and built form), it has reached a key milestone in completing both internal and external stakeholder engagements to understand issues and constraints with the current process.  UDIA has been heavily involved, including through our Infrastructure Standing Advisory Group.

This further insight has identified several opportunities for improvement to enable a more streamlined, efficient connection process. The most significant findings include:

  • The opportunity to conduct early strategic network planning to inform the Design Information Package (DIP) at each stage of a land development project.
  • An in-depth review of the Design Conformance Review (DCR) governance model to consider the implementation of an auditing arrangement.

The next phase involves detailed process mapping, with further engagement of the new draft process planned with key stakeholders for early May 2023.

Fight against coastal erosion continues with more than $3.5 million in grants now available

The State Government has called for applications for a further $3.56 million in funding as part of its fight to protect Western Australia’s coastline from coastal erosion.

The CoastWA grants program facilitates and supports coastal land managers to undertake strategic planning, implement sustainable adaptation options, and partner with community groups to undertake on-ground management activities.

Applications are now open for grants through the following programs:

  • Coastwest – up to $60,000 for projects that support education, conservation and protection of coastal areas;
  • Coastal Management Plan Assistance Program (CMPAP) – up to $200,000 to assist coastal land managers in preparing management plans;
  • Coastal Adaptation and Protection (CAP) – up to $400,000 for projects that preserve or enhance coastal assets for the community, and support adaptation to coastal hazards; and
  • Hotspot Coastal Adaptation and Protection (H-CAP) – up to $1.76 million to design and implement works on major projects at coastal erosion hotspots.

H-CAP was established to address 55 coastal erosion hotspots identified as being under threat in 2019 and has seen major works begin at Castletown Beach at Esperance, Sunset Beach at Geraldton and Port Beach at Fremantle.

Since 2020 more than $13 million has been invested by the State Government to support programs and initiatives that mitigate the impacts of coastal erosion. This form’s part of the State Government’s total investment of $33.5 million towards coastal erosion management.

Coast WA grants are a joint initiative between the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Department of Transport. Applications close on 3 April 2023.

To apply, visit here.

Last week for early bird rates

There is just a week left to take advantage of early bird rates for our upcoming Annual Golf Classic and our Built Form Development Course.

Our Annual Golf Classic is the development industry’s sporting highlight with this year’s event set to take place on the fairways and greens of the gorgeous Joondalup Country Club.

Grab your driver, your wedge, your putter and gather your colleagues & clients and get ready for a fantastic day on the green!

Registration includes:

  • 18 holes of golf across the stunning grounds at Joondalup Resort
  • Buggy hire
  • Pre-game food & beverages
  • On course snacks, BBQ lunch and drinks from the on course beverage carts
  • Post-game food & beverages at the evening networking function

Click here to register for our Golf Classic before early bird rates close on Friday 31 March

Early bird rates are also set to close on Friday 31 March for our Built Form Development course, our 2-day masterclass that teaches the practical elements of residential built form development; from site identification, feasibility analysis and assumptions, product design, and demographic analysis, to the delivery, titling, contracting and sales and marketing.

Real life examples, and plenty of life lessons, make this an excellent course for anybody wanting to get into medium to high density development, for those that are already in the industry wanting to grow their knowledge base, or for those that service the industry and wish to better understand a developers assumptions.

The only course of its kind currently being delivered in WA, this masterclass is tailored to the local development industry and presented by a leading industry practitioner. Offering practical and highly relevant content, this 2 day course will provide a comprehensive learning solution with valuable content is applicable for those just starting out /with limited knowledge, as well as those who have operated in this field but are seeking an up to date refresher on all elements associated with residential built form practices & processes.

Click here to register for the Built Form Course before early bird rates end on 31 March.

Driver training puts young construction workers on road to success

A new driver’s licence training initiative is removing barriers for young people training in the building and construction industry as part of the McGowan Government’s efforts to get more workers into construction.

The Construction Training Fund’s $1.26 million Driver’s Licence Training Support Program gives students the opportunity to obtain a driver’s licence while ensuring apprentices entering the construction workforce are job ready.

A driver’s licence is a key requirement for many construction roles. Access to a driver’s licence was identified as a key barrier to apprenticeship employment for young people at the State Government’s 2021 Skills Summit.

The pilot program offers standard driver training and supervision to help participants gain a valid Western Australian driver’s licence.

In addition, specialised training for driving in a construction environment, such as towing, safe management of vehicle loads, vehicle maintenance and driving in the sand will assist young people to develop awareness and skills in road safety and vehicle management.

The Driver’s Licence Training Support Program will be available to 120 students, with 18 students currently participating in the first cohort.

The initiative is open to Year 11 and 12 students in the Construction Training Fund Scholarship Program, to supplement their pre-apprenticeship training.

For more information visit here.