From the CEO

As I outlined last week, UDIA WA is focused on housing supply and affordability in the lead up to the State Budget in May.  Our Budget submission makes very clear and achievable recommendations on how the McGowan government can address what is shaping up to be a long term housing crisis.

At a national level, UDIA is also focused on supply and affordability in the lead up to the Federal Election, that is also likely to be held in May.  The UDIA Federal Election Campaign ‘A Plan for Prosperity’ was launched on Monday and it provides solutions aimed at supporting economic growth, creating jobs, addressing the affordability crisis and ensuring there is a home for all Australians across the housing spectrum.

The key focus of the campaign is ‘a home for everyone’ and I think this is really at the essence of what we should be aiming for when we talk about affordability and supply and the need for housing choice.  At the end of the day this is about providing homes for people and we cannot lose sight of that important goal.

As the pandemic rolls on and our Federal politicians are grappling with the recovery after major floods and a range of other challenges around the country,  this election campaign will be crowded with competing issues, all of which are important.  Our role will be to advocate for achievable policy and decision making that will make a real difference to the livelihoods of many Australians and we believe that should resonate with candidates on both sides.

A Plan for Prosperity – Federal Election Campaign launch

Earlier this week UDIA National launched its comprehensive 2022 Federal Election Campaign “A Plan for Prosperity” which provides real solutions to kickstart the economy, create jobs, address the affordability crisis and ensure there is a home for all Australians across the housing spectrum.

Throughout the next few weeks leading up to the Federal election, UDIA National will be featuring the six key policy priorities that we recommend the Federal Government focus on and ultimately adopt, as part of a program of actionable initiatives that are vital for all sides of politics to kickstart Australia’s economic recovery, whilst tackling the challenging issue of housing supply and affordability.

Many of the solutions in A Plan for Prosperity are relatively simple and inexpensive, such as streamlining administration, removing excessive planning delays and freeing up enabling infrastructure to deliver development ready land. The economic benefits of such measures outweigh any extra investment by orders of magnitude,” said Maxwell Shifman. “Without action, the looming affordability crisis will swallow everyone, from first homeowners, through to affordable rentals and vulnerable Australians relying on subsidised housing,” he added.

The UDIA National Policy Platform “A Plan for Prosperity” is available here.

UDIA National will be implementing a comprehensive media campaign in mainstream media and on social media.

The first in the series of media releases can be found here.

WA to return to level 1 restrictions

Earlier today WA Premier Mark McGowan announced WA would relax current COVID restrictions to level 1 settings from Thursday 31 March, including an increase from the 150-person limit on indoor functions to a 500-person limit.

This increased limit means registrations for our upcoming April Breakfast are once again open after we previously reached our 150-person capacity limit.

Our first Industry Breakfast for 2022 is set to shine a Spotlight on Strategic Decision Making by asking the question where to next?

We have an incredible lined of expertise including WAPC Chair David Caddy and Urbis Regional Director Karen Wright in addition to newly confirmed panel speakers Gavin Hawkins from Edge Visionary Living and Vicki Lummer from the City of South Perth!

The breakfast will review the success of the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) and contemplate how a more permanent body can be established to continue to provide a coordinated pathway for significant developments.

To join us for this increasingly important conversation, click here.

UDIA welcomes new councillor

UDIA WA are delighted to announce Justine Roberts GAICD has joined the UDIA WA State Council.

CEO and Founding Director of Kingston Development Group, Justine Roberts GAICD has deep and varied local, national and international development experience across almost every development typology within land and built-form development.

Over her 20+ year career, Justine has held senior executive leadership roles in a variety of Australian and American companies including that of General Manager of Webb & Brown-Neaves, Senior Project Manager of Ellenbrook and Vice President of leading USA Build-to Rent developers Carmel Partners LLC and ZRZ Realty. Justine has expertise with strategic plans for $2.5B organisations and has developed a healthy respect for risk, through holding full decision making responsibility for mega-projects and large, private companies.

Justine has specialist expertise in Build-to-Rent development having completed over 2,500 BTR apartments in the USA and BTR projects both here in WA and in QLD.

Further, through her work with the Department of Communities as former independent member of the Department’s Finance and Investment Committee and with Foundation Housing, Justine has a passion for creating beautiful and dignified crisis accommodation, social and affordable housing and homes for people with disabilities.

Justine is a Director of RUAH and an independent member of the investment committees for both Foundation Housing and Resi Fund. Justine holds degrees in Architecture (with honours) and Environmental Design from the University of Western Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

UDIA look forward to working with Justine and are excited by the knowledge and expertise she will bring to our State Council.

Initiatives to progress phase two of planning reform

This week the State Government opened consultation on a series of proposed changes designed to simplify and improve the Development Assessment Panel (DAP) system.

