From the CEO

This week was about reminding our friends in Canberra that whilst WA may be on the other side of the country, our contribution to the Australian economy is fundamental to our national success.

I was fortunate to join the Premier yesterday at the official opening of the WA Canberra Hub, described as a critical part of the Cook Government’s new Canberra Strategy to ensure WA’s interests are at the heart of the Federal Government’s agenda. Whilst much of the media hype and criticism has been focused on the physical space which really is a business-as-usual issue, it sits behind a strategy to drive outcomes for the State and for us, streamlined environmental approvals and infrastructure spend are part of the list.

Together with UDIA National, I met with the Assistant Secretaries of the Department of Infrastructure yesterday to talk through UDIA’s National Housing Pipeline project and in particular highlight some of the lead infrastructure gaps preventing thousands of new dwellings being delivered in WA. Fortuitously, the Federal Infrastructure and Housing Ministers announced minutes prior the Housing Support Program which provides the States with more funding for enabling infrastructure projects. The first stream is focused on building capacity and capability in planning, however the second stream is where the real opportunity is for WA to secure our fair share of federal funding to unlock housing supply. This is due to open in May so watch this space.

The other hot topic was the progress of the proposed Nature Positive Reform following the Samuels Review of the EPBC Act. Another ‘lock up’ session was held yesterday where the drip feed of detail continued and whilst some left a little more encouraged than after the previous one, the escalation of pressure by our State Environment Minister and the industry bodies to slow down is acute. There are some genuine deal breakers at present that risk this reform putting a serious handbrake on not only housing supply, but agriculture, mining and infrastructure.

What is most encouraging is the team spirit that was evident last night amongst all levels of government and industry when it comes to going into bat for the people of WA. Whilst the WA Canberra Hub may be just an office, it’s symbolic of the value created when we band together.

Have a wonderful and safe Easter break.

New base for ‘Team WA’ officially opens in Canberra

UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck was in attendance for the official opening of the WA Government’s new Canberra Hub this week as she proudly flew the flag for ‘Team WA’.

The WA Hub forms part of the Cook Government’s new ‘Canberra Strategy’ that aims to ensure WA’s interests are duly considered in the Federal Government’s agenda.

Launched during the event, the Canberra Strategy sets out several current key State Government priorities, including:

  • WA’s unique decarbonisation journey, as part of the national 2050 Net Zero Plan;
  • Increased investment in clean energy infrastructure, industry, and skills;
  • A streamlined national environmental approval system that supports future projects and provides better environmental outcomes;
  • Clarity on national defence objectives so WA can maximise its competitive advantages and opportunities;
  • Maintaining the current GST arrangements, and;
  • Continued partnership with the Federal Government on key infrastructure projects, including shared risks.

Providing a space for in-person meetings, the Premier hopes the hub will facilitate collaboration with Commonwealth and other State and Territory Governments, and is available for use by peak bodies such as UDIA, WA industry, not-for-profits, and advocacy organisations.

The State Government has invested around $150,000 to establish the Canberra Hub, with ongoing lease costs at about $100,000 per year.

Delivering catalyst infrastructure to support housing

UDIA WA are delighted to announce that Craig Shepherd, Partner Infrastructure & Property at Scyne Advisory and John Ivulich CEO and Country Chair at ATCO Australia have been added to our Industry Breakfast lineup in April.  They join key note presenter, Infrastructure WA CEO Phil Helburg, and Western Power CEO Sam Barbaro.

Given the federal government’s recent announcement of a $500m Housing Support Program to fund enabling infrastructure, the timing could not be better to discuss the topic of infrastructure as a catalyst for innovative future development and provision of much needed housing.

With a clear commitment to transition to renewable energy sources, increasingly scarce water supply and the rapidly changing technology landscape – enabling infrastructure must evolve and adapt if we are to deliver sustainable communities into the future.

Register for the ‘From Constraints to Catalyst’ event here.

Big thanks to Western Power and ATCO for supporting this event.

Get the latest industry data

This week UDIA WA were pleased to release the latest edition of our Urban Intelligence report, our monthly round up of the latest stats and facts impacting the urban development industry.

This monthly publication is available exclusively to UDIA WA members bringing together the latest updates from our weekly Land Snapshot, exclusive CoreLogic and Landgate data plus the latest findings from the ABS, RBA and much more.

