Opportunity to feature in the Land Report

The next instalment of the UDIA WA Land Report is set to run in The West Australian on Saturday 24 October creating an important opportunity for our members to showcase their projects to an audience of 381,000 readers.

Following the Federal and State government housing incentives there has never been a greater focus on land and this edition of the Land Report will include exclusive data from the September quarter UDIA Urban Development Index that is sure to highlight the incredible demand that we have been experiencing.

The audience, made up of landbuyers and homebuilders, will have access to a wealth of information provided by the UDIA and the team of real estate journalists at The West Australian.

For more information, click here.

Perth City Deal finalised

Earlier this week UDIA welcomed the announcement of the Perth City Deal, worth $1.5 billion and set to unlock economic benefits and opportunities for the Perth CBD.

It is designed to re-energise Perth, bringing government and private investment into the CBD, creating almost 10,000 jobs while encouraging more people back into the city creating flow on economic benefits for small businesses.

The jewel in the crown of the deal will see a new university campus being built in the heart of the CBD as Edith Cowan University will move their law and business schools into the CBD, along with the world class Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

It is expected the move will bring more than 25,000 students and staff into the city and the construction of the campuses will bring over $1 billion of investment to Perth’s CBD. It is estimated this will create more than 4,100 construction jobs and nearly 1000 ongoing direct jobs.

Murdoch University will establish a vertical campus that will include partnerships with STEM, other higher education providers and an eSports stadium linking to Singapore and South East Asia. The campus will also include a digital futures academy, and Aboriginal CBD Centre, professional development and cultural activities.

Curtin University will develop an east end ‘historical heart’ development, building on their existing CBD campus and establishing a knowledge and innovation precinct in the CBD.

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said the injection of funds will assist in Perth’s ongoing transformation into a global city with a vibrant and diverse range of services, amenities and attractions.

UDIA WA has provided a consistent message to government that Perth needs to build a stronger reputation with a clear value proposition to attract more local and global investors and the City Deal assists with the development of Perth as a place that will attract interest from near and far in terms of wanting to do business in the CBD as well as those that want to come to visit or study.

Want to be in the next edition of The Urbanist?

Opportunities are now available for members to advertise in the upcoming edition of UDIA WA’s exclusive member magazine, The Urbanist.

The magazine is already building a strong readership due to the high quality, informative articles that it features.

This edition will focus on the upcoming State Election and the implications for the urban development industry. Articles will cover the planning and housing policies of the Government and Opposition, the best-case scenario for the industry, economic expectations for WA over the next four years and much more.

There are a limited number of advertising spaces available within this edition, so we encourage you to book your exclusive position early.

To view all of the advertising opportunities with UDIA WA, click here.

New Water Corporation Board Chair appointed

Ross Love has been appointed as the new chair of the Water Corporation’s Board.

The Water Corporation’s Board, in consultation with management, sets its strategic direction and ensures rigorous corporate governance standards are met.

Board members are appointed by the Governor of Western Australia, on the nomination of the Water Minister.

Mr Love’s appointment as chair of the Water Corporation board was effective from September 22, 2020 for a term until December 31, 2022.

David Lock, who has been a Board member since 2014 and Acting Chair since January this year, will remain on the Board as Deputy Chair.

Last chance to register for Future Proofing the Urban Environment

Registrations close tomorrow for our October breakfast looking at Future Proofing the Urban Environment.

This event provides an unmissable opportunity to hear from esteemed environment commentators on the merits and advantages of proposed environmental regulatory reform and its anticipated impact.

Join us as we hear from keynote speakers Darren Walsh and EPA WA Chair Tom Hatton who will deliver informative insights during an interactive Q&A panel discussion and bring you up to speed on all things environment.

For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Our thanks go to our environmental partner Strategen-JBS&G for sponsoring this event.

New legislation to create a fairer system for building and construction industry

This week new laws were introduced into State Parliament which are designed to bolster the confidence of all participants in Western Australia’s building and construction industry by ensuring payment is made on time.

The Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Bill 2020 introduces a mandatory retention trust scheme. This will protect subcontractors’ retention money from being misappropriated or lost altogether in insolvency at each level of the contracting chain.

The Bill also includes provisions to have registered building contractors with a history of ripping off subcontractors or engaging in ‘phoenixing’ activity by driving a construction business into the ground and then re-emerging with a brand-new business to be removed from the industry.

Further, it requires timely engagement in the payment process and imposes significant consequences for failure to do so. Principals will be required to pay head contractors within 20 business days of receiving a claim, and head contractors will be required to pay subcontractors within 25 business days or any lesser period in the construction contract. Payment claims for certain residential-related construction work will need to be paid within the date specified in the contract or 10 business days if there is no date specified.

New affordable housing developments underway near Wanneroo town centre

Construction has begun on two new affordable housing developments near the heart of the Wanneroo town centre.

The Hastings Quarter project features seven lots for development – two of which are well underway. Now Living was selected to construct 20 affordable apartments at 8 Shaw Road, while Terrace Homes WA will deliver 12 affordable townhouses at 11 Principal Street, Wanneroo.

The developments will provide an alternative to traditional larger lot, single detached housing in the suburb with innovative apartments, townhouses and terraces for families, couples, seniors and single occupant homebuyers.

The Principal Street development will increase home ownership and affordability in Wanneroo with 10 dwellings to be sold on the open market and two townhouses allocated for social housing.

The Shaw Road development will provide quality apartments to accommodate residents of all ages and family types, with 14 dwellings to be sold on the open market, two allocated for social housing and four for shared home ownership.

Both sites are expected to be completed in 2021. The remaining five lots will be developed and released over the next five years, subject to market demand.

Approval of Port Hedland West End Improvement Scheme No.1

Earlier this year UDIA WA provided a submission in response to the public advertising of the Port Hedland West End Improvement Scheme No. 1 and on 7 September 2020, in accordance with Section 87(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2005, the Minister for Planning approved the Port Hedland West End Improvement Scheme No. 1.

See here for a copy of the notice that appeared in the Government Gazette on 18 September 2020 and click here for the Scheme and supporting information.

Payroll tax exemption extended for JobKeeper payments

Tying in with the extension of the JobKeeper payment scheme, the State Government has announced Western Australian businesses will continue to be exempt from paying payroll tax on the scheme.

The original JobKeeper Payment scheme enabled eligible employers to claim a fortnightly payment for current and recently stood-down employees from 30 March to 27 September, 2020. This was subsequently extended by the Commonwealth Government until 28 March, 2021.

Payroll tax relief legislation was passed in April 2020 to provide a payroll tax exemption for subsidies under the original scheme. This legislation included the ability for the State Government to continue the payroll tax exemption if the JobKeeper Scheme was extended.

The new regulations mean Western Australian businesses will be exempt from payroll tax on JobKeeper wage subsidies paid from 28 September, 2020 to 28 March, 2021.

Lending figures hold firm in July

July saw the number of new owner-occupier housing loan commitments for the construction of dwellings increase 1.25% MoM (+1.8% YoY) in WA.

This increase was offset by the number of new housing loan commitments for the purchase of newly erected dwellings decrease by 1.85% (+19.55% YoY), however the number of new loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings increased 19.73% MoM (+12.87% YOY) and the number of new loan commitments for the purchase of residential land increased 90.91% MoM (+110.0% YOY).

The number of new investor housing loan commitments made for the construction of new dwellings decreased 8.11% MoM (29.17% YoY), the number of new housing loan commitments for the purchase of newly erected dwellings increased 10.0% MoM (-24.14% YoY), the number of new loans for the purchase of existing dwellings increased 14.45% MoM (+10.59% YoY), and the number of housing loans for the purchase of residential land increased 115.63% MoM (+30.19% YoY).