The proposed changes include:

  • reducing the number of panels from five to three – one covering the Perth CBD and inner metropolitan area, another one to cover the outer Perth metropolitan area and Peel region, and a final panel to cover all other regional areas;
  • establishing a Special Matters DAP, which will consider developments of State or regional significance;
  • scrapping mandatory thresholds for District DAPs; and
  • establishing fixed-term appointments for the presiding, deputy presiding and specialist members for three to five years.

There are no proposed changes to the appointment of local government representatives.

Once consultation has closed on the draft regulations and any modifications made to those regulations, both the District DAPs and the Special Matters DAP will commence as soon as practicable.

Public comment on the regulatory changes on DAPs is open until midnight, Friday April 22, 2022. For more information on the changes, click here and send all feedback to to support UDIA’s submission.

UDIA Advocacy in Action

On Tuesday, UDIA took part in DWER’s Regulatory Stakeholder Reference Group meeting receiving an update from the Department on the Streamline WA and Planning Scheme Amendment reform programs amongst other initiatives.

Similarly, UDIA also took part in the DPLH’s Metropolitan Region Scheme Review Stakeholder Reference Group meeting, discussing possible options for improvements and efficiencies within the MRS.

This week also saw the first of round two of UDIA committee’s and advisory group meetings take place with the Land Use Planning Standing Advisory Group meeting today. The Group discussed the recently released proposed amendments to the DAP Regulations, implementation of the Medium Density Housing Code and housing supply.

UDIA invites member feedback on any of these issues and we will continue to keep members informed of progress on these initiatives as we continue to advocate for practical solutions to the challenges facing the development industry.

Catch up on the latest releases from UDIA WA

At the end of last week UDIA WA released the latest edition of our monthly Urban Intelligence report, which details the key stats and facts impacting the development industry. In releasing this report, it was the latest in a series of research, policy or thought leadership publications UDIA WA has released since the start of 2022.

This month’s Urban Intelligence includes a feature article from Executive Manager – Research Toby Adams on the continued strength in the WA Housing Market.

To read the latest edition of the Urban Intelligence, click here.

Since the start of 2022 UDIA WA has produced the following publications for our members:

  • December 2021 Urban Development Index, available here.
  • Three editions of our monthly Urban Intelligence, available here.
  • The Urbanist #1 2022, available here.
  • EnviroDevelopment Showcase magazine, available here.
  • 2022 Policy Priorities, available here.
  • UDIA National’s State of the Land, available here.
  • 2022-23 WA State Budget Submission, available here.

Best practice consultation guidelines released

A best practice guide for community and stakeholder engagement on planning matters was also released this week by DPLH.

The Guide to Best Practice Planning Engagement in Western Australia has been informed by consultation with planning practitioners across industry, State and local government, and community groups, with aims to foster better planning outcomes by encouraging greater community and stakeholder participation.

Through a set of guiding principles, a six-step process, and various tools and templates, the guide is designed as a supporting resource to improve consistency and effectiveness of engagement processes and enhance opportunities for community members to contribute to planning proposals.

Find out more here.

UDIA National NHAA submission

At the end of last week UDIA National lodged a new submission in response to the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Review (NHHA).

The NHHA is a critical piece of inter-government collaboration to ensure Australians can access affordable, safe and sustainable housing across the spectrum.

As the Australian economy recovers post pandemic, the new NHHA must incentivise and coordinate delivery and access to housing across the spectrum from homelessness, affordable/social housing, through to at-market rental and home ownership.

In a complex, interconnected system like housing, unresolved problems have cascading effects across the housing spectrum. For example, shortages of suitable land to deliver new dwellings, drives up prices and ordinary Australians are forced to rent for longer at higher rates, inevitably pushing others into social and affordable housing. And on it goes.

Access to housing is impacted by a myriad of factors. With limited funds, it is critical for Governments to target factors that touch as many aspects of the housing spectrum as possible for the greatest impact.

The common thread impacting across the entire housing spectrum is the imbalance of supply and demand, which ultimately feeds into housing affordability. Balancing supply and demand across the housing spectrum will have the greatest impact on access to housing. The solutions touch all core concerns of the NHHA and provides cumulative benefits by reducing pressure on government social programs.

For more information and to download the submission, click here.

Publication of new clearing permit fee waivers and refunds guideline

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has published a new guideline outlining when DWER may grant a native vegetation clearing permit applicant’s request for a waiver, reduction, or refund of their application fee.

A copy of the finalised Guideline: Clearing permit application fee refunds, waivers, and reductions may be accessed here.

Public consultation on the draft of this guideline was undertaken in March 2020.

A consultation summary report summarising the feedback received and DWER’s response is also available via the above link.

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

Underground Distribution Schemes (UDS) manual review deadline extended

Western Power advised this week that stakeholders will now have until Thursday the 31st of March 2022 to provide feedback and propose changes to the Underground Distribution Schemes (UDS) manual that has been listed for a full review.

This manual contains the information required by developers and their electrical consultants to allow them to undertake the electrical reticulation of new subdivisions.

This review helps ensure that the network distribution and design information provided is up to date. We’re ensuring the network configuration continues to meet customer and regulatory benchmarks.

For more information and view a copy of the manual, click here and to provide feedback simply complete and return the response form via email to by Thursday 31 March 2022.

Understanding what attracts new residents to smaller cities

New research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) examines key drivers of migration flows and settlement patterns across Australia, and identifies key barriers to and opportunities for greater population decentralisation.

This study uses data visualisation techniques to develop a high-level visual understanding of how migration flows have varied historically across different sub-populations, undertakes a macroeconomic analysis of migration patterns as a function of their local economy, infrastructure and natural environment, and develops a microeconomic model of individual preferences for settlement in different urban and regional centres.

In general, roughly three-quarters of those surveyed by the study are willing to move to a mid-sized city under the right circumstances. On average, respondents perceive mid-sized cities to offer significantly better quality of life, and large cities to offer better access to employment and education opportunities, and urban amenities.

For more information and to download the full research, click here.

Built Form PD Course – new date

UDIA’s extremely popular Built Form Professional Development course with Danielle Davison is currently open for enrolments but spaces are limited and selling out fast.

This two-day course 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, 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 developer’s assumptions.

This masterclass is tailored to the local development industry and presented by a leading industry practitioner and UDIA WA Awards head judge Danielle Davison. Attendance to this course attracts 7 REBA CPD points if applicable.

Set to take place on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 May, registrations can be made here.

S&P Global rates WA a world leader for financial ‘outperformance’

This week S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ‘positive outlook’ on WA’s AA+ rating long-term issuer credit rating.

In highlighting its positive outlook for WA, S&P global refers to WA’s overall fiscal balance as “strong” despite the global pandemic and the largest infrastructure investment program in history.

The ratings agency expects WA’s debt-to-revenue ratio to continue to decline over the next few years, in stark contrast to the rising debt of many peers as a result of ‘prolonged lockdowns that necessitated extensive fiscal outlays’.

Updated requirements for entering UDIA WA office

As Perth, Peel and beyond begin to experience an increase in Omicron cases due to community transmission, it is more critical than ever to ensure that UDIA WA takes all the necessary steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

The WA State Government has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for many Western Australian workplaces. Further to consultation and endorsement from UDIA WA Staff and Council, UDIA WA has implemented a new COVID-19 Vaccine Policy that requires all workers and visitors to be fully vaccinated prior to entering the workplace premises in Subiaco. This means that all personnel conducting work at the UDIA WA workplace must have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

From 31 January 2022, all visitors to the UDIA WA workplace (Level 1, 3 Wexford Street, Subiaco) will be required to allow a staff member from UDIA to sight their vaccination status or proof of exemption. Anyone who doesn’t show evidence when requested will be denied entry.

In line with Western Australian government health directions, our event venues could also start to introduce mandatory entry requirements.

Crown Perth have stated that as of 31 January 2022 all visitors (aged 18 years and over) to the Casino and Pearl Room and visitors (aged 16 years and over) to all other venues including hotels, Crown Spa and events and conferencing facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Crown Perth will request official proof of vaccination or medical contraindication certificate for guests wishing to gain access to these venues. Entry will be denied if official proof of vaccination or a medical contraindication certificate cannot be presented.

Please ensure you keep an eye on our event pages for any venue entry mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.

Please note that in line with the State Government policy, the requirement to manage the COVID-19 vaccinations for your organisation’s personnel solely resides with your organisation.

Further information from the State Government can be accessed via the following link here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Access to UDIA WA website changed

Access to the UDIA WA website recently changed as part of our aim to provide exceptional member services.

UDIA WA has invested in new technology that will integrate our member database with our website and online event registration capabilities with our new UDIA WA online Community Portal providing our members with seamless, integrated services and up to date information at the click of a button.

As part of the change all login details for the website were removed and each member organisation’s Key Representative was granted access initially and the Key Representative can now provide access to a further 2 representatives for their organisation.

All the necessary information was emailed to Key Representatives last week and can be accessed here for more information.

Once active the UDIA WA Community Portal includes exclusive member only access to:

  • Urban Express weekly news
  • The Urbanist quarterly magazine
  • The Urban Development Index quarterly market update
  • The Urban Intelligence economic data report
  • UDIA WA Members Directory listing details of all UDIA WA members
  • UDIA WA Diversity Toolkit
  • Relevant governance documents including the UDIA WA Annual Reports and Constitution
  • Ability to update you and your organisations details

For more information or any queries, email