There is also a feature article from UDIA WA and National Executive Manager Research Toby Adams that delves into and analyses some of the results from the UDIA State of the Land 2024 Report.

To read the latest edition, click here.

We would like to thank our Principal Research Partners CoreLogic, Landgate and Urbis for their support in producing these exclusive member research publications.

Housing Support Program a welcome step to increase housing supply

This week UDIA National welcomed the announcement by the Hon Catherine King MP of the $500m Housing Support Program which promises to streamline planning processes and inject funding for enabling infrastructure for housing that is desperately needed.

“It is encouraging to see the Commonwealth Government working on the two most critical ‘front end’ barriers holding back housing delivery – planning approvals and lack of enabling infrastructure,” said Col Dutton, UDIA National President.

Stream 1 is open now to build the capabilities of a planning workforce with a focus on improving the efficiency of the planning process and ultimately accelerate construction of new homes. UDIA suggests that rewarding States & Territories financially under the bonus for dwelling approvals issued on the 1.2m Accord target could support “front end” delivery, rather than waiting for builds.

This has been a critical issue for some states where it is taking up to 3 years to get planning approvals for apartments and anything up to 6-12 years for housing projects to be completed. 

We need more people and better systems to cut those planning approval times in half if we are going to turn the corner on this housing crisis.

“Our industry is keen to work with government on Stream 2 which has the greatest potential to remove up front barriers to housing supply – the lack of enabling infrastructure that’s holding back development ready land,” said Mr Dutton.

“We will be working closely with the Government and the Department of Infrastructure to ensure the industry is directly involved in initiating funding proposals for critical infrastructure projects including funding for poles, wires, roads and amenities which are currently holding back housing delivery,” he said.

One of the crucial problems with implementing enabling infrastructure is the time it takes to convince State and Territory Governments to focus financial resources on the issue. Industry will look to ensure this Housing Support Program addresses this issue directly by investing where it is needed most to unlock housing.

UDIA’s National Policy Platform: Supply. Support. Sustainability… pathways to productivity makes a number of specific recommendations including those below that are aligned with the initiatives outlined in the Housing Support Program:

Deliver more homes more quickly

  • Unlock surplus Government land for mixed at-market and affordable housing.
  • Incentivise accelerated approvals to deliver more housing fast across the continuum.
  • Reward States & Territories financially under the bonus for dwelling approvals issued on the 1.2m Accord target to support “front end” delivery, rather than waiting for builds.

Infrastructure for Liveable Communities:

  • Direct Federal infrastructure funding to projects that support New housing – trunk infrastructure to unlock housing and key infrastructure critical for housing.
  • Accelerate Accord State & Territory infrastructure incentives to catalyse new housing rather than pay states an incentive at the back end of the Accord period.
  • Allow industry access to Government infrastructure funding (like local government) to maximise application of funding commitments to critical enabling infrastructure.

Effective Planning Systems:

  • Incentivise streamlined planning across the continuum including halving planning times and accelerating zoning to convert undeliverable zoned land to housing faster.

Full details of UDIA’s Policy Platform can be found at here.

Showcase your sustainability with UDIA WA

UDIA WA will launch a special Sustainability & ESG magazine at our Industry Breakfast event on 28 May 2024 that will provide a fantastic opportunity for our members to highlight their work in relation to the development of sustainable communities and promoting ESG in their organisation.   

This stand-alone special edition will cover a range of topics in relation to innovation, environmental sustainability and ESG practices from a global, national and local perspective. 

Competitive introductory advertising rates as well as opportunities to combine your advert with placements in The Urbanist and Urban Express, this publication is an ideal platform to showcase your organisation’s sustainability achievements.

On top of the print publication sent to all member organisations and launched at the breakfast, we will also deliver the digital edition directly to over 6,000 industry contacts including key government stakeholders and the decision makers across the development industry as well across our social media channels which have in excess of 16,000 followers.

For more information, reach out to Chris Thurmott at to secure your spot but be quick as spaces are limited.

Policy Team in Action

In the past week, representatives from a number of our committees and the expert pool convened as part of multiple working groups formed to progress actions following on from the first round of committee meetings.