The number of new housing loan commitments by first home buyers increased 22.19% MoM (+20.59% YOY)

Opposition make local jobs guarantee

On Monday, Liberal leader Liza Harvey made a $50 million commitment over five years for a ‘Local Jobs Guarantee’ to be overseen by a Local Jobs First Commissioner.

This announcement forms the major focus of the Liberals in the lead-up to the March election.

As part of the scheme Ms Harvey said local suppliers within 125km of a project would be given preferential treatment on all State Government contracts through a local benefits test.

If a supplier is not available within that radius, then the boundary will be extended to the local region and finally extended statewide, if required. Contracts will only be awarded interstate or internationally when specific services were not available.

Awards for Excellence winner takes to the next stage

This week saw Broome’s Chinatown Revitalisation progress with the announcement of a lead contractor appointed to deliver Stage 2.

Georgiou Group has been appointed as preferred contractor to lead the $15.55 million Stage 2 program, which includes the Shire of Broome contribution of at least $3.6 million, will help strengthen, preserve and rejuvenate Chinatown as Broome’s cultural heritage, tourism, retail and entertainment hub.

Stage 1 of the project picked up the Urban Renewal award at the UDIA WA 2019 Awards for Excellence and Chinatown Stage 2 works will include extending the award-winning design themes of Stage 1 into Carnarvon Street, Short Street, Napier Terrace and Dampier Terrace.

Works are expected to start by November 2020.

Population figures up in March

Recent figures from the ABS revealed that as of 31 March 2020 Australia’s population was 25,649,985 people and included an additional 113,900 people over the quarter, a 0.4% increase and 357,000 additional people across the year, an increase of 1.4%.

38.2% of annual growth was due to natural increase, and 61.8% was due to net overseas migration.

All states and territories, except the Northern Territory, had positive population growth over the year ending 31 March 2020. Victoria had the highest growth rate (1.8%). The Northern Territory had the lowest growth rate (-0.2%).

As at 31 March 2020, WA’s population was 2,656,200 representing an increase of 39,600 over the previous year (+1.5% YoY).

Bleak result for job numbers

Nationally, for the June quarter the number of filled jobs in Australia decreased by 6.4% following a 0.1% fall in the March quarter (seas. adj.) while the overall total number of jobs decreased by 7.0% led by a 7.1% fall in the private sector and 1.9% fall in the public sector.

The total number of employed people also decreased by 5.4% to 12.8 million, while the number of multiple job holders decreased by 22.7%. As a result of these drops, the total national labour income decreased 0.6% to $258,913 million.

Within the construction industry total jobs decreased 6.7% QoQ (-3.0% for the June quarter 2019) compared to a 2.5% increase over the March quarter. The number of job vacancies decreased -44.1% QoQ (-9.6% for the June quarter 2019) compared to a 6% decrease over the march quarter.

In seasonally adjusted terms WA experienced the second biggest national decrease in employment growth in March and third biggest decrease in April and May, holding a similar pattern of growth in the upswing cycle ranking fourth in June, second in July and third greatest increase in monthly employment growth for the month of August.

Australia’s seasonally adjusted estimate of employment increased by 111,000 people in August 2020.

In original terms the national unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 6.9% (+1.6 percentage points YoY from .3%) and the underemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points to 11.8% (+3 percentage points YoY, up from 8.8%).

In original terms, the WA unemployment rate decreased 1.0 percentage points to 6.9% (+1.1 percentage points YoY, up from 5.8%), with the underemployment rate decreasing 0.8 percentage points to 10.4% (+0.4 percentage points YoY, up from 10.0).

UDIA requests for feedback

UDIA is working on submissions and responses in relation to the following.  Members are encouraged to provide feedback and comments to inform our submissions to policy@udiawa.com.au by the specified dates below:

WAPC Draft Operational Policy 2.4 – Planning for School Sites (here), closes 5pm 19 October – review has been an opportunity to improve strategic school site planning, address known issues on locational and physical site requirements for schools, and provide clarity and transparency on the methodology and application of developer contributions for public primary schools.