From the CEO

Early, authentic engagement is key in navigating and responding to the fast approaching requirements under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 (ACH).

That was the advice almost 300 UDIA members received this morning from Irene Stainton, the Co-Chair of the newly established Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council who joined Anthony Kannis from DPLH, Belinda Moharich also a member of the ACH Council and John Clifton from DevelopmentWA as we discussed the roll out of the Act which commences on 1 July.

The vast majority of UDIA developer members will be impacted by the ACH Act. In essence, the key premise of the Act is that it assumes ACH exists on your landholding until a Due Diligence Assessment proves otherwise for any site over 1,100sqm in Western Australia. It also provides traditional owners and knowledge holders with a voice and authority to approve any development that may impact ACH under new Local ACH Services currently being established.

There are three tiers of activity based on the level of ground disturbance, of which the vast majority of development activity will fall into Tier 3 – moderate to high level ground disturbance which will require both a Due Diligence Assessment and an ACH Management Plan. If your organisation is not yet up to speed on the ACH Act and the new requirements, I implore you to prioritise it as it will have a significant impact on the way you operate.

To help you determine what you need to consider moving forward, UDIA has prepared a customised guide for developers that has been reviewed by DPLH based on all of the information that is available at this time. We will continue to update the guide as and when further detail is provided. UDIA is also providing feedback to PWC who have been engaged by DPLH to determine the volume of applications to anticipate from 1 July in order to ensure appropriate resourcing and timely approvals.

UDIA will continue to keep you informed as the roll out of the Act progresses and we welcome your feedback or questions as you work through the implications for your projects moving forward.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Breakfast

This morning close to 300 guests joined us for our Industry Breakfast focusing on the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.

The breakfast saw informative presentations from DPLH Director General Anthony Kannis, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council Co-Chair Irene Stainton and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council Member Belinda Moharich before DevelopmentWA’s John Clifton joined the speakers for an engaging panel session.

The Breakfast was kicked off by Len Collard who provided an encapsulating Welcome to Country before presenting UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck with a ceremonial Message Stick to mark the occasion on which we met this morning.

Following Len’s Welcome, the three speakers provided an overview of the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage framework, with the new Act coming into effect on 1 July 2023. The constant theme running through the presentations was that while changes are coming, the basic premise of respect and open, collaborative engagement will still be an integral part of interactions and communication with the Traditional Owners of the Land.

During the panel session UDIA WA received over 40 questions from the audience, many of which were answered on stage, however we will be following up on all questions with DPLH in order to provide comprehensive responses in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, UDIA WA have produced A Developer’s guide to the new framework for protecting and managing Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, which is an overview for our members to understand the implications of the changes and what they will need to do to comply with the ACH Act from 1 July. Click here for more information.

If any members are interested in learning more about UDIA WA’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, through either supporting our actions or joining the group, please contact Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak:

UDIA WA welcomes Isaac George

We are pleased to advise that Isaac George will be joining the UDIA WA team on Monday, 1 May in the role of Policy Officer.

Isaac has a Bachelor of Commerce, Double Major in Accounting and Business Law.  Over the past three years he has been working in indirect taxation for Grant Thornton and PwC, and as a Policy Analyst for Energy Policy WA.  His taxation experience has included working with clients in the property sector on projects relating to Build-to-Rent, stamp duty and GST.

In addition to research, policy and data analysis, he is experienced in stakeholder management and project management.

Isaac will be working closely with our policy committees and supporting the preparation of submissions.

UDIA WA in Action

This week sees the end of the latest round of committee meetings with the Economic Strategic Committee set to convene tomorrow.

Earlier this week the UDIA WA State Council met to discuss the 2023 Policy Priorities as well as the Corporate Strategy set to guide the institute into the future.

At the end of last week the Outlook Committee fine tuned the details for our upcoming event that will highlight young professional’s perspective on the implementation of the Medium Density Design Code and two pieces of work that they will be assisting the Economic Strategic Committee and Built Form Standing Advisory Group with.  These pieces relate to demonstrating the cumulative impact of the multi-layered costs imposed on built form development and the cost implications of a poorly coordinated regulatory environment for the provision of crucial housing supply.

For more information and to register for the upcoming Outlook event, click here.

State Planning Policy Roadshows and calls for feedback

As part of the public consultation process for the State Planning Policy 3.7 Bushfire (SPP 3.7) and the Planning for Bushfire Guidelines (the Guidelines) the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) will be conducting several roadshows in regional and metropolitan areas.

It’s anticipated that sessions will be held in Perth, Geraldton, Albany, Bunbury, Broome, Margaret River, and online during May and early June 2023.

The roadshows are for Local Governments and industry stakeholders to hear about the key changes to the new policy framework and to ensure that comprehensive feedback on the draft policy is captured.

If you interested in attendee one of these roadshows, click here and complete the registration form so attendance numbers and appropriate venues can be booked.

In addition to the above, UDIA WA will be lodging a submission in response to SPP 3.7 and the guidelines and we are seeking feedback from our members to inform our submission before public consultation closes on 17 July. More information can be found here and to provide your feedback to UDIA WA, email

Seeking – memories from UDIA WA’s 50-year history

We are seeking photographic and other memories from UDIA WA’s 50-year history!

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations this year, UDIA WA is in the process of searching through our archives from the past 50 years and we are calling on our members to do the same.

If you have old photos, industry collateral or information you think would be of interest to our membership and for potential inclusion in our celebratory products, including our 50th Anniversary special edition of The Urbanist magazine, please send it through or reach out to us here with any information.

In addition, there is also an opportunity for our members to share a congratulatory message in our 50th Anniversary Celebration edition magazine through one of the few remaining discounted advertising spaces.

We have half page, full page and double-page options available, but please be quick as spaces are filling up fast.

For more information on how to get involved, contact us here.