From the CEO

Just when you think you’ve put out a spot fire, either another one appears or the original fire re-emerges with greater intensity and impact than when it started.

Whether its delays to approvals and clearances for power infrastructure, developer contributions for public open space or working through the very long list of clarifying questions in relation to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act – the number of spot fires burning that threaten the delivery of desperately needed housing supply are growing by the day.

Multiple spot fires affect the behaviour and spread of all fires present. The convergence of separate individual fires into larger ones is called coalescence and can lead to rapid increases in intensity and how fast the fire spreads – often in directions at odds with the prevailing wind.

An apt metaphor for when multiple policies that take a narrow and siloed view of their influence on a broad economic & social outcome create a cumulative impact – in this case on the provision of housing despite being at odds with the political focus and narrative around prioritisation of supply.

Our focus as a team and as a collective of talented volunteers is on both extinguishing the spot fires present and preventing new fires starting that may put housing supply at risk. It’s a team effort with a clear focus and we are recruiting new leaders to join the firefight. If you have the drive, determination and commitment to the cause – please step up and nominate for UDIA WA Council. We’ve got plenty of work to do.

Industry Breakfast highlights ESG capabilities

On Tuesday we were delighted to host our Industry Breakfast focusing on the E in ESG and the implications for the development industry.

The event featured a presentation from Minister for Environment; Climate Action; Racing and Gaming, the Hon. Reece Whitby MLA before Cerclos Co-Founder Alexander Bruce provided insights into recent Life Cycle Assessment work Cerclos has been conducting with Cedar Woods, Hesperia and DevelopmentWA.

Life Cycle Assessment is a process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process or activity and the results revealed at the event highlighted some of the best practice solutions being implemented in the case studies involved.

A full report is being compiled by Cerclos with further details and insights from this industry-leading research and UDIA WA will share the report with members once it is complete.

Following the keynote presentations a 5-strong panel of experts including Josh Byrne, Bill Grace, Karl White, Mark Taylor and Alexander Bruce answered a range of informed questions from the audience.

We extend our thanks to Cerclos for supporting this morning’s event. To view images from the event, click here.

Working with Western Power

Feedback from members this week is highlighting increasing frustrations with the DIP and DCR process and responsiveness from Western Power.

This remains a top priority for UDIA to find urgent resolutions with engagement occurring at all levels.

If you have key examples you wish to share, please do so directly to the UDIA WA CEO here.

Navigating the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act

Following the first meeting of the Implementation Group, UDIA WA has raised a significant number of queries and clarifications with DPLH and are currently awaiting responses.

It is important that members do not assume that if they complied with the previous Act that they comply with the current Act. This is not necessarily the case. It is also important to note that the ‘education based approach’ in the first 12 months does NOT prevent proponents from being prosecuted for harm to heritage.

UDIA WA has formulated an advocacy position and is consulting with WALGA in order to find a pragmatic and urgent solution that aligns with the overall intent and objective of the new ACH Act. Further advice will be provided to members over coming days.

State Planning Policy 2.9 Planning for Water

Representatives of the UDIA WA Urban Water Standing Advisory Group and UDIA WA CEO met with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage yesterday to discuss the proposed final draft SPP 2.9 Planning for Water Policy that is anticipated to go to WAPC in September, then to Cabinet with a view to being gazetted in early 2024.

Despite UDIA WA’s recommendations in our submission, the final draft remains relatively unchanged from the consultation version. 100 submissions were received as part of the consultation process with largely minor suggested amendments.

DPLH advised that whilst the outcomes-based approach is only recognised in the guidelines, not the policy itself – both have equal weighting from a legal perspective as long as the two documents are comprehensively cross-referenced.

UDIA WA reiterated the that the Policy’s objectives are exclusively focused on ‘protecting’ the environment and public health, and minimising future costs. Whilst fully recognising the intent and importance of these stated objectives, without objectives that explicitly encourage ‘outcome focused decision making’ and ‘site-responsive solutions’ that the Policy’s guiding principles seeks, in practice it is likely that the Policy’s objectives will reinforce a culture of risk-adverse decision making that hinders innovation and collaboration.

UDIA WA was reassured that the information and training sessions that will be rolled out as part of the implementation will aim to reinforce our recommended approach to decision making.