The HV Pool, NHP Infrastructure Requirements Report and Development Contribution Plan working groups all met to discuss the deliverables required and the work required to achieve them. 

Thank you to our working group members for providing your time and expertise in these productive meetings to assist the Policy Team in furthering UDIA policy and advocacy efforts.

Built Form Course success

This week we were pleased to host our 2-day Built Form Course facilitated by Danielle Davison at the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).  Big thanks to our course attendees for your interest in this topic and of course to Danielle for delivering another informative professional development opportunity for participants.

Our 2-day Built Form Course focuses on the practical elements of residential built form development and hands-on learning to aid attendees to proficiently manage and/or participate in/facilitate the delivery of built form residential development projects.

UDIA WA offers a range of Professional Development courses directly aimed at our industry. You can explore the complete lineup of upcoming UDIA WA PD courses on our website here.

Registrations for our next courses in April 2024 close soon so book in quick to secure your spot.

  1. 6-day Foundations of Property Development – this course introduces participants to the various areas of knowledge required to operate effectively in Western Australia’s urban development industry. It is designed to give an end-to-end overview of the property development process and is taught by reputable local experts in the industry who have a wealth of first-hand knowledge and experience. Register here.
  2. UDIA WA Working with WA’s Aboriginal Heritage Legislation 1 Day Course – focusing on introducing participants to the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation. It covers key areas of knowledge required to understand their responsibilities in managing and protecting Aboriginal Heritage and operating effectively in Western Australia’s urban development industry. Register here.

Introduction to Road Safety Auditing 

UDIA WA have been informed about a new course that has been developed for individuals who are interested in gaining an overview of road safety auditing.

The course has been developed specifically for planners, managers, engineers and local councillors who wish to gain an understanding of the benefits of road safety auditing but may not intend to become practicing road safety auditors themselves.

The course comprises six interactive online competency assessed modules for a fee of $250 + GST. The completion of this new course will give students a broad understanding of the key fundamental elements of road safety auditing.

Click here for more information.

Land tax relief extended for homeowners affected by delays

At the end of last week, the Western Australian Parliament passed the Land Tax Assessment Amendment (Residential Construction Exemptions) Bill 2023 enabling the State Government to extend land tax relief for eligible homeowners affected by construction delays. 

Under the Land Tax Assessment Act 2002, a residential construction exemption applies if the owner builds or refurbishes a home on the land and moves into it when the works are completed. To qualify, construction must be completed and the owner must move into the home within two assessment years.

The Bill extends the construction exemptions for owners who started building or refurbishing a home between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2023.

Extending the exemptions supports those building or renovating their homes, ensuring they are not charged land tax due to delays beyond their control.

The Bill provides two temporary exemptions for eligible homeowners:

  • A three-year exemption will apply for a home being constructed or refurbished if the owner does not also receive an existing exemption for their current home. The exemption can be extended for another year in exceptional circumstances, such as where the builder goes into liquidation.
  • A two-year exemption will apply for a new home that is being built or refurbished while the owner lives in their existing home. The exemption can be extended for another year in exceptional circumstances, such as material or labour shortages caused by market conditions.

Homeowners still need to meet all eligibility requirements to receive the exemption, such as using the property as their primary residence after construction. Taxpayers who have already paid land tax, but are eligible for one of the new temporary exemptions, will be eligible for a refund. 

To provide certainty to affected homeowners, the Minister for Finance used pre-enactment powers to allow the exemptions to be applied to eligible homeowners from early December 2023.

More information on this legislation is available on the here.

Advertising opportunities in The Land Report

UDIA WA are pleased to announce the highly sought-after Land Report will once again be published in The West Australian this May and UDIA members have the opportunity to advertise alongside our detailed market commentary and data.

The Land Report uses exclusive UDIA WA data from our quarterly Urban Development Index to provide an overview of the current state of the land market in WA.

In addition to providing our data UDIA also contributes various insights through articles designed to inform and educate readers on the latest trends in infill and greenfield development, creating a connected and vibrant city plus ways to improve housing supply and affordability.

The report also provides an opportunity for our members to reach up to 481,000 readers of The West Australian on Saturday through advertising and advertorial content.

For your chance to be involved and support the new publication, click here for more information or reach out to Carla Wray at