From the CEO

There are only 88 days until Christmas.

As we approach the finishing line for 2023, UDIA is focused on closing out the key priorities for members from a policy & advocacy perspective so that we enter 2024 with as much certainty and clarity for industry as possible. We will continue to operate in a volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex environment and in anticipation of this – simplicity is the goal. Less is more.

Closing out the way forward on Medium Density, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, Western Power and market incentives such as the off-the-plan duty rebate scheme and foreign buyers is front of mind and we are intimately involved in these discussions with government now.

Leading up to our AGM on 18 October, where our incoming President Richard Pappas will be formally appointed supported by a new Council Executive and refreshed Council – we are seeking the views of both our key government stakeholders and our members on how we are performing and where our resources should be directed in the short to medium term. I encourage you to take a few minutes to give us your feedback as it is critical in informing what we do.

Our diaries are starting to fill up already as the mad rush to squeeze in pre-Christmas catch ups and events. I encourage you to lock in our last Industry Lunch of the year on 3 November where together with our Minister for Planning and other thought leaders we will rethink how we define ‘the great Australian dream’.

At UDIA we like to change things up and in this spirit we are going to cruise over to Rotto on 1 December for our End of Year Sundowner. We can’t think of a better way to reflect on 2023 and celebrate the efforts of our industry than over a cold beverage in one of the most beautiful settings in WA. I look forward to seeing you there.

Member survey open

UDIA WA’s annual Member Survey is now open for completion, and we want to hear from you!  Our survey only takes a few minutes to complete and will provide the team with valuable feedback on how we can continually improve our services, advocacy, events, and communication.

There is an opportunity to win a $1000 Crown Perth voucher if you compete the survey by 5pm Tuesday 3 October.

We encourage your frank and honest feedback. All the information you provide will be treated as confidential and de-identified in reporting of results.

Complete the survey here.

UDIA Policy Team in Action – Climate Change & Aboriginal Heritage

This week the Policy Team attended a briefing from DWER on the State Government’s upcoming Climate Change Bill 2023, to better understand what it will cover and the potential impacts and opportunities for our industry.

The State Government has committed to introducing climate change legislation to contribute to national and global goals for decarbonisation, enhance accountability, provide certainty for businesses, and attract the investment required for the net zero transition.

The Bill, which focuses on State Government accountabilities, will cover the:

  • Minister’s functions.
  • The WA emissions reduction targets (establishing a target of Net Zero by 2050, and requiring the setting of interim targets) and the way in which these will be calculated.
  • The requirements for the development of an emissions reduction strategy and climate adaptation strategy.
  • The development of sector adaptation plans, including for ‘infrastructure and built environment’.
  • Annual climate change report to Parliament.

DWER is currently seeking comment from stakeholders on an explanatory paper summarising the provisions of the Climate Change Bill.  The Policy Team will work with Committee members with a view to making a submission before the 17 October 2023 deadline. For anyone interested in reading more about the Bill, the consultation page is accessible here.  You can also email to contribute to the submission.

The Policy Team has also continued working as part of UDIA’s role on the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Implementation Group, including providing a response to the consultation drafts of the Aboriginal Heritage Legislation Amendment and Repeal Bill and Regulations.  We would like to thank Lucy Shea of Clayton Utz for her ongoing advice on the details and implications of legislative framework.

Land Report – last call for advertising

UDIA WA is partnering with The West Australian once again on our biannual Land Report lift out.  This informative and targeted publication features UDIA WA data and commentary on the new land market in WA.

The booking deadline is 5pm today with material deadline Tuesday 10 October.

This is a great opportunity to get your brand in front of your target audience – readers that are interested in buying property.

More details here.

UDIA WA Committee Nominations are now open!

We are excited to announce that nominations for the UDIA WA Committees are now open!

Our committees have been realigned with a greater focus on the outcomes we are delivering for our communities, and to maximise member value.  This year, we are also creating an Expert Pool to bring together experts from across a broad range of specialist areas to supplement and support our committees.

Do you have the energy, passion, and commitment to help drive true reform and make a difference?  If so, we encourage you to nominate.

Read the Nomination Kit to find out more about the committees and Expert Pool, as well as nominee considerations and selection criteria.

You can apply for a Committee or the Expert Pool by completing the online form by COB Wednesday 11 October 2023.

Feel free to reach out to Isaac or Sarah in the Policy team if you have any queries.

Participation through our committees or Expert Pool is a great way to amplify your impact in supporting great places and housing choice to enable better lives for Western Australians.

Working Future report released

On Monday, the Federal Government released their Working Future White Paper which provides a roadmap that outlines key strategies to build a more productive workforce, boost incomes and living standards and create more opportunities in the jobs market across the entire economy.

UDIA National has recognised the paper as an important step to recover the productivity and capacity our industry desperately needs to re-build skills and capacity to deliver homes for the people of Australia.

The White Paper sets out five key objectives that are critical to addressing skilled worker shortages and the future sustainability of our workforce.

Objective One is based on delivering sustained and inclusive full employment, where everyone that wants a job can find one.

Objective two focuses on promoting job security and strong, sustainable wage growth; objective three is aimed at reigniting productivity growth; objective four looks at filling skills needs and building our future workforce; and objective five is aimed at overcoming barriers to employment and broadening opportunity.

There is no doubt that from a housing supply perspective, this focus on building a more productive workforce, boosting incomes and living standards and creating more opportunities in the jobs market across the entire economy, is critical.

UDIA at a national level, has advocated strongly for increased skilled immigration, greater investment in vocational job training and a nationwide program for ongoing learning that will bring capacity to the market.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government as well as with our State Government to address the systemic issues that a lack of skilled workers has caused in our housing pipeline.

More information and download the White Paper here.

Lunch with Minister Carey and guests

Late last week UDIA WA was pleased to launch details of our November Industry luncheon entitled Rethinking the Great Australian Dream: A debate on density, design & developing for the future.

Leading the fantastic speaker lineup, the Hon. John Carey Minister for Planning; Lands; Housing and Homelessness will share his vision for Perth from a State Government perspective and discuss Perth’s urban growth, planning reform and further policy action the State Government can take to deliver on their urban infill targets.  

Dr Max Holleran from the University of Melbourne will speak from his perspective as a writer and Lecturer in Social Policy. His work focuses on urban development, particularly how cities manage tourism, housing, and densification. He is the author of ‘Yes to the City: Millennials and the Fight for Affordable Housing’ which examined the growing Yes In My Backyard movement in response to the housing crisis in the US.

Max will bring his extensive knowledge and interstate and international experience to what we can do here in Perth.

Mark Irwin, Mayo,  City of Stirling will then discuss the issues from a proactive local government perspective, including their role in helping to facilitate density, housing choice and community cohesion.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join us for our last industry luncheon for 2023.  It is set to be a fantastic and lively debate with opportunity for audience participation.

More details and to register here.

Job vacancies continue to fall in August

There were 390,000 job vacancies in August 2023, down 38,000 from May, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Kate Lamb, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “The number of job vacancies fell by around 9 per cent between May and August, and has dropped by 18 per cent from the peak in May 2022.

“Demand for workers eased again in August for the fifth straight quarter. This coincided with an increase in the unemployment rate over the three months to August.

“While these indicators are no longer at historical levels, both are still showing that the labour market is tighter than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Job vacancies were still around 72 per cent higher than they were in February 2020. That’s still around 160,000 more jobs that employers are looking for people to fill, as part of a pool of almost 400,000 vacancies.

“The percentage of businesses reporting at least one vacancy also fell from 25 per cent in May to 22 per cent in August. However, this was still double what it was in February 2020 at 11 per cent,” Ms Lamb said.

Job vacancies in both public and private sectors declined over the three months to August. Public sector vacancies fell by 3,000 (-6 per cent) while the private sector fell by 35,000 (-9 per cent).

The Australian Capital Territory saw the largest percentage drop in job vacancies (-8 per cent) while Queensland was the only state to see growth (4 per cent).

Financial and insurance services showed the largest drop in job vacancies (-15 per cent) this quarter. This is also the only industry to now have vacancies lower than they were in February 2020.

Some industries experienced growth in August. The largest increase in vacancies was in Retail trade which rose by 19 per cent. While most industries declined over this quarter, job vacancies in many industries remained high compared with pre-COVID levels. This was particularly pronounced in customer-facing industries, including Arts and recreation services, and Accommodation and food services.