Homes for Homes

UDIA WA is pleased to support Homes for Homes in Western Australia as they continue to partner with the development industry to address homelessness.  Homes for Homes is also working with the State Government to encourage developers to consider Homes for Homes as part of opportunities under the new Housing Diversity Pipeline.

The Housing Diversity Pipeline is part of the State Government’s $2.4 billion, four-year program to improve the quality and accessibility of social housing in Western Australia, which includes the delivery of 3,300 new homes.  Homes for Homes is delighted to share that Proponents of the current Tranche of Housing Diversity Pipeline sites will be requested to consider marketing Homes for Homes in their proposed development. Homes for Homes are looking forward to continuing to work with the Government and private industry in WA to end Homelessness.

To find out more about the Homes for Homes initiative and how you can get involved, visit here.

UDIA National TV with Hugh Hartigan

UDIA is pleased to invite you to a special complimentary event to hear from the organisation trusted with building Australia’s national housing future, The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

In view of the Housing Affordability Future Fund negotiations and the ambitions of Australia’s National Housing Accord, NHFIC will be the linchpin to make it happen. The housing agenda across the spectrum is dominated by the need for supply and our industry is a crucial player.

Hugh Hartigan, Head of Research at NHFIC will discuss the organisation’s plans and successes in accelerating Australia’s affordable and social housing agenda. Hugh will give you a snapshot of NHFIC’s plans to help rewrite the story on housing supply over the next decade.

This complimentary UDIA TV event takes place on Wednesday 2 August from 11am-12pm (AWST).

Register here.

Prize draw winner announced

UDIA WA are pleased to announce Interphone are the lucky winners of a table of 10 to an industry lunch following our membership renewal draw.

The draw was available to all members who paid their 2023-24 UDIA WA membership in full by 30 June 2023 with Interphone being selected via a random draw earlier this month.

Nominate now to lead and leave a legacy with UDIA WA

Nominations are open for eight vacant positions on UDIA WA Council, including the role of President. We are seeking leaders who want to play an active role in shaping the future direction of the Institute and the industry more broadly.

With a newly endorsed Strategic Plan in 2023 and a refreshed Purpose, Vision and Mission, this is a pivotal opportunity to join a team of passionate leaders to drive change.

These eight positions will join ongoing Councillors Jane Bennett (CLE Town Planning), Danielle Davison (Davison Advisory), Richard Pappas (Celsius Property) and Paul Morgan (PEET).

UDIA WA encourages applicants from a diverse range of professional backgrounds and experience to nominate for these leadership roles. Our goal is to establish and maintain a leadership group that reflects the diverse nature of the industry and the communities that we represent.

Nominations close at 5:00pm on Monday 14 August 2023.  Download the relevant documents with all the detailed information on the nominations process and key dates:

  • Council nominations kit here and nomination form here.
  • Access the UDIA WA Constitution here
  • 2023 UDIA WA Policy Priorities here.

The UDIA WA Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 18 October 2023 at the UDIA WA offices from 11:30am.

Inflation rate easing

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.8% in the June 2023 quarter and 6% annually, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, said “CPI inflation slowed in the June quarter, with the quarterly rise being the lowest since September 2021. While prices continued to rise for most goods and services, there were some offsetting price falls this quarter including for domestic holiday travel and accommodation and automotive fuel.”

Annually, the CPI rose 6%, with new dwellings (+7.8%), rents (+6.7%) and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+13.9%) the most significant contributors.

“June quarter’s annual increase of 6% is lower than the 7% annual rise in the March 2023 quarter. This marks the second consecutive quarter of lower annual inflation, also known as ‘disinflation’, from the peak of 7.8% in the December 2022 quarter,” Ms Marquardt said.

Underlying inflation measures reduce the impact of irregular or temporary price changes in the CPI. Annual trimmed mean inflation was 5.9%, down from 6.6% in the March quarter.

Annual inflation for goods was 5.%, down from 7.6% in March. Prices for most goods continued to be higher than they were 12 months ago, albeit with smaller annual increases for a range of goods including food, furniture, household appliances and clothing. The exception was automotive fuel which fell 3.6% in the year to June quarter.

Annual inflation for services rose to 6.3%, up from 6.1% in the March quarter and is the highest since 2001.

“This is the first time since September 2021 that services inflation has been higher than goods, highlighting the change from 12 months ago when goods like new dwellings and automotive fuel were driving inflation. Now price increases for a range of services like rents, restaurant meals, child-care and insurance are keeping inflation high,” Ms Marquardt said.

Princess Margaret Hospital development named

A new inner-city residential precinct on the site of the former Princess Margaret Hospital is proposed to deliver approximately 1,000 new apartments, according to an announcement from the State Government.

In a nod to the significance of the former PMH site, the precinct has been named 1909, to celebrate and acknowledge the opening of the former Children’s hospital 114 years ago.

The announcement of 1909 also coincides with the approval of Design Guidelines for the precinct, with the next phase of development imminent for the Subi East redevelopment project.

With the approval of the Design Guidelines, 1909 moves closer to delivering a connected residential community – including approximately 1,000 new apartments to be delivered within the precinct.

In response to community feedback, the preferred land uses for the future development sites have been refined to ensure compatibility with existing nearby premises, such as Perth Modern School.

Two State heritage listed buildings have been retained through the demolition process, with Godfrey House and the Old Outpatients Building forming part of the celebration of PMH at 1909.

The site’s history will be further recognised throughout the precinct to acknowledge notable PMH accomplishments, events and stories by integrating text, images and retained artefacts into public spaces and paved areas.

A dedicated children’s memorial will be located next to the Old Outpatients Building, providing families, former staff and the community a dedicated space for reflection.

Once complete, 1909 will include more than 5,500 square metres of public open space for the Subiaco community.

For more information visit here.

Pathway for WA builders to boost and build new social housing

Earlier this week the State Government announced it is calling for expressions of interest from builders and developers of all sizes to bolster the supply of housing and build new social housing throughout Western Australia.

The updated Call for Submissions (CFS) for Social Housing invites submissions from the housing sector to deliver social housing in Perth or regional WA, with a priority on the delivery of apartment or grouped dwelling developments.

Current advice from the housing construction industry is that the market is showing signs of tapering and therefore the State Government will aim to re-open the State-wide builders panel on an annual basis to create a pipeline of work for the housing construction industry.

According to a recent CoreLogic Cordell Construction Cost Index, which tracks the cost to build a typical new home, after two years of cost escalations in the building industry, the latest quarterly growth rate index was 0.7% at June 2023, the lowest rate since September 2020 across the country.

Importantly, according to CoreLogic, WA’s increase in cost escalations was the lowest at 0.5% – signalling the construction market was beginning to show signs of tapering.

Submissions under the CFS that have development approval and are builder ready to go will be highly regarded.

The Department of Communities expects to issue further calls for submission in the second half of 2023, seeking partnerships with community housing providers and local governments.

For more information visit here.

Update: Bushfire Planning and Design Practitioners

Under State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas (SPP 3.7), a person seeking to build or develop in a designated bushfire prone area is required to undertake certain bushfire risk management activities as part of the planning and building process.

SPP 3.7 and the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas strongly recommend the use of accredited bushfire attack level (BAL) assessors and bushfire planning and design (BPAD) practitioners to provide advice that complies with the State Government’s planning and building frameworks.

The Western Australian Bushfire Accreditation Steering Committee (Committee) oversees the accreditation system and development of training and also monitors the implementation of the Bushfire Accreditation Framework. The Committee comprises representatives of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Building and Energy Division).

DPLH has appointed a dedicated Accreditation Manager to work with government, industry and local governments to ensure a fit-for-purpose Bushfire Accreditation Framework. For further information about the Framework, you can contact Bushfire Accreditation Framework Manager, Ms Darrelle Merritt.

In 2016, Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) was approved by the Committee as the first accrediting body for BAL assessors and BPAD practitioners in Western Australia. Individuals accredited by FPAA are recorded on a live online register.

The online register should be checked regularly to ensure that practitioners are accredited as the registration of some practitioners may have changed, including as a result of disciplinary action.

Using an accredited practitioner means that they are adequately insured, maintain continuing professional development requirements and abide by the FPAA Code of Professional Conduct.

If work undertaken by a BPAD practitioner is not up to standard, you may wish to make a complaint to FPAA through the online complaints form.

Stirling Draft Community Infrastructure Plan

The City of Stirling has recently embarked on a process to develop a Draft Community Infrastructure Plan and are now seeking feedback on the draft plan.

The Draft Community Infrastructure Plan is a key informing plan and forms part of the City’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework.  It will guide the planning and delivery of community infrastructure that responds to the changing needs of the Stirling community.

The Draft Community Infrastructure Plan outlines a set of standards and delivery principles that are designed to guide the City in identifying community infrastructure priorities to best meet the needs, demands and growth of the City now and into the future.

Feedback can be collated by clicking on a survey link here. Further information on the plan, including a copy of the plan, a list of FAQ’s and some short videos are also available here.

In addition to the above Community Infrastructure Plan the City of Stirling has advised UDIA WA that it is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified design professionals to join the City’s Design Review Panel.

The closing date for Expressions of Interest has been extended until Monday 7 August 2023 due to numerous requests to extend the timeframe.

The Design Review Panel will draw from a membership of up to 18 suitably qualified professionals with relevant qualifications and demonstrated expertise in either urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, planning, heritage and/or sustainability and environmental design.

Panel members will act in a consultative capacity to the City, reviewing and providing independent, impartial, expert design advice on a variety of development proposals and strategic instruments, and will be remunerated for attendance at meetings at an hourly rate set by Council.

The City of Stirling would be grateful if you could notify your members of this exciting opportunity to join the Panel and play a vital part in delivering high quality development within the City.

More information about the Panel and the nomination process is available via the City of Stirling’s website, here.

Certificate IV Course – Enrolments for July 2023 Intake Now Open

Enrolments for the next intake of UDIA’s BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development course are now open.

The course teaches the critical skills of project management such as identifying project scope; managing time, cost & quality; contract negotiation; team engagement; stakeholder communication & human resources management.

This course is the only nationally recognised qualification of its kind that teaches the project management competencies unique to the property development industry.

The course content has been written by education experts and industry professionals who provide real life relevance and focus on the practical application of knowledge. Tools, techniques and examples provided are real and what is currently used in the industry.

This qualification is uniquely designed for those who work, or aspire to work in project roles within property development. It is delivered over 18 weeks through a blended method of online self-directed learning and regular tutorials. Upon achieving a competent result for all course units of competency, graduates will attain a BSB40920 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, Specialising in Property Development issued by our RTO, McMillan.

There is also a special member only discount available where you can save 10% if you register three or more attendees.

For more information and to book your spot, click here.

Advertising Opportunities

UDIA WA are delighted to present a range of advertising opportunities for the new financial year including a variety of new options to enhance your marketing campaign.

UDIA WA have a number of advertising opportunities including through our thought-leadership publication, The Urbanist, our weekly newsletter Urban Express, our Podcast The Urbanist LIVE, our annual Awards for Excellence Winners Showcase magazine in addition to new opportunities for the new financial year including featuring in our highly coveted research publications Urban Intelligence and the Urban Development Index.

Among the new options available this year is the ability to support our podcast The Urbanist LIVE with two fantastic opportunities available, depending on your preferred budget and exposure.

The first option is a Full Year Sponsorship that includes naming rights in the title of the podcast. The second option is to purchase a 30 second advertisement that will play in the half time break within a selected episode.  These advertisements can be purchased as a single or as a package.

To view our 2023-24 Advertising Opportunities document that provides more information and the rates for all of the current opportunities, click here.   If you have any questions,  need any further information or would like a personalised package sent through, reach out to Chris Thurmott at

Sponsorship Opportunities

In addition to the extensive advocacy and research agenda, UDIA delivers over 40 events annually and we are pleased to share how you can be involved with and support the successful delivery of these events through our various sponsorship opportunities.

UDIA WA events focus on bringing the industry together to share crucial information and updates affecting the development sector, with the intention of facilitating learning, discussion and debate.

Sponsors gain extensive exposure alongside these prominent and well received events. In addition to a comprehensive marketing promotional campaign, sponsors receive direct exposure to, and the opportunity to engage with, industry leaders, key decision makers, and influential representatives from a broad cross section of agencies and businesses involved with development in WA.

At UDIA, we collaborate with your business to ensure your marketing efforts are maximised with every opportunity presented, whether it’s for branding, networking, opening doors or business product promotion, we have the platforms to assist you.

To view the various sponsorship opportunities available, click here or if you have any questions, need any further information or would like a personalised package sent through, reach out to Georgia Scott at