State Conference just four weeks away

We’re just four weeks away from the start of the 2020 UDIA Annual Development Conference, set to be held once again in the idyllic location of Bunker Bay with a full program set to inspire attendees.

The theme ‘connecting to place’ will filter through the entire event, commencing with an immersive experience for delegates on Wednesday evening as Aboriginal Noongar Leader Shaun Nannup leads a welcome to country on the beach including a cultural talk, smoking ceremony and didgeridoo.

Following on bright and early on Thursday, Barrie Barton, Strategy & Insights Director at Right Angle Studio will be delivering a keynote speech on Resilient Cities & Future Proofing Development. Lawyer by qualification, an entrepreneur by nature and a passionate urbanist, Barrie has spent most of his adult life thinking about the relationship between where we live and the sorts of people we become.

Heading into the afternoon on Thursday Alix Rhodes will be flying in from her position as Executive Director Outer Melbourne at the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) to provide guidance and knowledge on planning reform from the VPA.

Minister Peter Tinley will be on hand late Thursday afternoon to discuss the State Government’s new Housing Strategy for the next 10 years before taking part in a Ministerial Q&A alongside Minister Rita Saffioti, followed by the Sunset Cocktail Function, the ideal way to unwind from a full day of sessions.

Neighbourlytics Founder & CEO Jessica Christiansen-Franks will be one of the highlights on Friday as she discusses ‘The Software of Place’, showcasing how to understand demographics to create a sense of place.

Jessica is an urban designer and social entrepreneur dedicated to understanding the social dynamic of urbanisation. Passionate about creating neighbourhoods people love and feel connected to, Jessica is a thought leader in innovative citizen participation, and particularly the value of ‘placemaking’ as a tool for collaboration and inspiring active citizenship.

These highlights are but a fraction of the sessions available across the conference. To register for the event, click here before it is too late!

UDIA would like to extend its thanks to conference sponsors DevelopmentWA, Lendlease, Department of Communities and Taylor Burrell Barnett.

Community Titles Discussion Paper released for comment

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) and Landgate are welcoming feedback on the Community Titles Act 2018 Discussion Paper that looks at how the new community titles schemes may work in practice in Western Australia.

UDIA has been involved in the consultation process for the establishment of community titles in WA since the outset and our newly re-formed Housing Diversity committee will be looking at the paper in detail at their upcoming meeting.

The Discussion Paper aims to generate stakeholder input into the key planning and development provisions of the Community Titles Act 2018. The feedback generated will assist in informing the drafting instructions for the Regulations for the Community Titles Act 2018.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday February 28, 2020.

Email if you have any comments or issues you would like considered in UDIA’s submission.

WA economy showing signs of strength

Some much needed positive news this week, with the latest figures from the CCIWA Outlook suggesting the WA economy will grow by 3% this year, which would be the strongest growth in six years.

Added to this, CCIWA are forecasting unemployment will average 5.8 per cent this year, the third lowest unemployment rate of all States.

A number of new jobs have also been created across a range of sectors, signalling a diversification of the WA economy away from being solely reliant on mining.

WA has also recorded its sixth consecutive month of growth in retail spending, which is the longest stretch of consecutive growth in WA since 2014.

Online PD course still open for enrolments

Time is running out for anyone wishing to enrol in UDIA’s online course, Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, as enrolments close on Friday 7 February.

BSB41515 Certificate IV in Project Management (Specialising in Property Development) is the only nationally recognised qualification of its kind that teaches the project management competencies unique to the property development industry.

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

The course officially commenced on Tuesday and runs for 18 weeks but anyone wishing to enrol can do so until Friday February 7.

Study is online, flexible and interactive and the course uses real case studies that provide context for workplace application.

Anyone wishing to take part should click here for more information.

State government provides new development opportunities

On Wednesday Lands Minister Ben Wyatt called for expressions of interest on two development opportunities along the coast.

The first opportunity is a sought-after site in Scarborough for the redevelopment of a car park managed by the City of Stirling. The developer will be required to incorporate 100 public car park bays within the development.

Lot 500 Reserve Street is a 6,442 square metre site fronting West Coast Highway and situated on the northern end of Scarborough Beach. The site is zoned for an eight to 12 storey development with shops, bars or cafés on the ground floor, providing opportunities for visitors and locals to work, shop or enjoy a meal with a view.

Expressions of interest for this site close at 2pm on February 26, 2020.

The second opportunity is the sale and redevelopment of the former Fremantle Technical College site in the heart of Fremantle.

Situated opposite the Fremantle Markets, the property offers heritage-listed buildings on more than 2,400 square metres of prime land and represents a significant redevelopment opportunity.

The State Government is seeking a proponent who has the vision to reactivate and restore this underutilised heritage asset, building on the regeneration of Fremantle’s city centre and successfully demonstrating heritage conservation and adaptive reuse.

Conservation and maintenance works were recently completed to prepare the character buildings for sale. Any future redevelopment plans will need to ensure the heritage value is retained and celebrated.

Expressions of interest for this opportunity close at 2pm on March 4, 2020.

For more information about either opportunity, click here.

Australian housing market ‘severely unaffordable’

Australia’s five major housing markets were once again marked as “severely unaffordable” in the latest edition of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

The 16th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 309 metropolitan housing markets in eight countries (Australia, Canada, China [Hong Kong Only], Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States) for the third quarter of 2019.

The survey listed all five of Australia’s major housing markets as “severely unaffordable”, as it has done in every edition since its inception in 2004 with housing affordability measured by the median house price divided by median annual gross pre-tax household income.

Unsurprisingly Sydney and Melbourne were highlighted as the two least affordable markets in Australia as they were listed as third and fourth least affordable in the world, respectively. Adelaide was the next least affordable Australian market, followed by Brisbane and finally Perth, listed as the 19th least affordable major housing market.

The survey noted that Australia’s high house prices have increased the cost and demand for subsidized housing.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute estimates that “current housing need in Australia to be 1.3 million households,” and expects the need to worsen. A Parliamentary briefing book found that “ …the stock of social housing is not increasing at a rate sufficient to keep up with demand, and waiting lists for social housing remain long.”

Despite these findings UDIA WA is pleased to be working with the Department of Communities on a new Housing Strategy and has welcomed the release of funding from the State Government towards social housing and homelessness initiatives.

To view the survey in full, click here.

Future mobility study presents interesting findings

Towards the end of last year, a new report was released which detailed the results of a three-year study by the MIT Energy Initiative that investigated the major factors that affect the evolution of personal mobility from 2020 to 2050.

The results were revealed in the Insights into Future Mobility report which is designed to help stakeholders anticipate and navigate the challenges that lie ahead.

The report includes detailed findings on five areas of influence on the future landscape for personal mobility:

  1. The potential impact of climate change policies on global fleet composition, fuel consumption, fuel prices, and economic output
  2. The outlook for vehicle ownership and travel, with a focus on the world’s two largest light-duty vehicle markets—the U.S. and China
  3. Characteristics of alternative vehicle powertrains and fuels that could affect their future market share
  4. Infrastructure considerations for charging and fuelling, particularly as they affect future demand for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
  5. The future of personal mobility in urban areas, with a focus on the potentially disruptive role of autonomous vehicles and ride-hailing services

Using a scenario-based approach, the study focused on personal motorised vehicles as opposed to considering all forms of personal mobility and the report states the study is not looking to predict the future, nor provide a normative vision of what the future of mobility should be. Instead, the study used historical trends, data-driven models, and scenarios to explore the potential impacts of, and trade-offs involved in, the near- and medium-term evolution of technology, behaviour, and policy.

One of the key take-aways from the study is that there will be several technological and policy challenges in the decades ahead but one of the central imperatives will be to develop and deploy more environmentally sustainable mobility options that are cost-efficient and easy to access.

The study also found that the outlook for autonomous vehicle technology and new on-demand mobility services is not very clear. The report stated that autonomous vehicle technology is not as close to maturity as it is sometimes portrayed and there are significant regulatory issues still to be addressed.

The report detailed that while new on-demand mobility services are already here, which could be automated into the future, their impact on congestion and energy use seems more likely to be negative rather than positive and as such will be unlikely to replace mass transit systems. As an alternative, the report suggests integrating mass transit systems with on-demand mobility services using autonomous vehicles, especially if the autonomous vehicles are also low- or zero emission, as a promising option for advancing multiple objectives, but significant technological and policy progress is needed to make this a reality.

Further research is required in this space but the report suggests that with careful consideration of the multifaceted impacts of new technologies, policies, and markets, such as those undertaken in the study, it can be anticipated that a future of mobility that works better for people and for the planet can be shaped.

For more information or to view the report in full, click here.

New coastal community lined up for Port Kennedy

Approximately 66 hectares of Crown land on Port Kennedy’s coastal front has been transferred to Western Australia Beach and Golf Resort for the development of approximately 900 residential lots and new local community facilities.

The new development will be delivered over the next decade and will see the existing Kennedy Bay golf course retained and improved, with a new main street and town centre comprising a mix of offices and shops. Plans also include a $15 million public works program with a new clubhouse, restaurant and function spaces, beach upgrades, boat moorings and a public jetty.

Subject to development approvals, residential lots will range from 180 to 600 square meters providing for a diversity of housing choice. An estimated 400 local jobs are expected to be created through development of the lots and associated community infrastructure.

A new north-south coastal road is to be built in the first stage of development to provide two road access points for emergency fire response.

The City of Rockingham will invite public comment on a local structure plan in the coming weeks, which will then go to the Western Australian Planning Commission for final approval.

Kennedy Bay’s first lots are expected to be released in early 2022, and the new clubhouse is due to open late next year.

ATCO updates

ATCO Gas are launching a new self-service portal from February 3 as part of efforts to provide a seamless customer experience.

The portal will be a secure 24/7 section of the ATCO website that will feature a digital interface and easy-to-use navigation. It will provide functionality for users to submit requests, upload planning documentation, access guides and other related documentation as well as being the new way to book a disconnection or removal of a gas meter.

Until the portal is live, users are encouraged to continue submitting requests via the existing application form on the ATCO website.

The new portal will also be the way to book an open trench but until the portal becomes live, continue to submit requests via the ATCO Contact Centre on 13 13 56 between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

For more information, click here.

Have a voice on Subi East Redevelopment

A Community Reference Group (CRG) has been created to help shape the planning process for the Subi East Redevelopment and marks another key milestone in the delivery of this urban renewal project.

Residents, community and special interest groups and business organisations with an interest in Subi East are invited to nominate to be part of the CRG as it will play a critical role in providing input to the Subi East Master Plan.

Consisting of up to 35 volunteers, the CRG will include a mix of up to 15 individuals from Subiaco and the wider Perth community, together with up to 20 representatives of key community and business organisations, all with an active interest in the delivery of the Subi East landmark renewal project.

Nominations close at 5pm on February 12, 2020. The ballot will be held the next day with successful applicants notified on February 14, 2020.

For further information on the Subi East project, including details on how to apply for the Subi East CRG, visit here.

We value your feedback!

UDIA is currently working on several submissions on behalf of members. We encourage you to forward any feedback on these items to

  • Native Vegetation in Western Australia Issues Paper (here). Submissions close February 10, 2020.
  • Draft Position Statement: Special Entertainment Precincts (here). Submissions close February 14, 2020.
  • EPBC Act Review Discussion Paper (here). Submissions close February 14, 2020.