From the CEO

A lot can happen in 930 days. Even more in 1,154 days. Except if you are certain local councils it seems.

Despite 300 pages of additional information and over 50 meetings with the Town of Cottesloe, a decision emerged from the black box this week that Fiveight’s proposal would not be supported in its current form. If the media reports are accurate, the Town claim they are still missing key commercial, environmental and heritage information in addition to what the financial impact on the town will be or risks for what the town is pursuing. This is despite Fiveight being advised back in November the Town had everything they needed to make a decision.

As part of the council’s resolution, a new set of parameters for the site has been endorsed and will be made public for community feedback. Wouldn’t that have been useful information 930 days ago.

Cruising slightly North, this week I was asked to provide media commentary on the Floreat Precinct Structure Plan put forward by APIL and the Town of Cambridge’s response to it. With full knowledge that anything I say may be misconstrued as defamation, I will simply state the facts. In the Town’s final Local Planning Strategy dated April 2021, a key action was to prepare a Precinct Structure Plan for the Floreat Activity Centre with a dwelling growth estimate of 900-1250 new dwellings. That was 1,154 days ago.

It took APIL submitting their own PSP in February this year for the Town to hold a ‘visioning day’ with the community about their views on the precinct. To then subsequently ask for more information from the proponent, to then reject it and say they are going to do their own. Over to WAPC it goes. I don’t know about you, but I reckon a lot of community engagement and visioning could occur in 1,154 days or perhaps that should have already been done as part of the finalised Local Planning Strategy.

Regardless of whether you support either proponent’s proposal or not, if this is how private organisations ran their businesses they would be broke. Despite the tens of millions of dollars of investment on the table to improve public amenity and increase housing supply, the goal posts continue to shift and eventually that investment will go elsewhere.

I can’t think of two better examples to demonstrate the benefit of the State taking over planning control of key activity centres and areas of state significance.

I used to question why people said W.A. stands for Wait Awhile. Now I see it every day.

There might be patient capital in play now, but eventually even that patience runs out. And it’s the people of Perth that will be the ones that miss out.

Last chance! UDIA WA Awards for Excellence nominations closing

Submissions for the UDIA WA Awards for Excellence officially close at 5pm tomorrow Friday 28 June so now is your last chance to make sure your project, team or an impressive individual are among those getting recognised as the best of the best in 2024!

We have categories for a variety of project types including Apartments (High-Rise & Mid-Rise Categories available)Boutique DevelopmentAffordable HousingMarketingMedium Density Development and many more.

Plus, this year we have introduced two new awards Team of the Year and Local Government of the Year as well as our individual awards Women in Leadership and Stockland Young Leaders Award with both new categories and our individual awards free to enter this year.

To start your entry, simply review the nominations kits here, get your entry info ready and then start your nomination here

Big thanks to 2024 Awards for Excellence Platinum Sponsor Western Australian Planning Commission, Gold Sponsors Lavan and Stantec and Category Sponsors Slick Design Pty Ltd, nbn Australia, Longreach Recruitment, Wormall Civil Pty Ltd, and Stockland.

Incredible effort for the 2024 CEO Sleepout

Last week UDIA WA President Richard Pappas led Team UDIA WA in the 2024 Vinnies CEO Sleepout and we are extremely thankful of everybody who supported the team’s efforts resulting in over $84,000 being raised!

This is an incredible amount and will go a long way to combatting homelessness in Australia. The money raised by the Vinnies CEO Sleepout goes towards providing crucial support and services to Australians in need. With your help, we can help break the cycle of homelessness for good.

There is still time to continue supporting the team by donating here and we pass our thanks onto those who have already donated.

New trial cuts land development design timeframes

Western Power has advised that a recent six-month trial reduced timeframes from seven months to 4-6 weeks for land development applications that had their electrical design approved by a third-party independent auditor prior to submitting to Western Power.

Following this success, Western Power will continue to provide this option for land developers and will support it with a dedicated assessment team to provide an `express service’ to these applications given the reduced likelihood of non-conformance.

The third-party audit option is one of several options introduced by Western Power in collaboration with UDIA to accelerate new power connection installations in the housing supply industry. 

In February 2024, the queue including residual backlogs for Design Information Packages was cleared due to the introduction of a self-service program in December last year. This enables electrical consultants to request network and design data information to develop a project design, rather than waiting to have it designed by Western Power.  

The self-service program has reduced the average turn-around for new design projects from 8-10 months to two weeks (for a simple design) and 10 weeks for those that require more complex engineering analysis.

Western Power has been working collaboratively with industry and UDIA to embed measures to accelerate housing supply in WA.

For more information on the third-party audit initiative visit here.

Quarterly Meeting with WAPC & DPLH

On Monday afternoon UDIA met with representatives from WAPC and DPLH for our quarterly scheduled meeting.

It was an opportunity to discuss UDIA’s priorities around Strategic Infrastructure Coordination, work being undertaken by UDIA around Land Lease Communities as well as discussing the outcomes of the Treasury & Developer Round Table meeting the prior week. In addition, there was discussion around policy matters such as:

  • Development bonus incentives for social and affordable housing
  • Structure Plan expiries, extensions and reviews
  • Public Open Space policy

We thank the WAPC and DPLH for meeting with us and look forward to continuing to work together in a collaborative manner to address the housing crisis.

The future of Indigenous enterprise

UDIA WA’s Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak was pleased to attend a WA Business News event today that featured an interactive panel discussion exploring the success stories, challenges faced, and perspectives on the future of Indigenous enterprise in WA.

The panel, moderated by Mark Beyer, included entrepreneurs Jasmine Kadi, Managing Director of Benang; Jarrad Oakley Nicholls, Managing Director of Oaks Civil Construction; Brendan Taylor, Managing Director Cundaline Resources; as well as Waalitj Business Hub General Manager Gohar Rind.

The wide-ranging discussion highlighted the diversity of successful, Aboriginal led, businesses that are operating across the state and the opportunities to further expand those and support new startups.

As part of UDIA WA’s first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, we are considering what role UDIA WA can play in furthering opportunities for Aboriginal businesses to connect with our members and vice versa, and this event was a useful insight into where we can potentially engage.

If you are interested in assisting in this area or with UDIA WA’s RAP actions more broadly, please reach out to Gemma: 

Call for nominations: Diversity & Inclusion working group

UDIA WA is establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group that will report directly to the UDIA WA Education, Connection & Excellence Strategic Committee and provide advice and oversight of the Institute’s performance in relation to diversity and inclusion.  The Group will be appointed for a 20-month term, commencing in May 2024 and ending in December 2025.

Overall, the group will provide a forum for discussion of diversity and inclusion related issues within the organisation and more broadly in the urban development industry, as well as provide advice in relation to UDIA WA policy, performance and activities in relation to diversity and inclusion.

If you are interested in nominating for this group, please follow the link here to the nomination form and more detailed Terms of Reference.  Any questions about the group can be directed to UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Engagement Gemma Osiejak: